As soon as I decided that New Zealand will be the destination for my semester abroad I knew that an amazing time would be expecting me. Not yet knowing that these 160 days of my exchange truly will be the most special ones in my life. There was not one day – or even minute – I have ever regretted my decision and I recommend everyone choosing New Zealand and UNITEC University for a semester abroad.
I have never seen a more beautiful and yet diverse country than New Zealand as it literally offers everything landscape, animal and activity wise.
New Zealand is amazingly diverse: you find glaciers, volcanoes, hot springs, tropical forests, stunning coastlines, countless beaches and mystical fjords. As the number of sheep is higher than the country’s population you will not miss to see sheep as soon as you are on the road in the middle of New Zealand’s beautiful nature. The country consists of 2 islands. Trips on the North Island can easily be done during semester on long weekends, whereas you will need at least 2 weeks (like in semester break) for traveling the South Island.
Additionally New Zealand is famous for its adrenaline filled activities for which I never thought I’ll take part in any. Well, in the end I did canyoning, abseiling, black water rafting, the Auckland bridge climb and the most amazing thing in my whole life – a sky dive, which I’d state as a must do in New Zealand!!!
Best ice cream in the world @Giapo on Queen Street in Auckland.
Auckland is a very nice and lively city with 1.5 million inhabitants. There are many great places for eating, shopping, going out for a drink or dance or simply spending a nice day on the beautiful harbor. From there ferries depart on a regular basis to nearby destinations which are all worth a visit for either a relaxing day on the most beautiful and remote beaches or a hiking trip on one of the many extinct volcanoes. Living costs in Auckland and New Zealand in general are pretty affordable with price levels slightly under the one of Vienna.
PS: Don’t miss the late night burger at “White ladies” after a wild party night out, e.g. at Carpark or Provedor!
When going to a country on the other side of the world, it made sense to make some stopovers on the way to and from New Zealand. Resulting I traveled to Bangkok, Australia, Singapore and Shanghai as well as Fiji and the Cook Islands. I recommend booking the major destinations well in advance either online or within a ‘Travel around the World Ticket’ in order to save some money. It is amazing how many different places can be seen in such a short period of time and I cannot decide which one I liked most as every place was so different and special.
Overall I truly had the time of my life in these 5 months and I am so grateful that I got the chance to make all these once-in-a-lifetime experiences.