The whole purpose of coming here is to study abroad. Key word: study. But honestly, I’ve been doing very little of that. The best part about it is… It doesn’t really matter.
By that, I mean I’m still going to pass all my classes and get great grades I just have to put in a lot less work. The schooling system in New Zealand is significantly more lax than it is in the states. For example:
1. Class is not compulsory… Ever.
2. All the lectures are put online so if you choose not to go to class you can listen to them on your own time. Or not.
3. We have an average of 2-3 assignments due for each class over the entire semester. This includes the final. Most classes don’t have midterms.
4. Which may seem scary, but my first paper is only three pages long. The prompt was basically to demonstrate that you know how to organize a paper… Really?
5. The tests? You know exactly what is going to be on them. This is because they give you the questions throughout the semester. Literally, they say “I’m going to ask you this exact question on the final.”
6. Our mid semester break is two weeks long instead of one. WHAT WHAT!!
7. We also get a study week instead of a study… Weekend? Basically, another time for me to visit the South Island instead of study.
8. We call it ‘uni’ here, not college (that’s what high school is called).
9. You are generally on first name basis with all your professors. Or just ‘hey teach.’ Not really though. I think that might still be rude.
10. But you don’t call them professors…. There are different rankings of teachers: lecturers, assistant lecturers… Other people who stand in front of the classroom and talk at you…. I haven’t quite figured out the rankings yet.
11. Since you know what’s going to be on the final, you really don’t even have to do all the readings. Unless you’re genuinely interested in the topic. Or you’re a nerd (guilty as charged).
In addition, Americans have an interesting reputation in the classroom. I’m assuming it’s because we are all used to a much more strict and challenging school system. I was in my Food and Eating class the other day (Yes, I am getting credit for this) and noticed a fellow American wasn’t in attendance. She was supposed to be doing a presentation that day, so the teacher obviously noticed.
She let us know that the student had emailed her and told her she was sick. Her response was “I know she’s not lying because she’s American. And Americans never miss class. So she must be really sick.”
Later that night I went to meet up with a club on campus. We were going hiking and not surprisingly the ‘sick’ student was there! The naivety of my professor blows my mind…
I’m off to climb an active volcano for the weekend! I’ll have pictures next week 🙂
Oh and since I’m sure you don’t really want pictures of uni, here are some from our trip to Auckland this past weekend: