Aotearoa - Land of the Adrenalin Rush Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., Austin College) for

Arcadia: Wellington - Victoria University of Wellington

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I couldn't have picked a better university or program, it was the perfect place for me and I found a whole different side of me that I didn't know existed.

Review Photos

Arcadia: Wellington - University of Wellington Photo Arcadia: Wellington - University of Wellington Photo Arcadia: Wellington - University of Wellington Photo Arcadia: Wellington - University of Wellington Photo

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.

I found at the beginning that Vic Uni was almost too easy compared to my home school and then as the semester went on, it began to get more challenging until the month of finals was almost unbearable with the amount of pressure on my grades. My workload was really light though compared to my home school. The grading system was completely different though, New Zealand uni's don't run on a GPA based system like the states but it runs on a point system and the amount of points earned out of the possible overall points reflects your final grade in the courses. I felt like I was at UT or A&M because all the professors taught by powerpoints and posted those onto our blackboards so there almost really was no need to go to class.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My expectations were exceeded because I wasn't really sure what I was in for going 7,000 miles away from everything I knew. But Jane and her team took great care in outfitting us with the right tools we needed for the greatest adventure of our life.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I absolutely loved my flatmates, we all got along so great! I also loved the location of my flat because it was a ten minute walk up to uni and about the same to reach downtown.

* Food:

The food in New Zealand is much like it is back in the states...a plethra of meat pies, pizza, asian food and TEA (SO. MUCH. TEA). What I found to be different was how much better everything tasted over here though because they do not use corn syrup at all. I never really went to too many restaurants though because everything is just really expensive, especially in Wellington since it is a city. Cuba Street was where it was at however...restaurants, bars and tons of shopping all in one pedestrian street!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was in New Zealand during the Rugby World Cup (which they won) and during the World of Wearable Arts which are two major cultural events of New Zealand.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Wellington is a very safe city. Once I knew my way around, I felt extremely comfortable walking around by myself. Health issues weren't really covered by our program in great detail however I was sick my first week and a half there and visited the nurse on campus. No vaccines were needed for this program either.

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)

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? I wish we were informed of just how expense it would be there for just about anything. I was surprised to find skydiving was anywhere from $250NZD to $500NZD and just about any other activity was well over $100NZD.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Everyone was very helpful with anything we needed at all.
* What could be improved?
  • I can't think of anything that needs improving.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience

Course Department: PSYC 327
Instructor: Bart Ellenbroek & Carolyn Wilshire
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was the most challenging course I have had in my college career. I absolutely loved the course material but when it came to actually understanding and processing the material, it was very challenging to me. I would recommend this class to someone who really has a strong interest in the psychological field but only if they don't need it (i.e. they would be able to drop if it became too overwhelming)
Credit Transfer Issues: