Student exchange student from Cardiff University, United Kingdom
Going on a student exchange helps you make the most of your university experience, says journalism and communications student Elin Morris who came to AUT on a student exchange from Cardiff University.
“As you get older and life gets more serious, the opportunity to travel and move abroad can often be a lot scarcer. I wanted to live abroad while I could, and taking some time out of my regular studies to study overseas was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.
“I chose to go to New Zealand on a student exchange because I used to live in Auckland between the ages of 9 and 14. I absolutely loved living in New Zealand, and it shaped who I am as a person. When the opportunity to return to New Zealand presented itself, I was very excited to accept.”
Making the most of the opportunities
Studying at AUT helped her discover her dream career, says Elin who has now returned to Cardiff and is in the final year of her degree.
“When I was on my student exchange, I took a paper about the public relations industry, which taught me so much about what it would be like to pursue PR as a career. Now, largely due to the paper at AUT, I plan to pursue a career in PR and I’m moving to London in June for a PR internship at an award-winning agency.”
She also managed to make the most of New Zealand’s beautiful landscapes while she was studying at AUT.
“During my semester abroad, I was fortunate to do a lot of travelling. My friends and I planned continuous weekend trips around the North Island, and during our Easter break we did a two-week tour of the South Island. It was incredibly special for me as I revisited all the places I’d grown up visiting.
“The best part about living in New Zealand is the lovely weather – you get lovely hot summers and the winter is nothing in comparison to the UK! The other great part about living in New Zealand is all the kind people. All the people I came across were absolutely lovely, and so welcoming of people from all cultures and backgrounds.”
Advice for other students
Elin’s advice for students considering spending a semester at AUT is simple – go for it.
“The university is great and has so many course options, the people are incredibly friendly and Auckland as a city is unbeatable. It’s scary to study overseas and to step out of your comfort zone, but studying at AUT has been the best experience of my life so far and I can’t recommend it enough.”
There is plenty of support to help exchange students make the most of living in Auckland, Elin says.
“AUT was incredibly helpful and made me feel settled in Auckland. The uni organised events and days out for all the international students to get to know one another, and to get to know Auckland.
“The student accommodation I was staying in – the Wellesley Student Apartments close to the AUT City Campus – also hosted many events for the students living in the apartments to get to know one another. Through the events AUT organised I met some of my closest friends.”