Auckland: The Best of City and Country Past Review

By (Psychology/Philosophy, University of Rochester) for

IES Abroad: Auckland Direct Enrollment - University Of Auckland

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I like putting myself outside my comfort zone and seeing how comfortable I can make myself. From Auckland I learned that even though they do speak my language, I have a lot to learn about their history and aboriginal culture. The people were adventurous and happy, and it made me want to live there!

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: N/AN
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.

The workload was very manageable. Each of my classes had three papers, and participation was not a component of the grade. This put a lot of pressure on each paper, so I made it a point to seek out the teachers so I could get good grades. They seemed like hard graders, so I don't think I did as well on the final as I wanted to. I really enjoyed the concept of a workshop session in addition to the lectures, which were huge, because it helped to discuss the topics in smaller groups to really dive into the material.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The housing administration was very disorganized which was frustrating, especially when I was first moving in and could not seem to figure out how to get the internet/laundry/etc. working. I relied on IES to communicate my issues to the host country organizations.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I chose to live in the student apartments because I was not interested in the dorms or a homestay. The apartments were less than a five minute walk to campus, which was incredibly convenient. As noted above, the organization was lacking, but I did appreciate their thorough inspections, which made me feel comfortable and clean. I wish they had tried to mix up American/international/local students more. For some reason, I had exclusively American roommates.

* Food:

The eating center on campus has everything: sushi, burgers, Indian food, Chinese food, falafel, salads, you name it. There are also restaurant around the campus if you get bored easily! The food on campus is also pretty affordable, but I chose to eat on my own most of the time because I enjoy cooking.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

IES took us on a field trip to the Cook Islands, which could not have been better! I had never been to such a quintessential tropical paradise. I also really enjoyed being in the canoe club, because kiwis would plan trips to places I would have never learned about ina trou book.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe in Auckland. Everyone is friendly and helpful and as long as you have the smallest bit of common sense there shouldn't be any problems. The health center on campus was also easy to deal with--luckily I did not have to visit more than once, but when I did I got exactly what I needed and there was no complications with my visit.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $60NZ: food (groceries/a few meals out) $10: transportation (buses/cabs with friends) $30: entertainment (covers, tickets)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? When I went on trips, I usually rented cars with my friends which was an affordable and fun way to see New Zealand. I ate simply and when on trips I always had bread and peanut butter... only the essential items. I chose to spend my money on activities like rafting, camping, Zorbing (look it up!), and other things to do rather than food.


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

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Say yes to everything! Try something new every day.