By (Tulane University) - abroad from 07/04/2017 to 11/10/2017 with

IFSA: Christchurch - University of Canterbury

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was so worthwhile!! I learned about myself and about how much I want to explore the world. I made incredible friends and I couldn't recommend doing something like this more!!

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.

Compared to my home university the courses were some what easier and there was less overall work. That being said I'm usually in 18 credits at home and only took 13 abroad. but the professors were amazing I really made some great connections there and they were open to meet and talk more. Th library and other resources were great and I used them as if I would at my home university. They might grade a little bit harder but the course material was easier so it kind of evened out.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

IFSA butler assigns every group a student coordinator and ours was absolutely amazing. You meet them when you first arrive for orientation and they help you get to your city and campus. after that you meet about once a week and its super nice to reconvene with everyone. Our IFSA group was super close and every Monday when we met our coordinator would bring some food and we could all catch up. She also was a great resource for any questions about Christchurch, as she had lived there her whole life.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We lived in co-ed on campus apartments with 3-5 other people. The apartments were super nice and everyone had their own room. there was a kitchen and two bathrooms and I made good friends with the people I lived with two went to UC full time an the other two were on exchange, one from Colorado and one from Japan! It was nice that all of us on our program were close, all of the apartments were set up around a quad and they were really close to campus. IFSA lets up all the housing you can request to live with someone but its nice not to worry about finding housing!

* Food:

Im a vegetarian and had no difficulty eating while abroad! The food in NZ was really good and fresh! but you definitely have to buy foods when they are in season, you can tell by the price!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt that there were many opportunities to meet locals through clubs. But it was a little harder to not just stick to your fellow abroad students because we all wanted to travel and locals didn't have that drive as much.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had to get some X-rays for my wrist after a snowboarding accident and IFSA made sure that we had insurance for everything so it was easily accessible and really inexpensive because NZ has accident insurance for everyone!

* Safety:

I felt super safe in NZ really the biggest danger if your outdoorsy (which its hard not to be in such a beautiful country) is the weather. Just remember dress in layers and cotton kills!!

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

I loved IFSA!! they were so much helping planning and setting up the experience I tell people they basically helped me curate the best trip of my life. Because I went through them all of the paperwork was laid out and I had them to ensure me it was all done correctly and submitted on time so I really just had to "worry" about the fun stuff. The orientation they hold in the begging is great too. I meant people going to school all over NZ and so we had places to stay in different cities.


* 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)

Most of our weekends were spent backpacking but there are some travel costs that add up. Many of us bought or rented cars for the semester three so theres gas expenses and food is pricier but you can budget if you are diligent. IFSA also offers 2 weekend excursions which were built into the program cost which was nice because it felt like two free weekends!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200-300
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan!!


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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • the passion of employees
  • support- knowing someone is there to help you.
  • the trips and the entire program
* What could be improved?
  • website design!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I had anticipated being homesick because sometimes I can totally be a home body but not once was I really affected by this !

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.'