Simon Hird / / Geography / / University of Auckland / / NZ
So as part of year abroad we were asked to produce a series of blogs for Geography. Each had to be a on a different topic and in a variety of formats (i.e.referenced essay, diary entry, video). This particular video blog entry was on the positives and negatives that I have experienced on my year abroad – it is slightly more personal and geography related than my other posts, due to it’s initial purpose, but hopefully you guys can take something from it:
P.S. If you guys want to see a few more photos feel free to check out my Instagram: @simonhird
the Instagram run by study abroad students at The University of Auckland if you want more of an insight into day-to-day life of an exchange student @studyabroad_auckland
I cannot believe that I have been home for almost a month and a year since I secured my Student Visa for my year abroad. The last 12 months have gone exceptionally quickly and wish I could go back to the beginning and do it all again!
Now that I have been home for a couple of weeks I have had a bit of time to think about the highlight of my year. With studying in Australia where the weather is almost always lovely and everybody spends a lot of time outside and at the beach, it has been difficult to decide on my favourite things.
After months of waiting, the time has finally come. I can officially say that I’m off to Australia to start my new adventure. Here’s to new beginnings!
Semesters in Australia are the complete opposite to semesters in the UK. When it’s their Semester 2, it’s our Semester 1 (but it starts late July – so it’s a bit earlier).
I’m all packed & ready to go! Although, I’m not looking forward to my 25 hour journey to get there. I still haven’t sorted out my accommodation, hence I’m leaving 2 weeks earlier than uni starts to leave plenty of time to find something. From reading previous blogs, I learnt that finding accommodation in Australia was relatively easy – especially through different sites, such as flatmates.com! Initially, I’ll be staying in a hostel near USyd (that’s the local nickname for University of Sydney, sort of like UoM). Hopefully I’m able to find something relatively cheap as accommodation in Sydney can be very expensive.
One thing I’ve packed for my 6 months there is lots of sweaters! I’m going there during Australian winter, which is basically around the same temperatures as British summer, but I shouldn’t underestimate the power of the wind.
A really great thing about USyd is that it offers a wide range of activities for Exchange students. You can partake in things such climbing the Harbour Bridge and Breakfast with Koalas for really, really discounted prices. Also, in term of academics, USyd offers Exchange students a rare opportunity to apply for internships!
My eagerness to get to Australia is already killing me and I cannot wait to post all the pictures from my time abroad to make all my friends back in Manchester very jealous.
I’m ready for you, Sydney. See you very, very soon!
So before I came to Canberra I had pretty much no idea where I should apply to stay, which college would be best for me, or whether I should even stay in college at all. I kinda wish I had a little more guidance when applying for residence just because at the time I felt like I had literally picked a random place out a hat. Luckily for me I ended up loving where I picked but I figured I’d write a little guide so that anyone else going to ANU wouldn’t feel so baffled.
A lot have people have asked me why I decided to study abroad in Europe. Admittedly, I am incredibly jealous of everyone who has been able to experience life in an exotic far-off land, especially from the @uomgoabroad Instagram page. However, coming towards my time here in Europe I have never been so glad I picked Amsterdam, and I thought you all deserved to know why..
The past week has been one of the most difficult periods I’ve been through. Having to say bye to the most beautiful people I have ever met has made watching the clock tick closer to my departure, even harder. Though I spent my last week doing all my favourite things: being at the beach, going to national parks, seeing everyone I love, I still felt very melancholic. Having the most amazing year of my life had a price, and leaving definitely wasn’t something I was prepared for.
Coming home has been nice. I’ve surrounded myself with people I haven’t seen or even spoken to in a year. I’m sleeping in my own bed and enjoying my mum’s cooking. But, there is still a void. I am no longer the same person I was in California, and in no way can I articulate just how amazing my year was.
California, and UC Irvine has shaped me as a person. I’ll treasure my experiences forever. I thank everyone who made the past year so beautiful.
Spring break was the highlight of my year abroad. We started in Cancún, Mexico, indulging in street food and napping on the beach. Once that became too boring, we head out to Havana, Cuba. Havana was everything I could’ve imagined and more, I don’t think I can find the words to articulate just how buzzing and beautiful the city was, so I have put together a short photo diary so you can see for yourselves.
My time in New Zealand is unfortunately coming to an end. I thought I’d do a quick blog before I leave Auckland, on my highlight of the semester. It’s difficult to choose just one, because my whole time here has been unbelievable, but if I had to pick one it would be doing the Abel Tasman Great Walk on the South Island.
New Zealand offers 9 Great Walks, that are multiple day hikes. You walk and camp or stay in huts, passing diverse and spectacular scenery. Abel Tasman was a four day trek on the northern tip of South Island. I thought I’d give you a bit of an insight into the hike, or at least how it went for us anyway.
Hands down one of the best parts of going on an exchange is the opportunity to explore around the town or city you’re studying in. Travelling throughout the semester on short weekend breaks really gives you a feel for the country. These are quite general but if you’d like something more specific shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dim sum is a type of Chinese cuisine where you order smaller dishes usually dumplings, wontons and buns and share.
Dim sum at Tim Ho Wan is really cheap, you could probably eat a filling meal for around £4, However the menu is that not extensive, the barbeque pork buns are pretty famous.
I think the best dim sum in Hong Kong is Din Tai Fung. The menu is more extensive (and tasty!) than Tim Ho Wan, however it is not as cheap, but still affordable. It’s a really good option to take visitors.