School’s Out…For Summer?!
Today marks the final day of classes this semester at the University of Auckland. It’s hard to believe finals are just around the corner. I only have one more assignment between me and my much-dreaded exams. Assignments and testing are definitely much different here than at home. There are only 2-3 assignments in each of my papers (i.e. courses) and the final exam. However, lecturers and tutors have made exam contents incredibly clear. All of my exams are essay responses, whereas at Wake I would typically have at least 1 or 2 research essays as finals. The exam period is also three whole weeks long!
Aside from finals, I am looking forward to finishing the semester abroad. I still have a few weekend trips planned–Milford Sound, Wellington, and Paihia. My marks (i.e. grades) seem to be good…thanks to planning ahead and staying on top of course readings, and I think most of my traveling/activity bucket list will be completed. In fact, last weekend I was finally able to make it down to Hobbiton to tour the shire set. That was definitely a highlight of the semester. It felt like another world. I also went Zorbing while we were out of the city, another quintessential NZ experience.
I’m sad to report our final IFSA-Butler activity was also this week. We enjoyed an incredible four course meal at Orbit 360, the rotating restaurant at the skytower. The food and views were absolutely amazing, and we were fortunate to have Resident Director Sian come up and enjoy great food and the silly superlatives we gave one another. Especially as a first-generation student, I honestly feel so fortunate to have IFSA-Butler programming and advisers like Emily and Sian to guide us through the experience, particularly after meeting another American student who came on her own without a program. Fellow students, certainly fellow first-generation students: do not be afraid to use your program advisers and study abroad counselors for ANY questions or concerns you have about being abroad! It’s a chaotic, scary process, and that’s exactly what they are there for. Trust me…they have already heard it all.