Exercise Science Dept.
815 North Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Exercise Science Student Marlee Colligan Abroad in Auckland, New Zealand School
Institute for the International Education of Students (IES)
Classes on City Campus
Kapa Haka - Maori performing arts class where traditional Maori songs, dances, and culture were studiedClasses on Tamaki Campus
Research Design in Population HealthThe University of Auckland Tamaki Campus is a 20 minute bus ride from the city. Sometimes the additional distance was inconvenient, but for the most part it did not bothered me at all.
Classes are much bigger and there is much less teacher-student interaction. It was an expectation as the university is quite large. Sometimes the big lectures are broken down into tutorials, which are smaller, more interactive classes.
Difference in Educational Culture and Atmosphere
For most of the classes, grades were based heavily on a small number of assignments or assessments. Most of my classes had a mid-term and final exam with the final being the largest portion of the grade - usually 40% to 60%. One or two smaller assignments usually factored into the grade as well. I liked the grading format of having a few exams and assignments, as it allowed me additional free time to explore Auckland and travel around the country.
The classes overall were much less interactive than Skidmore classes. Most classes had a larger number of students compared to Skidmore. Most classes were of a lecture format with few discussions.
Favorite Abroad Experience
My favorite experience occurred when Sarah, Jackie, Inga, and my two other roommates and I rented a 'people mover' and took a road trip around the South Island of New Zealand. We swam with a huge pod of dolphins, day hiked and camped overnight on a beach in a national park, went sea kayaking, hiked on a glacier, explored the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown, and saw the unbelievable Milford Sound. The scenery was phenomenal and the overall experiences were some of the coolest things I have ever done. In addition, I was able to share these amazing experiences with my friends from Skidmore and the new friends I met while abroad.
Most Valuable Abroad Takeaways
I have a much greater appreciation for different cultures and opinions from my travels abroad. I loved seeing how New Zealand embraces the Maori culture. Concurrently, and equally as important, I acquired a newfound love for travel and seeing new places.
Personal Advice on Going Abroad
"GO ABROAD! One of the best experiences in my life. I have a great appreciation for different cultures, meeting new people, and the wonders of travel. Also, if you do go abroad, see the country as much as possible. On the weekends and during any free time get out and explore the country you are living in."