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February 28, 2005 | by  | in Opinion |
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Theories of Relativity

Good morning everyone. I hope you all enjoyed your first week at uni. I suppose it seems weired to be back, or it has not been a long enough holiday. Ah well, at least it is not as bad as for those students who studied through summer.

I am an Arabian, or as the previous strange American columnist called us, a “Desert Nigger”. Fine Proud “Yank” – I will have to reply to his shit in latter issues. Well, what can you expect from an Arabian who couldn’t wait to get this opportunity to show what “our friends”, the Americans have done to us, or to the world! But I suppose I shouldn’t start the big attack at this early stage…
I should instead warmly welcome all the new international students who have joined us this year. To leave your own country and come to this tiny land for one, two or three years can be a hard decision to make. Not many of us realise how tough it can be to settle in and adjust to Kiwi life and learning styles. The best thing I like about Kiwis is that they are so fucking laid back, but some might just be always wasted from too much Tui!

Some students come from Europe, where it can be quite formal even between friends. It comes to them as a shock to see Kiwis going up to a random group of people and having a conversation with them. A funny Italian buddy of mine felt offended whenever some one said to him, “Hey man”, or “See ya man”. To him it was like, “.. Fuck this , why do these people call me “ a man” when they already know my name, rude Kiwis!” Life here can be just soooo different!

Some other students come from Asia. Most of them find that learning and teaching styles are completely different to that in Asia. In Asia, learning often consists of memorising facts, and getting the answers right or wrong in an exam. Many New Zealand subjects, even papers such as ACCY, require essays, where you have to create and develop new ideas. The majority find it hard to get their first essay done, and so do a number of South Americans that I know. I had the same problem too, it would actually take me twice as long as a Kiwi student to complete an essay. That’s life! Wouldn’t be cool if every one was allowed to write their essay in their native language, and would be the lecturers’ job to translate the essay. Sounds awesome, Vic.

Some students come from the MIDDLE EAST, I am one of them. Moving from Saudi Arabia, with one of the strictest interpretations of Islam, to New Zealand is a shock! Miniskirts pass you all the time, especially these days, beats vibrate from the clubs and drunks stagger around the town. You either enjoy it or hate it, but I`ll tell you more later…

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