Study Abroad student from Concordia University Wisconsin, USA
She has always loved travelling, says Samantha Meixell who came to AUT from Concordia University Wisconsin.
“I love travelling and my mother told me that now is the time to do it. It’s much easier to travel while you’re in college, and you’ll never get a chance like this again. It’s been such an amazing experience for me. I’ve already been to Queenstown, Lake Tekapo and Hotwater Beach, and am planning to go to Fiji and the Cook Islands in November with one of my friends.
“I decided to come to New Zealand because everyone says New Zealand is beautiful, and I like that it’s the home of the world’s extreme sports capital. I wanted to study in an English-speaking country, ideally in the Pacific region. It’s also not too far from my dad’s favourite place in the world, Australia, and I’m planning to travel there with him later.”
A wide range of classes
Being able to learn about Māori culture has been one of the highlights of her studies, Samantha says.
“One of the courses I’m taking is International Noho Marae – Indigenous Encounters of a Māori Kind. It’s a very good introduction to Māori culture and gives you an understanding of what the culture is all about. On my second weekend here, we spent the weekend at the AUT marae. I would highly recommend that. It was a very international fun gathering.”
A physiotherapy student back in the USA, Samantha is also completing a number of health courses.
“In addition to the Noho Marae course, I’m also doing three psychology courses. This complements my physio major well, and helps me fulfil the psychology requirements I’ll need to get into grad school next year.”
Advice for other students
Get out there and meet people, Samantha advises other students.
“Join a club, explore the city and have fun. Even if it’s not a big trip, there’s plenty to see and do around Auckland. You’re only in New Zealand for one semester, so don’t waste your time. I joined the soccer team at AUT right away, and I really enjoy spending time with the other students on the team.”
She also recommends staying in the AUT student accommodation.
“The staff at the student accommodation are super helpful and encouraging. They gave me great suggestions of where to go and how to organise wifi, and told me about public transport around Auckland. I also like that the staff at student accommodation organise a lot of activities for students. I’d highly recommend staying there while you’re at AUT.”
Last updated: 28-Sep-2017 1.16pm
The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.