Ambassadors for 2019, Semester 2

Full-Semester Bloggers


University of Edinburgh – UK

Heya! I’m Brie, and for the next four months I’m off to the University of Edinburgh in Scotland!

I aim to hike the highlands. I don’t want to come back to Aotearoa until I’ve walked over the Isle of Skye and attempted to scramble up Ben Nevis in the Cairngorms.

I’m in the last legs of a BA (majoring in Politics and English). Dishonestly, I wanted to study at Edinburgh because of the university reputation. Honestly, I wanted to study to Edinburgh Uni because they have a castle. They’re so many famous writers that have graduated from – yes, like, a real castle. It offers great papers in – A CASTLE.

So yeah, I’m more than a little excited about the architecture. But I also feel connected to Scottish history; I am a McCulloch after all. I trace my ancestry back to this country.

I look forward to meeting the flatties, hitting up some sick stand-up comedy (five pounds, every Thursday night yo!), checking out the out op-shops in Leith (anything’s gotta be cheaper than K road), climbing mountains, leaning into the wind, and a west coast wild enough to rival our own.

Follow me while I discover my Scottish heritage. I’m sure I’m going to have some highs and some lows. Let’s see how this goes!



University of Exeter – United Kingdom

Hi everyone!

My name is Dinah Saxby, and my daughter Ellie encouraged me to go to the University of Auckland to study for a Bachelor of Arts. I’m about halfway through now and decided to apply for an exchange for one semester at the University of Exeter in Devon, England. I was originally from England and felt it was time to return to my roots.

I am very excited at the prospect of studying Art History and English at Exeter. The range of modules Exeter offers is breathtaking with so many interesting topics. The student exchange department at Exeter has been really helpful so far and also very funny. When I emailed to say that, as a mature student, I am often mistaken for a librarian or one of the lecturers at university, I was warned not to wear leather patches on the elbows of my jumper.  Apparently, this may make people think I am a geography lecturer.

By writing this blog, I aim to provide interesting and relevant feedback and share my experiences to encourage other students to consider an exchange. It may also encourage other mature students to apply and remind them that it is never too late to be adventurous or try something new.

One of the things I am most looking forward to are the amazing Devonshire cream teas. I always spread the jam first on the scone, then heap on the cream. Never the other way round.



University of Leeds – United Kingdom

Hello, lovely people of the world!

I’m Hannah, and I will be spending a semester abroad at the University of Leeds in the UK. I am embarking on my final semester of my Bachelor of Arts degree, and I hope to come out of this experience with plenty of winter coats, Instagram-worthy photos, and two shining English Literature and History majors. The city of Leeds prides itself of being the home of Mel B from the Spice Girls and Neville Longbottom of Harry Potter fame  a group of A-List celebrities if ever I saw one! After living it up as a ‘Leeds local’, I look forward to joining this prestigious group someday.

I hope this experience will be a quest of epic proportions. There will be trials and tribulations, but even more highs and continued growth. In the words of Caitlin Moran, “Like all the best quests, in the end, I did it all for a girl: me”. I am here to grow, and I look forward to mapping out this growth over these next six months. So, join me as I chronicle the life of the new and improved Hannah- she’s in for a wild ride!



University of California (Berkeley) – USA


I’m Harvey, and I’m in my fourth year of a BEng(Hons)/BCom conjoint majoring in Civil Engineering, Information systems, and Finance. This semester I’ll be studying at the University of California, Berkeley on the west coast of the United States.

I chose Berkeley for its strong academic reputation, being ranked within the top 3 in the world for its civil engineering program. I hope to be able to gain a better understanding of the American culture as well as to meet new people from all over the world. I also hope to be able to obtain a different perspective of the world around us. Besides going to classes, I am looking forward to doing plenty of eating, sightseeing and travelling around the California area!

Hopefully, my experiences will be insightful and useful to any of you thinking of going on exchange at Berkeley, or studying abroad in general!



Tecnológico de Monterrey – Mexico

¡Hola a todos! I’m Kim, a second-year student studying Global Politics and Human Rights (Global Studies) and Psychology and Philosophy (Arts)! Currently, I’m studying my third semester at the Guadalajara campus of Tecnológico de Monterrey.

I was actually born and raised in Indonesia, but I moved to New Zealand a couple of years ago. I decided to go to México since I thought the environment would be similar to the country I grew up in, but still far enough for it to be different. There are also many things I admire from the Latin American culture, including their closeness to their family and their festivity even in dark times (I mean, they even have the Day of the Dead!). I’m also interested in the spiritual side of Latin America, especially México, with its ancient Aztec history.

I really hope that by relaxing and not thinking about the deadly demon, GPA, constantly (Amen), I can relax, see more of the world and enjoy everything in this world while it’s still here.



University of Oslo – Norway


My name is Zar, and I am in my fifth (and hopefully final) year of a Law and BA conjoint majoring in Education and Politics. I am spending my final uni semester at the University of Oslo in Norway. After enduring four winters in Auckland, I jumped at the chance to swap out more rain for a European summer, and I am excited to spend 5 months somewhere totally new. Google has taught me that Norway is one of the happiest places in the world and that, by autumn, you have to buy ice picks for your shoes or you will fall over, so I am excited to share all the ups and (literal) downs with you!



McMaster University – Canada

Hey guys! My name is Meg, and I’m lucky enough to be spending a year on the beautiful campus of McMaster University in Canada. It may be located in Hamilton, but this one is in Ontario, not Waikato! This year will fit in the middle of my four year Bachelor of Arts and Science degree and I can’t wait to try out some of the exciting courses my host university has to offer. Through my exchange experience, I’m hoping to make friends from around the world, push far beyond my comfort zone, explore as much of this gorgeous country as I can, and challenge myself to see life through different lenses. As an introvert, my biggest goal is to spend the least amount of time possible in my bedroom (something tells me Canadian winters are going to be a real obstacle). I’m really looking forward to shaking up my daily routine and making the most of every moment. I can’t wait to share this adventure with you all!




University of Georgia – USA

Hey y’all! I’m Julia, a third year BA student currently finishing up my final semester in the mighty ol’ USA! After travelling through the States for the last 2 months, I’ll now call the University of Georgia home for the rest of 2019.

I’ll be completing a double major in Communications & Politics and International Relations this semester, so I’m looking forward to what I’m sure will be some very interesting class discussions. The extrovert in me is buzzing to meet new people, travel some more of the beautiful States, and dive head first into the thriving campus life here. I’m hoping to give y’all a look into the full “American College Experience” – game days (go dawgs!), Greek life, living in a dorm, homecoming and more!

At risk of sounding cliché, my 360 exchange has already been the experience of a lifetime, and I’m only a few weeks in, so I can’t wait to share the rest of my adventures with you!

Arohanui, friends – talk soon!



Ziqi (Sarah)

University of Birmingham – USA

Hi there!

My name is Ziqi, and I go by Sarah.  I am a second-year student and will study at the University of Birmingham for one year as an exchange student.  I am studying a BCom, majoring in accounting and management.  I am very excited to share my experience of a lifetime here with you.

My hope for my exchange is that I can take part in more social clubs and improve my social skills.  Whereas I focussed only on study itself during my first year of uni life, this semester I want to change my approach so as to broaden my horizons.

Also, I hope that I can make some new lifelong friends in a new country.  Sometimes, good friends can really make my day.

I’m looking forward to exploring countries in Europe and experiencing different cultures in order to build my worldview.  I find the local traditions and way of life in Europe interesting, and I know that this unique exchange ‘trip’ will be one of the most unforgettable and valuable experiences in my whole life.



McGill University – Canada

I’m Thomas!

I am from New Zealand, studying a conjoint BEng(Hons)/BMus degree at the University of Auckland.  McGill University in Canada was my first host university choice due to its prestige, location, and how I imagined the culture of the area. Montreal is in Quebec – a bilingual province of Canada speaking both English and French.  By choosing a university in this region, I provided myself with a fantastic opportunity to brush up on my French, as well as attending university in English so as not to hinder my learning.  The city is known as the “cultural capital” of Canada, which quickly peaked my interest – whilst there, I wish to experience as much of the music, culture, food, e.t.c. as I can.

On top of everything, I am most looking forward to the experience of travelling and seeing as much as I can on the other side of the world. These few months will be some of the most memorable, trying, and unfamiliar that I expect to ever experience. I look forward to the challenge and making the most of my time abroad!



Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 – France

Elle Woods is taking a break from the law.  Follow her as she trots the globe, indulging in delectable treats and exploring uncharted horizons. Legally Blonde is a travel vlogging series created by young New Zealand traveller, law student, Harriet Wolk.  Join me, as I move to France to complete my final semester of law school abroad at Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3.  I look forward to sharing with you the highs and lows of studying abroad in a foreign country, dealing with language barriers, and eating all the fine foods that this gastronomical capital of France has to offer.

I chose Lyon because I wanted to go to a destination where I could improve my current level of French, as well as learning about the European legal system and culture.  Lyon is a great spot to be based, as its central location enables effective travel within and around France. Stay tuned for the video series to come, packed with hints, tips and sightseeing but most importantly… FOOD!

Vlogging series link: