Well, I am only actually taking 2 engineering classes here at AUT; manufacturing technology and mechanical design and analysis. The biggest difference that I've noticed is the informality between students and professors and having almost no homework ever. At Clarkson, it is rare that a professor knows more than half of his students by name and class time is usually only for teaching with very few questions. At AUT, the professors know every student by name and have probably had them in class multiple times before. They start the class off with a casual conversation and joke around with the class throughout the lecture. Students interact and ask tons of questions during the lectures and it all has a very laid back atitude.
The mechanical engineering curriculum here is focused more towards manufacturing and design heavy with hands on classes like solidworks and welding in the first year. I started taking private welding classes a few weeks ago with an awesome professor who offered to teach me in his free time since I didn't know how.
Although it does seem a lot less intense and my workload has decreased by about 90% since last semester, I am still happy to be going back to Clarkson to finish my degree. I feel like I will gain more getting a degree from Clarkson and I am grateful to be able to spend a semester seeing how mechanical engineering is taught differently in other countries. Also, AUT is a huge university and most kids are from Auckland and dont live in student housing which is a negative for me because it doesn't really have a university feel like Clarkson does being in a small town.
I havent been doing much of anything besides planning for trips and booking flights and studying; not much to write about... But I'm going to Thailand on Saturday for 2 weeks and I am so excited and then I will have tons to tell you and lots of photos!
Here are some photos from my Easter trip to Waiheke Island which consisted of eating tons of food, lying on the beach and visiting some beautiful wineries.
Onetangi Beach in Waiheke
First sight of Waiheke island from the ferry
The View from our hostel
We visited some beautiful wineries around the island