New Zealand: God took his time making this island. Past Review

By (Environmental Science., Point Loma Nazarene University) for

Creation Care Study Program: Traveling - New Zealand Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Besides the cultural discrimination between the American students and coltish Convent life style, I made the most of my experience by doing the best to get to know the locals and understand their native culture. I also did things like, hiking, surfing, parceling, swimming with dolphins and seals, snorkeling, horseback riding, and jet boating which are experiences that sometimes only come once in life and should not be passed up once given the opportunity. I do not recommend the study abroad program CCSP but I could not recommend New Zealand more highly; it’s the closest one can get to seeing heaven without actually being there.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I gave the academics an overall average rating based on the fact that there were a few professors who were extremely great at teaching the material and some that should have not been hired. Unfortunately for the professors, they are flown in for a week and are expected to teach five hours out of the day only a day or two after they arrive.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Most of the staff were extremely prepared and capable of conducting their job in a fun, loving, and informative way. Staff often seemed to be over worked and under paid which could lead to mental health issues with added stress. A few staff members did not treat all students equally or handle confrontational experiences professionally. Some students were treated like mentally ill patients in an insane asylum who needed to be monitored and checked in on constantly which seemed to be absolutely ridiculous. These students were judged and treated as threats because they were not willing to conform to the convent life style.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Although the housing was historical seeing that it was in a convent, for as expensive as the program was it would be expected that some of the accommodations like; plumbing, heating, and internet access would be a little more modern and up to date.

* Food:

The program hired great cooks who were extremely knowledgeable about the country and Kiwi culture. They're love for Christ was obvious in how they treated others and their cooking was phenomenal and could not have been any better with the supplies and restrictions they were given.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

See above

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Health issues of some of the students were not taken seriously and could have been handled a lot better. A student was not provided with crutches when they were injured and was made to find a stick and gimp around for two weeks until the trip was over. Injured student was also left to sit by them self in a dark cave while exploring glow worm caves.

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


* 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? This experiance can be as cheap or expensive as you want to make it, it just depends on your comfort level with camping and eating styles. I spent about $20.00-$40.00 a week and $600.00 on my spring break trip in which I was away from convent facilties for 9 days. Suviners and adventure trips can also be very expensive but worth the experiance.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Bring a credit card that can be used for unexpected medical emergencies such as the need for crutches, antibiotics for infections, and medications. Vitamins, allergy medicine, pain relievers, upset stomach medication are all very expensive in New Zealand. I found the prices for these types of medications to be around three times as expensive as they are in the U.S.; you can be assured that you will need to buy some type of medication while you are abroad. Also, it is common to have to rent a car with fellow students during semester breaks. Car rentals and gas are very expensive in New Zealand. The staff may also not be willing to transport you to certain areas to receive medical care if needed so public transportation may need to be bought last minute which can be very expensive. I would greatly advise students to bring everything they will need as far as health issues go and warm clothes because it is expensive to make these types of purchases as well as hard to get to a place that sales them at a reasonable price. Also, I found the website, to be the best website for finding cheap prices for adventure activites, tickets, and hostels.


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

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Native culture education
  • Field trip oppertunities
  • Kiwi professor and staff member
* What could be improved?
  • The type of students that are chosen could be less concentrated from a certain background. More Kiwi professors and staff could be hired.
  • More realistic teaching on the subject of creation care. Not everyone in the U.S. can afford to move to a secluded place in the country and grow and eat only expensive organic foods while being home schooled. It is absolutely not the best answer to caring for creation and is just not realistic. Community has many definitions and living with many people in close quarters is also not realistic with many American families and is not the best definition of community either.
  • Facilities could be improved: plumbing, heating, internet, library, more computers
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This program is for a selective few and is not for everyone, but everyone should visit New Zealand (See discrimination section).


We actually have several PLNU approved program options for Environmental Science in addition to CCSP, including but not limited to School for Field Studies and environmentally themed programs with SIT. We take program reviews very seriously and we have addressed all of this student's issues and concerns with CCSP.

deleted-1531501753plnu May 17, 2012