By: Connor Glasset, Secondary Education Major, Champlain College
Finally! After 22 hours of travel, 8 time zones, 2 flights and one bus ride, I arrived at my accommodation in New Zealand. Located on 8 Mount Street in the Central Business District of Auckland are the Wellesley Student Apartments. The massive fourteen-story building is going to be ‘home’ for me and some 500 other AUT students for the next semester. WSA has an interesting cast of characters–international exchange students, native Kiwis, and hoards of first years–guaranteeing that this semester will truly be a unique experience.
The apartments at WSA are suite-style, much like those of Champlain’s Spinner Place. There are five individual bedrooms, one common living room, one common kitchen, and two shared bathrooms per apartment. I share my apartment with two Kiwis and my fellow Champlainer, Kohl Davis (we still have one vacancy). The bedrooms are fairly well sized, on average slightly bigger than those of Spinner Place, and come equipped with a long-twin sized bed, a desk, a cork board, a shelving unit for storage, and an armoire. Every room also comes with one complete set of dinnerware (one bowl, dinner plate, dessert plate, glass, coffee mug and silverware). In addition, the kitchen was stocked with pots and pans and the extra cooking utensils required to prepare pretty much any student made meal.
When I arrived, I was a little bummed out that I had forgotten to pack a set of sheets and a towel. I could just hear my mom, “I told you to pack those,” as I tore apart my suitcase in order to enter my clothes in the armoire. Luckily, my Kiwi roommates came to the rescue and told me about a couple of options I had to resolve my linen dilemma. Option one, I could buy a set from the front desk for $120NZD, which he assured me was a rip-off. Option two, I could wander down Auckland’s main drag, Queen Street, and pop into the student’s retail wonderland, The Warehouse, and buy a much more reasonably priced set of linens. Taking his advice, I chose the latter.
You could say that The Warehouse is pretty much New Zealand’s equivalent of Wal-Mart. Naturally, I went nuts. While I was there I picked up all the odds and ends that I needed to turn 11H/1 into my bedroom. I picked up sheets, a pillow, a towel, and some hangers—hey, why not one of those scented oil diffusers while I was at it. I mean the room might as well smell good, am I right? In total, I spent half of what I would have for just the linens alone if I got them from the front desk. HALF.
I only have two complaints about my accommodation. Number one, there is no air conditioning in the building. Simple enough fix, right? Wrong. Apparently the summer has been so toasty this year that there is a fan shortage in the entire city. But a little sweat never hurt anyone. Number two, wifi isn’t a thing in New Zealand. At WSA, they do it old school. I’m talking Ethernet cord going from the wall into my laptop old school. With that being said, Kohl and I went halfsies on a router. We have all four bars of internet connection all throughout the apartment now, baby!
APPLY NOW FOR YOUR INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE WITH CHAMPLAIN ABROAD!