My name is Kara and I am spending this semester abroad at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand! The fall semester at the University of Otago began on July 6, so I just completed midterms 2 weeks ago! Last week I got a week off for my “fall/spring break”, while back at UT the semester is just starting.
In New Zealand the first day of Spring was a couple days ago, it has been very cold since I have been here. We have even had snow several times.
I have four other flatmates (roommates). They are from Germany, England, Taiwan, and my Kiwi host is of course from New Zealand. Kiwi is a term that means New Zealander. At first I thought that only people from other countries called the people of New Zealand Kiwis but New Zealanders tend to refer to themselves as Kiwis, too. The kiwi is the national bird of New Zealand and a very important symbol to the country (much like the bald eagle is to the United States). So far I have run into a few interesting slang terms, so if you are ready I will teach you some New Zealand slang!
Chips= french fries
papers = class courses
boot = car trunk
dairy = corner store
jandles = flip flops
rubbish = trash
scarfie = University of Otago student (much like we call ourselves Longhorns)
take away = to-go, or take out (food)
School is set up a little different here. I have found that my business classes are more heavily essay-based here at Otago. For my papers (classes) the grades break down like this: an essay which is about 20%-30% of your grade, a group project which is 20-30% of your grade, and a final which is 50% of your grade. I have had a lot more essays at Otago as opposed to the quizzes and exams which I find more common in my classes at UT. Final exams are also weighted more heavily here at Otago.
If you need a study break there are many great places close to the university to explore. Here are some of the places that I have been so far:
Signal Hill (a hiking trail just minutes away from the University):
Nichol’s Creek (about a 30 minute walk to the trail and 20 minute hike):
Tunnel Beach (a 25 minute bus ride):