My year abroad in New Zealand

Tom Burgess year abroad - New Zealand
Thomas Burgess
BSc Biomedical Science with a Year Abroad
Year Abroad: University of Auckland, New Zealand
Tom chose to spend his year abroad studying biomedical science in New Zealand. Tom feels that this experience has not only made him more independent and more confident about eventually leaving university, but it’s also helped him to better understand what he’d like to do as a career after graduation.
Tom Burgess year abroad - New Zealand

I've always wanted to live in another country so a year studying abroad was perfect for me. Studying abroad also meant I could travel and see more of the world. I chose to go to the University of Auckland in New Zealand for my year abroad. I've always wanted to visit New Zealand so it was an easy choice to study here.

On top of that, the University of Auckland had a lot of modules I really liked. One of the best things about studying abroad was that I got to choose to do any module I wanted.

For me, this meant only choosing to study the aspects of Biomedical Science I'm actually interested in, so I did lots of modules about human disease and immunology and no modules about neuroscience. This has really helped me decide what I want to do when I leave university.

My favourite module in Auckland was my Molecular Basis of Human Disease module. This combined cell biology, molecular biology, microbiology and physiology to explain the mechanisms underlying the symptoms of different diseases.

Other study highlights were using mice to study drug-drug interactions. Studying abroad is an opportunity to study subjects you can't in Sheffield - for me, this meant learning about Māori history and culture from a Māori perspective.


Even within Auckland, there was plenty of opportunity to explore. Trips to the beaches and vineyards on Waiheke Island were a great way to spend the weekend.

Thomas Burgess

BSc Biomedical Science with a Year Abroad


Studying abroad also gave me many new experiences outside of university. Going on road trips around New Zealand with people from around the world was an incredible experience.

I got to do everything from visiting Mount Doom from the Lord of the Rings films (actually called Mount Ngauruhoe) to standing at the northern tip of New Zealand at Cape Reinga, to swimming in Lake Taupo. My personal highlight was visiting Queenstown in the south island - climbing up the snow covered summit of Ben Lomond and learning to ski at Cardrona.

Even within Auckland, there was plenty of opportunity to explore. Trips to the beaches and vineyards on Waiheke Island were a great way to spend the weekend.

New Zealand has different term times to the UK, which meant I got a long summer from November to February. I went travelling around Asia for two months. This is an opportunity I never could have had if I hadn't done a year abroad.

I think doing a year abroad will help my personal and professional life in the future. Starting from scratch in a new country has made me more independent and more confident about eventually leaving university.

I also think the modules I chose will help me in the future. Initially, I think they will help me going into 3rd year because I now have a wider knowledge. The modules I chose have also helped me decide what I want to do as a career when I leave university.


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