Being myself abroad. Past Review

By (University of Rochester) - abroad from 07/14/2017 to 11/21/2017 with

IES Abroad: Auckland Direct Enrollment - University Of Auckland

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I will not say that study abroad changed who I was. Rather, i feel that studying here in New Zealand allowed me to exercise who I always was. The balance of academics, social situations and outdoor activities combined with being in one of the most naturally beautiful places in the world was unbeatable.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Classes were larger than usual and met three times a week for 50 minuets instead of twice a week for 1:15. Also large emphasis on hand written exams which wasn't enjoyable however the quality of the professors and the tutors was wonderful.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Bianca, my program director, was impeccable. She was great natured, easy to feel comfortable with, very knowledgable and very fun. i could not recommend her higher.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Very clean and comfortable with easy access to school. However, it is to be noted that I lived in carlaw apartments which is the best option.

* Food:

I didn't eat much on campus- it was expensive however easy access to relatively affordable grocery stores and the kitchen was well equipped.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Local culture was very multi-cultural seeing as it is a business city. I spent most of my time with my American peers however due to our shared interests.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any health problems but I heard the health center on campus requires paperwork to be filled out prior to a visit so I would recommend doing that when you get there before you need the health center.

* Safety:

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

IES was by far the superior program available. While abroad I met many other students on different programs and they were all astounded at the level of care and guidance IES was providing us.


* 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)

The city was pretty expensive but if you are savvy you can manage quite well.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Around 200 including weekend excursions.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Go to the grocery store and cook your own food!!


* 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

  • Local Students
* 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 city and country
  • The program director (Bianca Ranson)
  • The peers I met on the program
* What could be improved?
  • Allow students to drive (hard to get around without ability to drive)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Purchase a good raincoat and pack your sleeping bag! Do not hesitate to sign up for the Rarotonga mid semester break trip. Do not be worried about making friends, you will be united with your peers due to the shared interests that made you choose new Zealand.

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.