University of Auckland
Promoted by University of Auckland

Why international students thrive at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Arts

If you’re looking for an education that will test your limits and allow you to pursue your passions, you will find it at the heart of the University of Auckland – in its Faculty of Arts. From the realm of creative writing to the depths of anthropology and the complexities of international relations, a range of disciplines await, ready to not only sculpt the minds of students but to boost their employability as well.

You will study at a campus in the buzzing centre of Auckland — New Zealand’s largest city — at the country’s number one Arts faculty. In 2023, QS World University Rankings listed it as New Zealand’s leading faculty for social sciences. Its archaeology, anthropology, and English language and literature programmes all rank among the world’s top 100.

The faculty is renowned for nurturing graduates capable of thinking critically, questioning effectively, and dealing with complexity — all of which are valuable skills for future-proofed careers.

Prestigious qualifications lead to success; and when graduates list Auckland’s world-ranked Faculty of Arts on their resumes, employers pay attention.

“We pride ourselves in offering the highest quality of teaching and research in the social sciences, humanities, languages, Māori studies, and Pacific studies,” says the Associate Dean International, Erin Griffey. “We love to welcome international students and the unique perspectives they bring. The Māori concept of manaakitanga upholds the importance of caring for and nurturing each other, and we want to ensure they feel at home and supported while they are studying with us.”

This reputation, plus the idea of pursuing a three-year degree instead of the usual four in her home country, made studying here an easy choice for Audrey Sears from the USA. She knew it would be the perfect place to advance the passion for economics she developed as a teen. The best part about doing so at the University of Auckland was that Sears could achieve her degree in a way that suited her.

“Studying economic theory under the BA gave me the freedom to double major,” she explains. “I chose Politics and International Relations as my second field of study, because I found it very relevant as an international student.”

The Faculty of Arts understands every student’s aspirations are unique. The BA is one of the most flexible degrees available and enables students to follow their interests and carve their own path to success. Audrey’s BA captured her wide range of interests and today, she not only has a solid foundation in economics, politics and international relations but in international finance, international trade, and Italian. The theme of flexibility persists throughout the faculty’s Schools of Cultures, Languages and Linguistics, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Te Wānanga o Waipapa — each boasts an array of thought-provoking subjects.

Why not study the recently launched Bachelor of Communication degree that nurtures specialist skills in writing, public speaking, critical and creative thinking, leadership, research and cultural competency? Or you can try the Bachelor of Global Studies, the first of its kind in New Zealand. This programme exposes students to contemporary issues in our interconnected world and challenges their assumptions. You will choose one of four diverse majors: Global Politics and Human Rights, Global Environment and Sustainable Development, International Relations and Business or Transnational Cultures and Creative Practices.

There are more than 35 majors to choose from, including Criminology, Sociology, Media and Screen Studies, and Anthropology. While language-based offerings include French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish. Students looking to make careers out of teaching English to speakers of other languages have a place too, thanks to the TESOL major.

“Our courses enrich your life; they also provide you with opportunities to develop your practical and professional skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and communication, skills you will need for a successful career regardless of where or in what field you work,” says Deputy Dean of Arts, Professor Greg Booth.

University of Auckland

Audrey Sears from the US believes her University of Auckland degree will help her stand out once she’s ready to enter the working world. Source: University of Auckland

Auckland is known for its warm and inviting atmosphere, which offers a unique blend of urban life, stunning beaches, and lush greenery. This mix creates an exceptional living environment that caters to various interests and lifestyles, making it the ultimate home-away-from-home for international students. “It’s one of the prettiest cities I have ever been to,” says Audrey.

“As someone who has never lived in a big city, Auckland is the perfect place for a young adult just starting out on their own. It is clean, safe, and walkable. If you enjoy being by the water with nice people, this is the place for you.”

Auckland’s strategic location also provides easy access to the rest of New Zealand, serving as a gateway to explore the country’s diverse landscapes and cultural experiences. Hence why the city is renowned as one of the best in the world to.

The faculty’s International Student Mentor Programme is a well-established support network for first-year international students, helping them to ease into the Kiwi way of life, make connections with their peers, and receive continued mentorship from second and third-year international students.

It’s easy to understand why Audrey has no plans on leaving New Zealand. And with help from the University’s Career Development and Employability Service, she has secured a job in supply chain economics when she graduates. “New Zealand is heavily invested in their international students, and roles for young professionals are vast. I want to take advantage of the mentorship and growth opportunities here. Furthermore, I’m just not ready to say goodbye.”

Follow the Faculty of Arts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram.