3rd-year student, Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Psychology
Psychology is the most interesting degree, says Keegan Allen who is in the final year of a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Psychology.
“By studying psychology you’re literally learning about yourself and all people, and why you do what you do. You learn about how people function and all their similarities and differences, which is so helpful to build your understanding about how to interact with the people around you. Criminology – the study of criminals and crime – is a nice addition to psychology.”
The passion of the academic staff has been a highlight of Keegan’s studies.
“I’ve really enjoyed my lecturers at AUT. They have all been very interesting and energetic in their teaching. I’ve appreciated the differences between my lecturers, whether it was in their teaching style or their cultural background. But one thing they all have in common is their passion and love for their subjects and for teaching.”
Valuable international experience
He would encourage other students to go abroad as part of their degree, says Keegan who is currently on a student exchange and attending Champlain College in the US.
“I believe that all students should try and study abroad to gain a learning and cultural experience different from the one at AUT. No matter where you go, people behave differently and you’ll learn some amazing things about these people and about yourself. You’ll also get the opportunity to broaden your learning, and will get to meet people who may have a great impact on your life.”
Keegan enjoys the opportunities studying in the USA offers.
“I’ve watched the Super Bowl, eaten a Thanksgiving dinner, and lived in a Winter Wonderland of snow ball fights, ice skating, and winter coats and boots. I’ve also been able to travel up to Canada, towns in New York and Connecticut, and Los Angeles in California.
“Burlington, Vermont, is a lot smaller than AUT, with only around 2,000 full-time students attending it. The campus is halfway up a hill and has the most stunning view out onto the lake. I’ve loved the teaching style at Champlain College, and have built strong relationships with people who will be my friends forever and have made my experience so special.”
A new start and new friendships
Community was important to him when he was choosing where to study, says Keegan whose studies were supported by an AUT Kiwa Undergraduate Scholarship (Māori and Pacific Students).
“AUT appeared to be a more welcoming community than other universities. When I went to the AUT open day, the people were all so friendly and genuinely wanted to help, which I appreciated. There was also an awesome community of Māori students and mentors which was important for me to stay connected to my culture.”
Starting university and being surrounded by people he didn’t know was a little daunting, Keegan admits.
“I was used to being so involved with my school and knowing a lot of students and teachers. When I first started at AUT, I struggled with all the unfamiliar faces. Since then I’ve been able to develop many friendships, and now I can often be somewhere on campus or at an event and know someone.
“AUT has also helped me feel more involved by offering me the opportunity to be a student ambassador. Through this opportunity I was able to meet a variety of people at AUT, both staff and students. This made me feel very much part of the AUT community and I was able to do real work to give back, stay involved in this community and help grow the future of AUT.”