The Ups and Downs of Studying in Auckland
When it comes to choosing subjects and careers, Auckland has no shortage of options. With campuses from the University of Auckland, AUT and Massey University, the range of degrees available is endless. There are also many technical institutes, like MIT and Unitec, which offer practical courses to set you on the right track for a dynamic career.
Auckland is a super-diverse city. This spills out into the variety of food available, the languages you hear on the street and the people you encounter every day. Auckland has the largest Polynesian population of any city worldwide, as well as vibrant Asian, Indian, African and Latin American communities. You learn so much more outside of the classroom interacting with people from all over the world, bringing the experience of traveling to your backyard. From Korean barbecue to the French Film Festival, your student experience is enhanced by this cultural encounter.
This one could be an up or a down. Auckland’s weather can be unpredictable, but when it’s good, it’s really good! Jandals become staple attire from October through to April as Auckland is soaked in sub-tropical heat! After class, you’ll often find yourself driving to the beach to catch some rays and forget about all the stress your assignments may be causing.
Cafes, bars, and nightclubs
No study experience in Auckland is complete without cultural assimilation into the art of socially drinking beverages ranging from flat whites to pale ale. You’ll find your favorite waterhole very quickly, and there are quality student bars and cafes that are easily accessible before, between and after class. You may be perched in a café discussing Plato’s Cave, knocking back a couple of beers while debating politics, or dancing the night away to forget about your impending history test. The options are limitless, and everywhere you go, you’ll find a flock of students in the same boat as you.
Navigating roads, public transport, and walkways can get quite confusing in Auckland, but this is exacerbated by the uniquely Auckland phenomenon of rush hour traffic. Expect to spend hours of your life in traffic, and prepare for it with some quality tunes and a stress ball. Even buses get stuck in traffic, so make sure to be wary of time – you don’t want to miss that 9 am a lecture!
Rent, food, transport, study materials, gym memberships, alcohol, coffee… in Auckland, it seems nothing comes cheaply. Your student years will be enjoyable, but they will also be a trying time when it comes to finances. Try to stick to a budget and prioritize your spending so that you don’t fall behind. It may mean that you need to pick up a part-time job. Luckily there are tonnes of cafes, bars, and nightclubs that hire students, as well as retail stores and call centers.
Big city blues
There are over a million people in Auckland – more than a quarter of New Zealand’s overall population. It’s easy to feel small when you’re surrounded by tall buildings and lots of strangers. Not to mention that Auckland’s color pallet is lacking, which is made worse by the grey overcast days of winter. It’s important to recognize that if these feelings become overwhelming, there are places to go to get help, whether you need medical help, psychological help or just a quality night out with friends to keep you grounded. Go out of your way to make friends, and your student days will be easier. Go it alone, and you’re facing an uphill battle. In a city full of people, you’re bound to find a handful that you enjoy spending time with.
These are only a few of the ups and downs of living and studying in Auckland. If you grew up there, you will have a clear idea of city living and what it entails. If you’re new to all of this, keep your head high and be prepared. You’re going to have a great time if you learn how to cope with the negatives and revel in the positives!