a 4 month journey to understanding myself and how I interact with others Past Review

By (Occidental College) - abroad from 02/22/2016 to 06/23/2016 with

Arcadia: Dunedin - University of Otago

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how much my environment had shaped who I am. Everywhere you go you take that with you and it can be a source of strength and confidence but also isolating and challenging. Overall it was worthwhile to take the time to leave my comfort zone to be a part of a different culture and college environment. I felt very independent and like I had a lot of time to really make my own choices.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I probably would do more research and pick a program where the demographics were more diverse so I could have a better chance of finding a community I have more similarities with.


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? it seemed cheaper to buy food for 2-3 weeks at a time than to make frequent grocery trips try to split transportation cost with friends look for free evening events on city websites avoid eating out too much


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • well thought out activities
  • range of courses
  • the proximity of many adventures
* What could be improved?
  • living placement
  • diversity
  • integration in local area
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish spent more time looking into the location and the demographics of the university I would be attending. Also what kind of communities exist outside the university that I could be a part of.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'