Friday, July 9, 2010

The University of Waikato!

4 July 2010:
Sunday morning (Happy U.S. Independence Day!), we split from the Wellington kids and left for Hamilton and our University of Waikato. Only an hourish drive later we arrived and settled into our dorm rooms. My best friend here, Erika (from New Hampshire) ended up being my next door neighbor in Bryant Hall! It has been a godsend this past week, since the campus was pretty dead and lonely with all the students away for their winter break. Our rooms are fairly good sized and the nicest we’ve seen out of the three residence halls. Bryant is the smallest of the four, with about 200 students, which will be nice for meeting new people, since large numbers can be overwhelming.

5 - 8 July 2010:
We had a few orientation/info sessions, specifically for new international/exchange students, but otherwise, pretty much a free week to settle in, get to know the campus and each other. We’ve tried to make friends with some of the kiwis on campus and everyone we’ve met so far has been SO nice and friendly. It is always hard being new, and especially temporary, because all of the students have already been here for a while and have established friends groups, but luckily, everyone has been super welcoming and interested in us new Americans.

It is the middle of Hamilton’s winter, but has been amazingly sunny - even if it’s cold, at least it’s clear. The campus is medium size, with huge sports fields/grounds, and a few small, linking lakes in the middle by the on campus eateries/shops.

As residents, we get three meals a day in our residence hall’s cafeteria. The food isn’t great, but I’m not picky.

Fun fact:
I am actually starting to LOVE Vegemite! Here there is an on-going rivalry between Vegemite and Marmite (pretty much the same), but people are very “keen” (look at me with the lingo), on one or the other… I think I’m on team Vegemite, though it is yet to be 100% determined.

One more thing: my favorite slang I’ve learned here is “sweet as,” which means cool, but you can apply it to anything… like: geez, I’m “tired as,” or our friend even said: “ooo primo as” when he found a good parking spot haha.

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