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Exchange student life

Now that I read travel advisories about Fiji, I am indeed lucky that I won’t be travelling to Fiji later. These remind me that Fiji is worse known for its government instability and military coups. But I won’t talk about travel or books. Here I have been remarkably silent about the very purpose (?) of my stay in Auckland. One of my friends teased me if I am doing agriculture here. That’s a good option if I had come on a working holiday. But well, I don’t know if Indian passport-holders are allowed to have a gap year (http://gapyear.com – a very good site) or a working holiday anywhere. NZ has plenty of farms to choose from – sheep, dairy and surprisingly deer farms. Venison or deer meat is mighty popular in Germany, I am told.

So I am here for the study, a long stay (28 Aug to 12 Dec) at one of Auckland’s newest universities. It gives me my first proper international exposure (never mind the countless conference calls we geeks had with Americans and Canadians). One term back in Indore translates to two terms here. I take three courses each term. There is a week-long break between terms too. Classes happen thrice a week (one for each course) in the evening from 6 to 9. Each term runs for 7 weeks, the last week being assessment week. My first term classes ran from Tue to Thu and the second’s from Mon to Wed, giving me 4 free days. Now you can imagine how easy it is to travel on such a schedule. Of course, I can afford to miss one class per term per course. That means, I can take a whole week off. But I am a studious boy and have only missed one class in the first term. I plan to skip two this term.

Half the students in the class are Indians and the other half are Chinese. No, that is not true. But a large proportion (>75%) is Asian, leaving little space for the locals. Imagine escaping Hindi in Indore to encounter all of it here in Auckland! Education is a major source of export revenues for NZ and it definitely milks international students. The classes are quite small, with just about 20 people on an average. In India, evening classes means part-time courses. But here you can work and study full-time, attending these evening classes. Having come from a study-only environment, I cannot help feeling it is so easy and relaxed here. Assignments, presentations and exams are very light. Good for me, other universities must be different, I think.

The best part has been the teachers. They have amazing experience and are very good in their subjects. I have had a mixed bag of teachers – Sri Lankan, Kiwi and Chinese. The economics guy was a relative of Jayasuriya. Unfortunately I haven’t had any Indian teachers. The best thing about them is that they all have been giving me good grades, much better than what I got in Indore. Yes, my first term grades have come and have been excellent. Sadly the exchange program scorecard only will reflect the name of the course and a pass or fail and not my grades. That gives me less incentive to study.

One more term, two more exams and two more beautiful South Island trips will make this exchange program the best 100 days of my life, not including my school days. It’s been one helluva learning experience! 🙂

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Categories: Bschool
  1. sk
    2 November 2006 at 5:12 pm

    Heehee so you finally wrote about studies :–D
    No grades and only P/F?? Boy, that must be fun! :–)

    Reg previous post, I did read 1month and 20 days, still is short isnt it? :–))

  2. A
    7 November 2006 at 7:46 pm

    Wow – you already completed one term? That’s fast!

  3. 7 November 2006 at 11:20 pm

    sk, 50 days is definitely short, but in a 100day period, it’s half!

    A, i can’t believe in another month, I’ll be back to India.

  4. 23 December 2006 at 7:08 pm

    Hope you will put some pictures from New Zealand, the photographs I have seen, it seems to be a very beautiful place.

  5. 23 December 2006 at 7:29 pm

    Hey Mridula, I have a few pictures on my flickr id cool_spark. The URL is http://www.flickr.com/photos/cool_spark/. Nice to have you here 🙂

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