University of Waikato Review

University of Waikato Review


Application process

The application procedure at the University and the paper fight for a student visa was thanks to the support of MicroEDU easier than I had imagined. After I decided to spend a semester abroad at the University of Waikato, I received the registration form from MicroEDU and filled it out. Fortunately, a kind of guide is included in which the application form is explained and you can find information and explanations for filling out the form. Should you still stumble over one or more questions, you can call your MicroEDU person and ask questions. If you need a lot of copies at New Zealand universities and in some cases you also need a language certificate (TOEFL, IELTS), you should start organizing as early as possible to avoid unnecessary stress. Especially as far as the language certificate is concerned, I can only recommend that you register as early as possible, as these are often fully booked months in advance! After the completed application form and all the copies (passport, language certificate, passport photos, etc. ) have been sent back to MicroEDU and forwarded to the university, the first thing to do is wait. Visit to get information about South Korea higher education.

Fortunately not for long, because the International Office of the University of Waikato is aware that you cannot apply for a student visa at the embassy without a confirmation and you will get a quick response and confirmation that you have paid the tuition fees. Then the application for the visa can begin – fill out the forms, attach copies and then send them to Berlin. On average, the processing takes 6 weeks (according to the New Zealand embassy homepage), but I got my visa after 2 weeks. Then one of the nicer and less stressful parts can begin: packing your suitcase and browsing through the travel guides.

Introductory week, courses, studies and support

International students start their semester a week later than the other students as the first 7 days are centered around enrolling in courses, navigating campus, living and studying in New Zealand. There are many introductory events, some of which are mandatory, and the bars, restaurants and clubs are unsafe in the evenings. The so-called O-Week (Orientation Week) is generally used to quickly find one’s way around and to come into contact with other students, which is very easy in New Zealand thanks to the friendliness of the Kiwis.

Since my subject is not offered at the university, I was able to choose four courses from the various faculties. In the end, however, I only have courses from the Faculty of Social Arts and Sciences who complemented my studies. When I arrived at the university, I registered with the Faculty of Social Arts and Sciences. There I received my schedule right after I had confirmed my chosen courses again. After receiving the timetable, you will receive your student ID and will then be fully enrolled. You should have the confirmation email from the university and proof of the tuition fees already paid with you and then present it, as some students only pay their fees at the beginning of the semester and you don’t pay your tuition fees twice at the end.

After the O-Week the lessons for the international students begin. The first two weeks are a kind of trial period in which you can still change courses because they are too easy / difficult or you don’t like them. Depending on the course you are taking, the groups tend to be small and the professors know you by name. Usually there are two lectures and one seminar of a course per week. Tests and presentations usually take place every 2 weeks.

From an architectural point of view, the lecture buildings are not beauties, but the interior design promises more. The lecture rooms are equipped with the latest technology, which is actively used in the classroom and is also available to students for presentations. The newly renovated library is located in the middle of the campus and is the most beautiful building – it consists almost entirely of glass and if you study there you have a great view of the other lecture buildings and the large rugby field that belongs to the university. The library is a bookworm’s dream. There are non-fiction books in all possible languages ​​spread over 3 floors. An online directory and an online edition of all books, magazines and films on offer can be found on the university’s homepage. There are always “cubes” distributed between the bookshelves, these are small workplaces that are reserved for group work. There are also computer workstations with access to printers and scanners on every floor. If all computers are occupied, you can borrow a library laptop after showing your student ID.

The international students are looked after very well. Apart from the International Office, which regularly organizes excursions, and the student organization, there are contacts for international students in every faculty and you can also approach the professors (even outside of their office hours) if you have any questions about your studies. If you have any questions about learning technology, you can also contact the Waikato Pathways College or the Waikato Learning Program, which can help you and also offers a kind of homework help if you get stuck with an essay and need help.

The final exams are due at the end of the semester. A week before that, you don’t have any courses, as this is the “Study Week” and every student prepares for their exams. The procedure during the exams is very strict – you have to have your student ID on the table for the entire duration of the exam, only water in transparent bottles is allowed as a drink and only individual pens are allowed instead of a pencil case. Before the exam begins, the process is explained and a few excerpts from the examination regulations are read out. An exam usually lasts 3 hours, but you can leave the room earlier after you have passed your exam.

It might sound difficult to take an exam in another language, but since you will be taking tests over and over again throughout the semester, you will get the hang of it very quickly and it is absolutely doable! I passed all of my exams even though I thought some of them I didn’t. Be sure to use “Study Week” and go to the library, study with your fellow students or go to your professors or the Waikato Learning Program if you have any questions, they are all there to help you.

Living in New Zealand


During my studies I have lived with a host family which are taught by the university. Before getting a host family, you have to fill out a multi-page questionnaire containing questions about personality, interests and illnesses. You will usually be informed very quickly whether you will be accepted by a host family or not. Since international students who are not yet of legal age have to live with a host family, it can sometimes happen that families are no longer available for other interested parties. However, this is not a problem, because as an international student you automatically have the right to a place in one of the student dormitories. Life with a host family is of course a little different from what you are used to at home and from family to family there are rules that you should adhere to. Before I moved in with my host family, I had heard a lot of horror stories and in some cases I doubted my decision. In the end, I haven’t regretted living with a Kiwi family. I had very relaxed, friendly and helpful host parents who became like a second family to me during my studies. Aside from improving my language skills, I also learned a lot about New Zealand’s culture. However, if you do not get along with your host family, you can contact the University’s Accommodation Office and, in serious cases, they will look for a new family.


Hamilton is the 4th largest city in New Zealand. However, one has to distinguish between the New Zealand and the European definition of “city”. Compared to other cities in Germany, Hamilton is a small place in that the bus only runs twice an hour during the week. It is an advantage if you have a car or if you know someone who lends it to you.

The city center consists of a main street with a couple of side streets. There are a few shops where you can find everything you need, restaurants and a couple of clubs. On Friday and Saturday evenings these are populated by students. Otherwise, the “city life” has shifted more to the suburbs, as there are a few large shopping centers and families make trips there, especially during the weekends.

I found Hamilton as a city a bit boring, as there was not enough going on for my taste, but luckily Auckland is not far away and other great excursion destinations (Rotorua, Raglan, Matama, etc. ) are easy and quick to reach by car.


Even if kiwis are very open and friendly people, they can be very strict. This applies above all to maintaining speed on the motorway / country road. In general, you are only allowed to drive 100 km / h outside of a town and if you are caught by the police driving too fast, you have to pay my high fine. Speed ​​traps have recently been introduced in the two largest cities of Auckland and Wellington. Another point that kiwis are picky about is their consumption of alcohol in public places. All over New Zealand there is a “liquor ban on public places” and that should be respected if you don’t want to get into trouble with the authorities. As in the USA, the use of heavy swear words (especially the F-word) is not welcomed. Swearing is not prohibited in New Zealand,


If you still have time after your studies or during the teaching recess (vacation), you should definitely use this time to travel. New Zealand’s landscape is very diverse and fascinating- It is not for nothing that many travelers rave about the country and it is difficult to escape the spell that the landscape exerts on you and if you are honest you don’t want that at some point;) If you travel, you should definitely do more Plan time on the South Island (especially on the west coast!), Because it is not called the nicer one for nothing and also has more to offer than the North Island. A few of my all-time favorites on my tour are kayaking on Milford Sound, diving on the west coast of the South Island and in the far north of the North Island, Queenstown, Lake Wanaka and Mount Cook.

There are many Germans among the backpackers, especially high school graduates, and some hostels are literally populated by Germans. Admittedly, this can be disappointing, because you don’t necessarily spend a semester on the other side of the world speaking German. However, you isolate yourself from it by traveling around with friends who speak other languages ​​and avoiding the big hostels (base, etc. ).


I really enjoyed my stay in New Zealand and I can only advise everyone to spend a while abroad, because apart from the improvement of the language skills, the interesting courses at the university and the further development of your own personality, you get to know many new friends and a different culture or way of life (or more) if you get involved in the culture of the host country. Of course there are always small obstacles or challenges that you have to master, but with a positive attitude you can easily do it and there are also many people on site who are happy to help you. I also faced challenges again and again, but that didn’t detract from my great time there and the best proof of this is that I had postponed my return flight by 2 months and will soon be flying to the other end of the world again.

University of Waikato Review