Semester in New Zealand where I learned to be far away from my comfort zone Past Review

By (Mechanical Engineering., Tufts University) for

IFSA: Christchurch - University of Canterbury

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes, mostly due to seeing a new country, and learning to be far away from my comfort zone.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks
The term and year this program took place: Fall 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Assignments in general were given less frequently, and were easier than at Tufts. They were graded more based on if you did what the teacher wanted over effort. Classes did not cover as much material as Tufts, or go as in depth into material.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Program did a great job of keeping tabs on everyone, and ensuring that everyone felt included. The biggest weakness was that few of the American students in the program make real friendships with New Zealanders because they already had a group of friends through IFSA Butler.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

University housing; Ilam village. 3-6 person flats, I had a 6 person flat. Adaquet facilities. Mostly international students. <br /><br /> In general housing was good, i was not particularly satisfied with my flatmates.

* Food:

generally went to the store and cooked for myself. The store was fairly close and the food was inexpensive, and after some adjustment was able to make anything i wanted.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Spend that majority of my free time hiking around the south island. Beautiful area, join the local "tramping" club.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

generally a very safe area

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? Currency exchange varied throughout stay. Typically 50-100 NZ$ for groceries a week + extra expenses. Weekend car trips were typically 40 NZ$ in gas. going out to dinner was roughly 15-30 NZ$.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to cook for yourself as opposed to eating out. There are plenty of inexpensive ways to have fun (hiking, sightseeing), avoid the expensive tourist traps.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
Language acquisition improvement?

English was the common language.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

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

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  • Local Students