Anna Kovács (Exchange to Wellington, New Zealand)
(Images courtesy of Anna Kovács)
For my exchange, I was fortunate enough to be sent to Wellington, New Zealand, to Victoria University of Wellington.
First, let me start by describing the university and studying in Wellington in general. VicUni (as it is called by the students attending it) is one of New Zealand’s oldest and most renowned universities. It is located in the capital of New Zealand, which is the civic and cultural center. My exchange was during the winter semester, it started at the beginning of July and officially ended on the 12th of November, at the end of the exam period. The building of the Faculty of Law is the oldest building of the university, and it used to house the government, hence its name: Old Government Buildings. Talking about locations, this building has the best of them all – it is right in front of the Parliament and the Beehive (which houses the Government), next to the Supreme Court, the Wellington Court of Appeal (in case you want to see courts in action, anyone can go in and watch) and a bunch of embassies.
I took four courses: Jurisprudence, Judicial Review, International Institutions and Climate Change and the Law. Each of them was worth 15 New Zealand credits (or 7.5 ETS). I was quite satisfied with my course selection. My favorite was Climate Change and the Law, which was one of the reasons why I chose VicUni – it is a leader in climate change research in the Southern Hemisphere.
Overall, VicUni offers a wide range of courses, so I didn’t have problems with not being able to get my 30 ETS. As to studying at VicUni in general, it was challenging. They have a completely different teaching system, the Socratic system. Our lectures were discussion-like, and the professors expected us to go there prepared. It is not uncommon to have your final grade partially consist of a class participation grade. Still, the workload was quite heavy, so if you choose VicUni and want high grades, be prepared to commit to a lot of reading. Nevertheless, if you are considering applying to VicUni, don’t let the workload discourage you, it is nothing that you couldn’t nail with some basic time management skills.
Also, by the way, New Zealand is awesome. Kiwis, as the people of New Zealand call themselves, couldn’t possibly be more chill. They are also extremely friendly; it is common to have a chat about your day and your plans with the cashier while you get your groceries, and especially if you take the time to learn some Kiwi English phrases (e.g. black tea is called ‘gumboots’ for some reason), you will be accepted as one of them in no time. Wellington was also a great city to live in, vibrant and multicultural. Even if I had tried, I wouldn’t have been able to be bored, there was always something going on, either at the university or in the city, and there was always somewhere to go with your mates after a long day. However, I didn’t get to see New Zealand’s whole magnificence until I was done with my exams and set out on a two-week road trip.
Would I go there again for exchange? Without a second thought.
Anna Kovács, Slovakia, LLB International and European Law
|Last modified:||21 December 2017 2.10 p.m.|