I spent the spring semester of 2010 studying in New Zealand through the ISEP program. I used this blog to keep an account of my school experience and as a record of the adventures I found. Hopefully it can serve two purposes: to have kept my friends and family informed of my travels and experiences; as well as to serve as a reminder of how important the study abroad experience is, whether it's in New Zealand or not.

06 March 2010

Getting into the Swing of Things

So it's been a week and I thought I'd give all those back home an update, though nothing that exciting has happened. Classes are well under way and I'm learning why 300-level courses were so warned against. The material isn't all that hard, but the projects are really involved and the background reading required seems to never end. However, I have been keeping up and I know I'll learn a lot, regardless of the grade I end up with. The challenge is good and at least I have one friend in one class that needs to discuss the homework as much as I do. Last night found me and Sandy going over 13 definitions of animal growth and development to create our own. We didn't finish the part where we have to comment on the strengths and weaknesses of each example; that comes later today. My reproductive and lactational physiology class looks to be the most difficult when it comes to assignments. The teacher expects highly in depth answers and doesn't want us to miss a single aspect of anything. We go over each question from each reading section in class and the answers he expects in class are way less than what he expects in the written assignments, but no one ever answers satisfactorily in class. It's a little intimidating, but he's really making me think about my answers for everything, including those given for other classes. I think I'll really learn a lot from him about writing critically. I'm finding that there are a lot of students that are in several of my classes, so at least I know I'm not alone in attempting 4, 300-level classes at once. We had our fist Massey University Alpine Club (MUAC) meeting this week, where we were introduced to everyone who's in charge and shown a slide show off all the things the club does. It got me pretty excited about some of the trips I want to take. Saturday we went to Freshers, which is their opening event, where people can pay the club fee (making me really miss Hampshire's OPRA program) and pick up their club shirt. They had a slack-line which, while appearing easy, is really quite difficult. Though in the few hours we were there, I improved my abilities greatly. I can't wait to do it again, just to master it. It reminds me of the days when I used to walk on the tightrope for Circus Minimus, but the slack-line is harder to balance on. They also had an outdoor, portable climbing wall, which was quite fun, but difficult because it kept raining a little so the wall was slippery. They fed us lunch, consisting of their never ending Kiwi sausages. I seem to always be surrounded by Germans when these sausages are present, and the Germans of course don't like them. Given that I haven't had German sausages in Germany, I don't have that much of a problem with the ones here, though I do agree they aren't all that great. Other than that I haven't been up to much. Next weekend I'm hoping to go on the MUAC trip to the Ruahines, so I'll post again after that. Unless something really exciting happens before then. I'll also add some pictures here of the things I saw during my first few weeks that I didn't include early. Just to keep things interesting.


  1. It sounds like very challenging school work, which is actually great. I like your attitude about it, too. What's in the sausages?

    MUAC sounds lovely. (What exactly is a slack-line?) It's so marvelous that you can do so many side trips while you're there. Sounds like this adventure is turning out to be just what you wanted.

    All is well here, Mom

  2. I have no idea what's in the sausages. It's probably best that way. They come in a giant knit bag thing, doesn't look all that appetizing.
    Slack-lining is where you put a long strap thing, like what you'd use to tie a boat to the roof of a car, between two trees (or something similar) and walk across it. Generally not too high off the ground, but there's a lot of slack in it, so it bends when you walk on it, hence slack-line.

  3. Sounds awesome! That's great that they have an OPRA type program there.