So the plan is to leave for Auckland, New Zealand to study at AUT University on July 5th. I will have my own room in the university's Wellesley Apartments where I will share a kitchen, common area and bathroom with four other girls. The apartments are supposedly a three minute walk to campus (uphill, but Boone has definitely prepared me for that and it will probably make me feel more at home). I will take 4 classes: Photography, Maori Studies and 2 Journalism courses. The Maori course is what I am looking forward to the most, a requirement for passing is spending a long weekend with a traditional Maori tribe which will most likely be an amazing experience.
I have been constantly reading anything I can get my hands on about New Zealand. My most recent obsession is a travel guide that was a birthday gift from my parents. Here are a few of my favorite things I have learned from it:
Page 6: "A country unspoiled by industrial excess or overpopulation,
it is a land that was made for physical adventure, and few other places in the world are as geared as New Zealand to participating in its environment in every imaginable way.
After all, this is the nation that gave the world, among other things, bungy jumping."
Page 123: "The New Zealand dollar...[is] below the the value
of the American and Australian dollars,
making shopping in New Zealand
good value for visitors from abroad."
Page 126: "Both English and Maori are official languages."
Useful Maori Phrases:
Kia Ora! - Hello!
Kei te pehea koe - How are you?
Aue! - Alas!