Today is the 1st of August 2018, which means that we are already in the middle of our studies in Invercargill at SIT. The semester started on 09/07 and we have already experienced a lot during this period.
For the journey to Invercargill we needed a lot of patience and perseverance. To get to our destination we had to change twice and had a 32 hour trip to the other end of the world. There are several ways to get to Invercargill. When we finally arrived at the airport in Invercargill after the long travel we were welcomed by a pick-up service. The friendly man from the service drove us to our apartments. Of course, at first we didn’t realize that there was left-hand traffic and the steering wheel was on the right-hand side. When we wanted to get into the car the steering wheel was suddenly right in front of us. During the trip he explained a lot about the city and showed us the SIT as well as shopping facilities. Immediately the next day after arrival everyone took care of a Travel SIM card at Vodafone, while we already got a SIM card at the airport in Christchurch. Of course, we wanted to share all our experiences with our family and tell them that we are doing well.
During the time in Invercargill we stay in apartments of SIT. One apartment is divided into a living room with a kitchen, one bathroom, one toilet and two bedrooms. Two students share one bedroom. At your own request a single room can be occupied for an extra charge. It is independent of which university or country you come from. Some of the flatmates also come from New Zealand. There is a regular strict control of the cleanliness of the apartments, which means that all flatmates have to work together. There are two laundries with many large washing machines and dryers, which are available around the clock. Furthermore, the university can be reached within 5-6 minutes on foot.
At the beginning of our semester there was an orientation day. We were introduced to the individual courses and the rules at SIT. Among other things, we were able to learn a lot about the leisure activities on this day. Nearby there are sports activities that offer basketball, volleyball, football and hockey, for example. Of course, SIT also took care of our well-being. There was plenty of fruit and pizza for lunch. In the afternoon, there was a tour of the university campus.
Language and Main Course
At the university there is not only the possibility to attend academic courses, it is also realizable to take a language course similar to Dublin to improve our language skills. At the beginning, a placement test was written to determine the English level. On this basis we were divided into different courses to build on the current knowledge. Every six weeks an IELTS test (similar to TOEFL) will be written to determine improvements and to improve the level.
The students of the academic program attend the planned courses at SIT. Compared to the usual courses in Germany, the learning effort is regulated differently here. In addition to the examinations at the end of the semester, students have to submit and present projects distributed throughout the semester.
City of Invercargill
At the beginning the city seems small, but with time you get to know more and more new corners and streets. Although the city is not comparable with Stuttgart, Hamburg or Cologne, it still has a lot to offer. The city centre is close to the apartments and the university and therefore within walking distance. There are many Asian restaurants and smaller shops. In addition, there are two large shopping facilities for food, which are also within walking distance.
The university offers a bus trip to the cities Dunedin and Queenstown every second weekend. For example, in September a ski trip to the mountains is offered for little money.
If you prefer to travel the country on your own, you can also rent a car at the weekend and visit the coast or the national parks.