"But that's where you'd be wrong," says Bill McKay Senior Lecturer, award winning architectural historian, author and commentator. "The fact is, this is what Auckland looks like - it's a really diverse place."
Bill says while only approximately 50 per cent of students may have been born here, most have been brought up and schooled in New Zealand from an early age.
"And they still have really good links and connections overseas. There's a lot going on in the industry over in China for instance, and some of our students will get to work on large projects over there. Compared with when I was studying for example, I could look forward to working for a firm on house alterations or on a large building. Architecture students today have much wider horizons ahead of them."
Bill says the young people he is teaching aren't afraid to roll their sleeves up - with second year students working together in teams to design and build large structures.
"And often these are projects with a social conscience. The younger generation get a lot of stick for being self-obsessed, but I'm actually seeing a movement toward involvement in projects that benefit society. They are interested, not just in working on projects for wealthy people, but also in helping communities."
At the 2016 ADNZ Conference, held in Auckland 26-29 October, Bill will introduce some of these students. Projects they have worked on will include transporting large prototype structures to Christchurch's Red Zone and an architecture studio in Northland that engages young local people in the design of projects and products. We will also hear of the graduates who rustled up an award-winning two-bedroom home (including recycled elements) on an $18,000 strip of steep land in Whanganui.
ADNZ CEO Astrid Andersen says it's inspiring that young people are out there making a difference.
"I'm expecting this group will be inspiring and reinvigorating. It will be exciting to see fresh eyes seeking solutions and working their way around common problems," Andersen says.
For more information visit http://www.architectureplanning.auckland.ac.nz/ and http://www.adnz.org.nz/events/feature/112/2991 for more information on the ADNZ 2016 Conference.