Te Aotearoa Wairua: The New Zealand Spirit February 04, 2018

By (Franklin & Marshall College) - abroad from 07/08/2017 to 11/21/2017 with

IFSA: Auckland - University of Auckland

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much from this experience abroad. I learned about myself as well as New Zealand and the States. I learned about the New Zealand night sky as well as quite a bit about the political system (perks of being there during the election season!) I learned about myself and my values since I needed to be aware of so much more than normal. I learned about New Zealand culture as well as other cultures such as those in European countries. More than just conventional New Zealand (or pākeha) culture, I also learned a lot about Māori culture, language, history, myths, and so much more! So yes, it was most definitely worthwhile!

Review Photos

IFSA-Butler: Auckland - University of Auckland Photo IFSA-Butler: Auckland - University of Auckland Photo IFSA-Butler: Auckland - University of Auckland Photo IFSA-Butler: Auckland - University of Auckland Photo IFSA-Butler: Auckland - University of Auckland 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.

While the overall workload was less than that of my small liberal college, the expectations were very high, but it was definitely an incredible opportunity to improve as a student.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Amazing group of people whom you can rely on.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My bedroom door opened onto a lawn, I was incredibly happy with the way my living situation turned out, and the 1/2 hour walk to uni was beautiful.

* Food:

All the available produce was delicious and I loved walking to the market every Saturday morning and befriending the shop owners.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt like I belonged. I got involved with a few clubs and it paid off immensely, my only 'regret' is not having gotten as involved as I did sooner.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I simply paid attention to my surroundings and when walking anywhere not as well-lit, I walked with a friend. I had absolutely no problems with safety.

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

The IFSA Butler Staff was incredibly kind and supportive. Whenever we had a problem, they were ready to help us as much as possible.


* 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)

Auckland is an expensive city. while groceries would not have cost as much if I had not gone to the farmers' market, any extra activities were pretty expensive unless they were through clubs at uni.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Find a good routine and try to stick with it. If you're worried about budgeting, avoid farmers' markets and other small food-sellers.


* 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
  • International 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 people: my tutor and all of the friends that I made
  • The food, the produce, TimTams and L&P
  • The landscape, both rural and urban areas are absolutely beautiful and I can only hope that I can explore more of the country
* What could be improved?
  • More encouragement and ideas for involvement and engagement
  • More focus on local interactions and breaking away from the american group dynamic
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how valuable it is to really get involved in events and clubs and whatnot as early as possible.

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

German 302: German Language Advanced 2

Course Department: German
Instructor: Stephan Recht
Instruction Language: German
Comments: Incredibly engaging and interesting, though it was most definitely a challenge as I had essentially skipped 301 between my last semester at my home university and studying in Auckland.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Physics 326: Optics and Laser Physics

Course Department: Physics
Instructor: Miro Erkintalo
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Very challenging, especially coming from a small liberal arts college where there is heaps of coursework.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Maori 103: Introduction to Spoken Maori

Course Department: Maori Studies
Instructor: Pa Hone
Instruction Language: English and Maori
Comments: It was challenging in that it was not taught how my other language courses have been taught. It was incredibly interesting and I would recommend taking it if the opportunity presents itself.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Maori 130 - Te Ao Maori: the History of the Maori World

Course Department: Maori Studies
Instructor: Tiopira McDowell
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The teacher was incredibly knowledgeable and well-prepared, and the tutor that I had, who run the tutorials in which you go over the lecture, was incredibly knowledgeable and a wonderful resource whom I am still in contact with (she still answers many of my questions!)
Credit Transfer Issues: