United Kingdom

University of Auckland students have the opportunity to study at various universities in the United Kingdon

Let’s hear what our students have to say…

  • Most people think of going to London when they think UK but Sheffield is an underrated northern city with plenty of history, greenery and home to the Arctic Monkeys. It was voted the most generous and the safest city in the UK in 2015 and really lives up to this reputation. It’s an industrial city, with more trees than people and a village feel. Sheffield is a student city, where statistically the most graduates decide to stay on. (Natalie Wood, University of Sheffield)
  • Being away from home, I always felt very excited and found the people very friendly. It was at times a bit cold and wet in England, but not as cold and wet as I had been told it would be. Generally, it was full of beautiful architecture and public transport was very good. (Richa Garg, University of Birmingham)
  • As a bit of an Anglophile, looking at potential exchange universities in the UK was a no brainer for me. To go live in a society where tea almost literally flowed through the veins of every citizen was an opportunity too good to miss. Further than that, I love the Scottish accent, theatre and really old things, so Edinburgh really stood out as the perfect place for me. (Lauren Andrews, University of Edinburgh)
  • Glasgow is beautiful but so is the rest of Scotland – take advantage of the student tour companies and do lots of day trips to other parts of the country. Close to Glasgow and worth visiting again and again and again is Loch Lomond but there is no shortage of beautiful scenery – go to the highlands, visits other cities, take advantage of the ludicrously cheap flights to the European mainland. (Jessica Stubbing, University of Glasgow)
  • Edinburgh truly is one of my favourite cites in the world, and during my exchange I was lucky enough to see quite a few! Edinburgh city is so rich with history – even the everyday walk to university or the supermarket was interesting. The skyline, which is visible from many easily walkable viewpoints, such as Calton Hill, Arthurs Seat and Blackford Hill, is dominated by old cathedral spirals, clock towers and of course, the Edinburgh castle. (Natasha Neeve, University of Edinburgh)
  • One of the exciting things about going on exchange is being thrown out of your comfort zone and being put into a new environment and calling it home for a while, I remember my very first impression of London being how big it is. I can safely say that it’s the biggest city I’ve ever seen in my life. Kingston was a very suburban town about 40 mins outside of London city, this made it feel quite easy to settle down. I remember walking around in Kingston thinking of how lively and cute it is, as somewhat of a student town I felt like I was going to have a great time living here there seemed to be so much to see and do. (Roberto Panovski, Kingston University London)

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On culture

  • When I first arrived in London I must admit I was pretty overwhelmed. London is a huge city and walking down Oxford Street was nothing like Queen Street in Auckland. I had never seen so many people, buses or stores. However, within a couple of days I quickly realised that I loved London and there was just so much to see. (Allanah Colley, King’s College London)
  • Orientation was incredibly helpful and gave me the opportunity to make loads of friends. Both local and exchange students. Sheffield has the best students union in the country, with plenty of offices, tour guides and drop ins no matter where you are. They had plenty of activities set up, there was a dance, games, historical tours, campus tours, workshops to sign up for clubs and weekly weekend trips to other UK cities. (Natalie Wood, University of Sheffield)
  • King’s offers a rich selection of clubs and activities. Their student union is amazing, and there’s always something to head along to – a student play, or a debate for Black History Month, or the student bar to commiserate about election night. I joined the Literary Journal editorial team, and helped to produce a beautiful edition which we launched with the help of wine and crisps in the middle of the city. (Sophie van Waardenberg, King’s College London)
  • The most unique thing about St Andrews – other than the centuries-old architecture and the fact you might walk past an ancient castle on your way to class – is the tight-knit student culture. Being a small town, student life dominates St Andrews. There are so many unique events (including black-tie balls – I recommend trying to get tickets to Christmas Ball!), societies (which put on heaps of events), and pubs (which I frequented many times) all centred around students. It’s impossible not to be thrown into St Andrews’ student life – which is great for making friends. (Michael Calderwood, University of St Andrews)
  • At first I was slightly apprehensive of the fact that I would be living in Kingston, as it is a 40 minute train ride away from London city, but I quickly learned how amazing this would prove to be. I still remember how excited I was on my first day going to London city, seeing it for the first time I was amazed. I made the effort to go into London city every Saturday to explore and see as much as I could in the city, it became natural walking around in that colossal city and navigating the tube system was so easy I got to the point where I didn’t need to look at a tube map. There were so many benefits to living outside of London city, I got the best of both worlds. (Roberto Panovski, Kingston University London)

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On orientation

  • With the events put on by the Study Abroad team at King’s during Orientation week I found it very easy to make friends (even though I was nervous about this!). I truly made lifelong friends at King’s who became my new family and were a source of invaluable support during my time away. (Allanah Colley, King’s College London)
  • Orientation Week, or Fresher’s Week as it’s known in the UK, was no disappointment and some of my finest memories from my exchange are from that first week. (Sebastian Bailey, University of Manchester)
  • Also, Leeds University had many welcoming parties for exchange students like me which gave me many opportunities to talk to and get along with many other people from different countries. The orientation was good, the staffs were very friendly and easy to talk to. I loved the Leeds University as the campus was so much bigger than Auckland University and academically there was less pressure on grades and the courses were not as tight and difficult so allowed me to have some relaxing time. (Jiwon Hyeong, University of Leeds)
  • Beyond just being outrageously beautiful, I loved my time at Glasgow Uni for the people. Everyone I met was incredibly welcoming and open to me – they are always happy to help with whatever you need. The exchange student orientation was great for meeting other study abroad students and also orients you really well to being in the UK in between the tours around the city and day trips to Edinburgh. (Jessica Stubbing, University of Glasgow)

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On housing

  • The accommodation I stayed in was probably one of the highlights of my experience; it was directly on campus, central to everything you need, and I became very close to all my flatmates who also became my travel buddies in the weekends. (April Wong, University of Glasgow)
  • With King’s College I was lucky enough to live in Borough, which is very centrally located and within walking distance or a quick tube ride away from most of London’s sights. I was living in one of the University’s Residences, and was paying relatively cheap rent for being able to live so centrally. My flat was full of other study abroad students from around the world, and I made lots of friends through my Hall. (Allanah Colley, King’s College London)
  • My accommodation at St Andrews was incredible. I was lucky enough to be in Agnes Blackadder Hall where I had my own bathroom and a double bed! There was obviously a desk in my room to use to study or the study room at the hall was open 24/7. (Olivia Scott, University of St Andrews)
  • My residence hall was unbelievably nice – I had an ensuite bathroom, double bed, and TV in my room. I was catered, and the food was decent enough — there were also so many great options for affordable meals in town, and Tesco grocery store is right in the centre of town. There were events put on by the hall every week, including free pre-drinks before big events. I met most of my friends in St Andrews through hanging out in the kitchen that my corridor shared. (Michael Calderwood, University of St Andrews)
  • In Manchester, my accommodation was “Oak House” which is situated in Fallowfield. I had my own room and shared a bathroom with three other girls. My flatmates and I became very close, we cooked meals and baked delicious sweets in our kitchen throughout the semester. (Briana Putnam, University of Manchester)

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On academics

  • Although the coursework at Glasgow proved to be challenging – if not harder than Auckland – being on exchange helped me put things in perspective. I worked with local students in my classes and we formed study groups after class, and I was regularly in contact with my professors about aspects of Scottish law I found challenging. I realised that reaching out and asking for help when you needed it can do wonders when you’re on exchange. (April Wong, University of Glasgow)
  • I really enjoyed the classes I took at King’s College. I took European Politics and English Literature papers, including a Shakespeare paper where I had classes at the Globe Theatre! My lecturers were all passionate, helpful and very knowledgeable in their fields. (Allanah Colley, King’s College London)
  • All my lecturers were very professional and very helpful especially towards exchange students, always taking the time to answer any questions properly after class. The courses I took were interesting, and actually made me excited for more study. (Richa Garg, University of Birmignahm)
  • The final, and probably most important highlight of my St Andrews experience was the learning environment. Instead of having face to face lectures with the teaching staff, a lot of learning was self directed reading. Each class would then have 1-2 hours a week contact time to discuss and expand on that learning. I feel that this style, as well as the expectation of quality, really challenged me and I was able to understand and analyse concepts more critically. The teaching staff are also very friendly and easy to contact should any difficulties arise. (Olivia Scott, University of St Andrews)
  • Studying at King’s has been an absolutely incredible experience. From the daily crossing of the Waterloo bridge in getting to classes to the afternoons spent in the Dumbledore’s office like Maughan library, from the passionate lectures given by professors with posh British accents to the Friday afternoon tutorials that promised a peaceful sunset view of the Big Ben. Together they take you on a journey through time, a journey through the past 188 years reminding each and every Kings’ student of the rigour and diligence with which the generations of scholars have worked in search of the truth. As a student at King’s I was constantly challenged and thoroughly enjoyed the rigorous academic atmosphere. (John Liang, King’s College London)

 

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On travel

  • One of the highlights of my exchange was being able to travel so frequently and learning about different cultures. I was away from Glasgow almost every other weekend with my flatmates and we took advantage of the cheap air fares! With proper budgeting, I realised that there wasn’t any place that we could not go to. It was surreal being able to experience a different city in a different country weekend, and coming back to Glasgow to study during the week. (April Wong, University of Glasgow)
  • When I wasn’t studying, I spent my time in London going to markets, parks and gardens, visiting Buckingham palace, exploring art galleries and museums, getting lost in bookshops and department stores, being in the Graham Norton audience, wandering past the Thames river, going to musicals and shows on the West End as well as eating delicious food. There really is something for everyone in London – it is such a vibrant city and there is always something amazing going on. (Allanah Colley, King’s College London)
  • I visited the Peak district often, it is a 5 pound return on the bus. There are beautiful cycling trails, hikes and quant villages to explore and its right on your doorstep. Flights to Europe are also insanely cheap. I went to Portugal, Macedonia, Hungary, Ireland, Bulgaria and Germany. All of these flights ranged from 10-30 pounds. This makes it affordable if just for a weekend. (Natalie Wood, University of Sheffield)
  • Manchester also has a very big international airport, and I was able to pick up extraordinarily cheap flights to places all over Europe. I was able to visit places like Tenerife, Hamburg, Dublin, Barcelona and lots more places for outrageously cheap prices. (Sebastian Bailey, University of Manchester)
  • It’s easy to escape, too. As well as exploring Cardiff and Bath, I wandered around Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Munich, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, Barcelona, and Paris, and the list goes sickeningly on and on. If you’re lucky, you can grab a ten-pound flight to France and have a weekend away, eating pastries and pretending to speak the language of love. (Sophie van Waardenberg, King’s College London)
  • While Studying in London I took great advantage of this opportunity and visited 12 countries with friends during weekends and study breaks. This has by far been the most memorable experience in my life, the friendships developed during these travels, the diverse cultures explored and the different people I got to meet are all intangible assets that will I cherish forever. (John Liang, King’s College London)

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Tips

  • If I had one piece of advice for outgoing exchange students, it’d be to enjoy each day as if it were your last day on exchange! This helps you put little everyday challenges in perspective and allows you to appreciate the people you have around you. (April Wong, University of Glasgow)
  • I highly recommend doing the exchange programme. Home will always be there, but the opportunity to study abroad may not. I have loved every minute of it, and although I am excited to come home, I am upset that it’s now over and that I must part with my new friends. (Richa Garg, University of Birmingham)
  • I felt this exchange programme gives you broader views of seeing the world because during the exchange period and while you travel, it allows you time to think about a lot of things: about your future, about yourself etc. which, I believe, actually helped me become more mature and gain more confidence through this time. (Jiwon Hyeong, University of Leeds)
  • I learned that I can accomplish a lot more than I thought I could and part of this was due to what I would recommend to future exchange students: make the most of your experience by getting involved in University life, seek new friendships and soak up as much information and culture as you can. Furthermore, even though it may be tempting to spend the semester partying and travelling, university life on the other side of the world is definitely an experience not to miss as well. (Briana Putnam, University of Manchester)
  • Going on exchange is hard. It’s an experience that will force you to grow, to go outside your comfort zone, to challenge yourself. But I guarantee that for every second of discomfort you will be rewarded with months and months of memories that you will take with you for the rest of your life. (Jessica Stubbing, University of Glasgow)

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