Hello, this is my first blog post so far since arriving in Auckland, New Zealand. As most people write, I have just been so busy! I’m here for one semester as an exchange student from February until June. Today is the first time I have sat down to try and find my bearings. I’ve now been here exactly two weeks, and as you can imagine, they have been hectic and busy, but amazing. It is overwhelming being in a big city by yourself – I got lost before even arriving to where I was staying! However, everyone is in the same boat as you and I found it really easy to make friends.
There are a few things I have realised since arriving that I was not prepared for:
- The heat. If by chance you have looked at the weather for New Zealand around the end of summer time, it is predominantly around 25 degrees most of the time. But what you may not realise is, this is not a UK standard of 25 degrees. Here – I won’t bore you with the details – but in short, there is a hole in the ozone layer (I’ve done my research), and the same temperature feels like you’re in 40-degree heat. Plus, it’s so humid all the time, even when its raining. To make things worse, there is a fan shortage, and no air con in most of the accommodation. You literally cannot buy a fan ANYWHERE (I’ve tried). So, suffering in silence it is.
- It may be hot but it actually rains quite a lot. And I did not bring an umbrella. It’s too humid to be able to chuck on a hoodie, so an umbrella would be key to own really.
- Groceries are quite expensive. Although I gain money through exchange, everything is twice as expensive as it is in the UK. I paid $6 for a pot of pesto, but as an essential it had to be done.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom! So far, I’ve already been on a weekend away and visited multiple islands, beaches and a volcano! I have also discovered the art of frozen coca cola – a wonderful invention and one for all you Tango ice blast lovers out there. I could not have picked a prettier country to be doing an exchange in and although I haven’t been here long, it’s my favourite country I’ve been to so far and I can’t recommend it enough. I’ve added some of my favourite pictures down below, but if you want to see any more, my instagram is @jaderushby. Of course, we are doing the exchange programmes to learn, but travelling and learning about the country is just as important. I love travelling and it’s great that I have been able to incorporate it into my degree! This week is my first week of lectures, so I’m sure I can update you all in due course of the university side of New Zealand – as that is what I’m here for!