My Auckland experience
I chose to study abroad at the University of Auckland through IFSA Butler as I wanted to discover firsthand New Zealand’s story and indigenous peoples.
I knew of similarities between some Māori and Yurok traditions, such as women’s chin markings. I really wanted to learn more about the culture’s past history and how they are dealing with the problems that affect the majority of indigenous people today. Read more about my Maori culture experience here.
I was also attracted to studying in Auckland because of the cultural diversity on campus, and I wasn’t disappointed. In my experience, schools in the US are mainly white students, but in New Zealand I befriended students from China, Italy, Spain, Malaysia, and of course New Zealand.
My teachers were great, in fact three out of four were phenomenal. I found myself talking to them each day after class, they were approachable, very helpful and kind. I liked how organised all the buildings are on campus – they all have numbers so it makes it really easy to find classes and meeting spots.
I also like the Student Commons building in the middle of City Campus, it is a great place to study, get some tea, or go shopping for school books. In my spare time I used the gym which was great, and I also joined the Tramping (hiking) Club. Another stand-out experience was taking a self-defence class at the gym – it was awesome!
Watch Brook's video about her New Zealand experience.
About the contributors
Brooke Thompson is from the Yurok and Karuk tribes of northern California. While studying at Auckland University inNew Zealand she explored a broad range of interests by taking courses in film, physics, sociology and ‘the Māori world’.