The Hike of a Lifetime January 15, 2020

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 06/28/2019 to 11/10/2019 with

Arcadia: Wellington - Victoria University of Wellington

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was completely worthwhile, I learned a lot about myself and how to really live fully independently, especially when it came to cooking

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I loved every second of my abroad! This program really helped me adjust to a new place with new people and were a constant support academically, helping us get settled and also being there for us in times of stress, especially academic stress.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in university housing, which I loved, they placed me with 5 other students studying abroad and we had a wonderful time, we got along really well I was so lucky to have them all

* Food:

Good, but a bit expensive-watch what you buy you could accidentally spend a lot

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was able to make some kiwi friends, but overall I got closer to the others on my program and other internationals more than anything due to my living situation and social set up

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I, fortunately, was not sick, but some of my friends did get sick and had a bit of difficulty finding doctors that really helped them

* Safety:

Not that I would ever recommend it, but my friends and I (female) all felt completely safe and comfortable walking home alone at night if we needed to, as did everyone else in our area

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

I genuinely loved everything, although I was homesick once or twice, the people on my program, the place, and especially Jane Gunn-Lewis and Caitlin really helped me find my feet and I wouldn't have done any other program or any other place


* 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)

It depended a lot also on if you were eating out or ordering in a lot, that being said US$100 was more than enough for one week of groceries

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? US$100ish
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't eat out/order in very much, it adds up a lot, also do not buy a lot of drinks out, again, it adds up, and travel economically, stay in hostels and travel in groups that make sense (i.e. 5 people fit in a small rental car so 5 people can pitch in)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?
  • Jane
  • My House
  • The people
* What could be improved?
  • More interations with Kiwis
  • Maybe better resources for when people get sick
  • Maybe more group organized hikes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known that I would be hiking just to get home with all my groceries

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.