Perfect Study Abroad Experience! Past Review

By (Chemistry, Geology, Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/05/2013 to 06/23/2013 with

Frontiers Abroad: New Zealand Earth Systems

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a knowledge of New Zealand culture and geology. I also learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of and how much I can withstand. I learned I can support myself and live abroad successfully.

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.

Field camp during JTerm was immensely rigorous, the most difficult course I've ever taken, even harder than organic chemistry. The semester itself was much less rigorous.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Darren and Sam who run Frontiers were good but University of Canterbury was not that helpful

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Great flatmates!

* Food:

Had to buy all food myself

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Made some Kiwi friends but not as many as I would have liked

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Yes healthcare was pretty straight forward there, universal healthcare is really nice!

* Safety:

No safety issues, really safe city and country!

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 is expensive in NZ!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Hard to calculate but probably about 200 a week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Nope, hard to avoid the expenses!


* 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

  • 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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The people I met
  • The New Zealand lanscape
* What could be improved?
  • More professors supervising the independent research projects
  • Slightly less rigorous field camp
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Just how intense the field camp portion of the program was going to be.

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Rocks Minerals and Ores

Course Department: Geology
Instructor: Ben Kennedy and Chris Oze
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course material-wise was not challenging but it was graded extremely harshly as it is a "weed out course" for geology majors of which there are hundreds at University of Canterbury. I learned a great deal in the course though. We had exams, lab examinations, lab work, and participation grades.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Christchurch 101

Course Department: Education Studies
Instructor: Billy O'Stein
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was not challenging but I learned a great deal about the Christchurch earthquakes, the Christchurch community, and service learning. We had lots of field trips and service trips. Really enjoyed this course as a way to connect with my community in NZ. We were assessed with homework, projects, and participation in service learning trips.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Research Methods

Course Department: Geology
Instructor: Sam Hampton and Darren Gravely
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was not that challenging although the rigor depended on what you chose as an independent research project for the semester. The course was essentially a time block for all the frontiers abroad students to meet up and work on our group projects. Approximately 85% of the time was wasted until the final crunch period right before our projects were due. There was no structure to this course other than that. Was very satisfied with my independent project in the end though.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Environmental and Analytical Chemistry

Course Department: Chemistry
Instructor: Sally Gaw
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Excellent course! My favorite abroad and one of my favorites ever. Course was not overly challenging but the material was fascinating and the professors were good too. Had exams, papers, and homework.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Field Camp

Course Department: Geology
Instructor: Sam Hampton and Darren Gravely
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Field Camp was really challenging, harder than organic chemistry. Gained a truly massive amount of geology knowledge though. Also was able to see a large part of NZ while learning. Assessed with homework assignments. No classroom learning, all on the go which was difficult.
Credit Transfer Issues: