a semester abroad in New Zealand

Archive for July, 2011

ultimate

Yesterday Dan and me decided to go to the park for some disc throwing, but we didn’t have a disc :P So we went downtown to buy some kind of Frisbee we can use for casual throwing… which turned out to be harder than we thought. After a while we found a Frisbee-like disc in the warehouse (a department store), but it didn’t seem satisfying, so we decided to look somewhere else. After getting a really tiny, but free disc at some tourist info thing, we found a real 175g ultimate disc in a sports store :)

Today we (4 other people from this residence and me) took a bus to a sports ground a couple of kilometers away from here, where a weekly pickup game takes place. Today there were approximately 16 people, mostly experienced players. Even though I had a lot of fun, I played pretty bad :P In addition to the fact that I’m still new to this sport, the field was more of a swamp than a grass pitch (I don’t have cleats yet) and the weather was really windy.

The location is really nice though, the sports ground is very close to the ocean.

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Auckland at Night

I finally managed to take some nice pictures of the view from our living room (10. floor). You can’t really open the windows around here and I haven’t bought a stand for my camera yet… so I had to improvise.

The window opens a little bit, with the gap at the bottom… big enough for the lens of the camera… and a book made a decent “camera stand” for this situation.

These pictures show the downtown area of Central Auckland and parts of the Albert Park, which is next to the university:

Additionally I got this photo of the downtown/harbor area covered in fog… but this one was unfortunately taken through the dirty window -.-


first day of lectures

Yesterday I had four lectures, each for the first time and in four different buildings… but I somehow managed to be in every lecture in time! The first one was a computer science lecture, which was kind of boring, because I already knew everything covered in that lecture.

The second one is called “Communicating for a Knowledge Society” and seems really interesting… but I have to write an essay, do a presentation and design a poster, in addition to the exam!

At the beginning of my third lecture, “English as a Second Language: Writing Research Reports”,  I wasn’t sure if I was in the right place… because nearly 90% of the people there were female and wearing a headscarf. But I was in the right place… I’m basically the only European and one of the two males in this course (and the only science guy :P).

The last paper (another computer science lecture) was read by a German guy… I figured that out almost immediately because of his really strong German accent.  Also this guy was literally smiling all the time… for one hour straight. I seem to be the only European guy in this lecture, too.

Overall the day was kind of exhausting… so I went to bed soon, after grocery shopping and dinner :P

PS: the second day was also exhausting… I’m not used to be at the university for half the day, because of all the free time I had during the last weeks :P


a beautiful day

Because of the really nice weather yesterday, I grabbed my camera and went for a long walk through Auckland (sadly less than two hours before the sunset). To give you a rough idea about the things on the pictures, here is where I went: I started at my apartment, went down Symonds Street (next to the apartments and the university), crossed the campus and went through Albert Park. After that I went downtown (Queens Street) and passed the Skytower.

From that point on I walked down streets I’ve never been before just to see where I end up… and I somehow ended up at the marina. Which was nice, because I wanted to go to the marina ever since I arrived here. After I had seen most parts of the marina, I sat down at the pier and watched the sunset (which I tried to capture in some pictures, with little success). Without the sun it got kind of cold, so I took the shortest way home.

Enjoy the pictures (and don’t judge my photographer skills, I’m a beginner :P)


Scared & Excited

I just signed up for a Canyonz Trip at August, 20. :)


Recommended Reading

I have to share this great post I read in another blog: http://www.fluentin3months.com/life-lessons/

(I also read some of the linked posts, which were nice too… I definitely will read more stuff from this guy)


Can I see your ID, please?

I have to tell you about one thing I forget to mention before: getting “ID’d”.

It is kind of annoying me… either because I’m allowed to drink beer in Germany for over eight(!) years now… or because the only legal proof of age I got around here is my passport.

Nearly every pub/bar/whatever got a sign saying something like this: “We are required to request identification from everyone who looks under the age of 25, and the only forms of identification accepted are a valid New Zealand or overseas passport, a valid New Zealand driver license, or a valid 18+ card”

A couple of times they accepted my German ID card, but one time I was really close to not getting any alcohol at all :P For the pub night on Thursday I brought my passport, because otherwise I would not even get in. But I hate carrying my passport with me… it is bulky, does not fit in my wallet and it would be a pain in the ass loosing it!

So basically my only long-term option is getting one of those 18+ cards (or starting to look 25 or older). I already applied for a 18+ card, which involved filling out a form, getting an appropriate ID picture (apparently the ones I brought from Germany are to small), getting a “proof of address” and getting the signature of a Justice of Peace. But since I won’t get the 18+ card for another two or three weeks, I probably have to bring my passport a couple of more times. Sucks.