In the last few months, I’ve thought a ton about how awesome going abroad is going to be, but sorta neglected the academic side of things. So, that’s what this week has been about – I’ve been getting to know VUW (Victoria University of Wellington) and exactly what I’ll be doing there. I’ve gotten my VUW email, access to the student portal, and the final verdict on all my courses. Which, I’d have to say, is pretty good – I got into everything that I needed.

VUW Courses

Today consisted of me getting in touch with all of the department heads here at Colby for the courses that would count towards a specific requirement – major or distribution. So, I’m taking a CS course called Programming Languages, which is in place of CS333 here at Colby – a required course for the Computer Science major. New Zealand is well known for having a very good but very tough computer science program in most of their universities, so I’ll definitely have to do a ton of work and maybe a bit of catching up and review from what I learned this semester in Data Structures/Algorithms.

I’m also signed up for “The New Europe” – basically European Politics with Professor Yoder here on the hill. This would go towards my regional gateway requirement for the government major. After that, only one government course left to complete the major. Ever. It’s the senior seminar. Hopefully I’ll still be taking more in the future, especially with Prof. Corrado.

The third department I had to get in contact with was biology – I’m taking an intro cell biology course to go towards the Colby distribution requirement for a non-lab science. It has a lab anyways, but I guess that’s extra. It’ll be the last of my required courses! Already, being a junior and not having done my science requirement is pretty sad. But, that’s what you get from a mostly liberal arts school.

Last of all, I’m signed up for intro Pysch – but that doesn’t actually go towards anything so I didn’t have to do much for that. Hopefully it shouldn’t be too much work.

Some other VUW stuff:

When I first logged into the student portal for VUW, besides it looking really snazzy and, no offense to Colby, but much better, this is what I got for a school logo:

Pretty cool right? The slogan is in Māori, the language of the indigenous population of the island. (Which they call Aotearoo – New Zealand). It means the place or house of higher learning, at the head of the fish of Māui. Hopefully I’ll get more familiar with the language when I get there, all I know so far is Kia Ora, the common Māori greeting.

This guy is a boss. And, the chief of a tribe on the island.

Anyways, getting back to VUW, I found a bunch of other sweet stuff in the student portal. There was a ton of information about the libraries, (the main library is called Te Waharoa) my schedule, and.. this.

Ahh, seriously?! That is so scary. I guess tests and essays are graded really, really harshly. In my high school, 70 was failing. In New Zealand it’s a B+. And a C is a 50? Crazy.

I also looked into some of the student activities, and found that there are a TON of Taekwon-Do clubs at the school. It seems to be a really big thing.. maybe I’ll finally get my martial arts down. I also found the student government association page, which had a bunch of cool links and found that the school has something along the lines of Colby’s Loudness: something called OWEEK, which is described as:

Comedy night, Hypnotist show, Carnival day, Free BBQs, Live music, Neon Toga Party, Sounds in the Sun (at Pipitea, Karori, Te Aro and Kelburn), and much more.

Sounds really sweet! Next week, I’ll post some pictures of where I’m living.


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