Study Abroad student from Texas Tech University, USA
There were only two places in the world he considered when thinking about studying overseas, says Andy Coonrod who is originally from Texas.
“When I was thinking about studying abroad, I was looking at either Nepal or New Zealand. I was interested in Nepal because that would have been a completely different experience from the US, and New Zealand was a place I’d always wanted to visit.
“I love nature, and when I was little my dad used to read me the Lord of the Rings books, and later on I watched the movies, which were of course filmed in New Zealand.”
AUT stood out from other New Zealand universities, Andy says.
“When I was researching Study Abroad study options in New Zealand, I saw that AUT is very hands-on, unlike other, very theoretical universities that are similar to the ones we have back home in the US. The papers I’m taking at AUT this semester are mainly on entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship, and I like that we’re encouraged to go out in the world and talk to entrepreneurs.”
He enjoys being able to gain New Zealand work experience as part of his studies.
“Through my Study Abroad Cooperative Education paper, I’m interning for Auckland Stadiums, which manages stadiums across Auckland. I’m majoring in marketing, and it’s a great opportunity to work with Auckland Stadiums’ marketing director to promote their events.”
Making the most of the opportunities
It’s been an amazing experience, Andy says.
“People here are so friendly and genuine, and its’ been amazing coming here. In my first few days in Auckland I discovered that not too far from town you can find a rainforest and black sand beaches. I’ve experienced so much since coming here – from snowboarding on Mt Ruapehu to being a reserve player on the AUT basketball team.”
Meet as many people as you can, he advises other students.
“Everyone has a story to tell, and meeting lots of people allows you to experience something new. I tend to be introverted, and I came to Auckland not knowing anyone. Going out and making new friends was hard, but extremely rewarding.”
Last updated: 29-Aug-2017 12.49pm
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