The Most Incredible Experience I've Ever Had Past Review

By (Anthropology, Brandeis University) - abroad from 02/19/2015 to 06/30/2015 with

Arcadia: Auckland - University of Auckland

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about traveling alone and moving to a new country, as well as how to learn about a new place with an open mind. I gained a lot of knowledge about New Zealand itself, an appreciation for new places, new people, and experiences I otherwise wouldn't have. It was definitely worthwhile and the best experience I could have ever asked for.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The University was intense and required that the students put forth a great deal of effort to do well in their studies, which was much appreciated.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The people in charge of my program were incredibly helpful and made acclimating to the new country effortless. They were always available for questions and advice if need be and were friendly and knowledgable.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived with a fellow study abroad student and two native New Zealanders, which was helpful for understanding the culture and the city. The housing itself was conveniently placed within a few minutes of campus and was very nice.

* Food:

I loved all of the food that I tried! My only wish is that I got to spend more time trying foods rather than cooking for myself, but I chose to spend my money on traveling instead of eating out all the time.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very integrated, especially after having an orientation with my program and living with New Zealanders. However because of my accent and a few cultural things that I was unaware of, it was still obvious to others that I was a foreigner.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any healthcare issues, but the program did provide information in the event of a healthcare issue so I felt prepared.

* Safety:

I never had any issues with safety. I would frequently go running as the sun was going down, sometimes after it was dark and I never felt as if I was at risk or unsafe. Even in areas that I did not know I was never worried about my safety.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Food was expensive and with the traveling that I did I spent a lot of money buying food while on the road, which was even more expensive than buying groceries and because everything was shipped into the country, buying shampoos, soaps, and other supplies was more expensive than I was used to.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan ahead how much you want to spend and make a budget for yourself that you stick to and always make sure to set aside money for food so that you don't end up spending your grocery money on traveling or other things.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The Location
  • the people
  • how friendly everyone was
* What could be improved?
  • more group trips!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish that I had saved more money before going so that I could have taken more trips or visited Fiji or Australia. I also wish I had done more background research on the flora and fauna beforehand.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.