Frontiers Abroad - DEFINITELY do it! Past Review

By (Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences., Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/06/2014 to 06/29/2014 with

Frontiers Abroad: New Zealand Earth Systems

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained lovely friends, a new appreciation for a part of the world I knew nothing about, a TON of geology know-how, and seven months of pure adrenaline and fantastic memories! Loved it!

Review Photos

Frontiers Abroad: New Zealand Earth Systems Photo Frontiers Abroad: New Zealand Earth Systems Photo Frontiers Abroad: New Zealand Earth Systems Photo Frontiers Abroad: New Zealand Earth Systems Photo Frontiers Abroad: New Zealand Earth Systems Photo

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 Frontiers Abroad. I feel as though I didn't miss out on an opportunity to speak a second language because I learned to speak Geology fluently! The field camp taught me so many valuable skills in fieldwork and reporting and mapping, and I made some truly lifelong friends. The professors are all extremely knowledgeable, but they let you take the reins and use your reasoning to figure it out. Field camp is the perfect mix of fun and work, hiking and swimming and relaxing and yes, even having a beer together. The university semester is also valuable in terms of furthering a research project, where I hadn't otherwise participated in research that I could call my own. New Zealand is the best country ever and provides a million and one opportunities for fun, adventuring, and making friends and memories. I had a simply wonderful time.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

UC and FA do a great job of providing the assistance you need to adjust to big university life. They understand you're only there for the semester, and they'll help you through. Classes were great and not too stressful, ever.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was living in a house off campus owned by Frontiers Abroad, and many beautiful memories were made. The house is huge and the gardens beautiful, and everything you could possibly need is provided for you.

* Food:

New Zealand doesn't really have an established "cuisine," per se, and food is expensive, but they do a good job with what they have. Hangi, the Maori way of cooking, is delicious. Fish and chips reign king in NZ, and you'll never pay more than 5NZD for them. The beer and wine are pretty good, too :). UC has an organic garden, take advantage of it!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I made friends with Kiwis in Motosoc, the on campus cars club, but RockSoc, the geology society, was very welcoming and fun, too. I felt that having that connection really integrated me into the culture, and I still feel as though I'm part Kiwi.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

No issues, but one of my friends broke his ankle during our time there, and he was well provided for.

* Safety:

ChCh is extremely safe, though the culture is very male-dominated and encouraging of drunken behavior, so being catcalled or drunkenly harassed wasn't uncommon.

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. And travel is relatively cheap but still costs money. And the beer budget was a little more than expected.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $120-$150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Allocate more money for alcohol than you think you'll ever possibly need. And don't buy a car, it's not worth it. And make your own food, it's cheaper. Bulk made rice and beans that you can eat for a few meals is usually a good answer.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The people
  • The volcanoes
  • The travel during field camp
* What could be improved?
  • General organization
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Bring everything. Don't assume you won't need anything on field camp, because chances are you will. Portable speakers are a good idea. And be outgoing, make Kiwi friends, they're the best kind of friends.

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.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Christchurch 101

Course Department: Don't know
Instructor: Billy O'Steen
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It wasn't challenging. Class time was barely structured and we didn't get around to more than three or four community service projects. The ones we did were great though, and were a nice way to get around Christchurch and see the sights and get to know the culture and people.
Credit Transfer Issues: They said I'd get credit for this, so I hope I don't have issues! Just make sure you email Stacey and ask about anything you're unsure about.