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?
Absolutely! I would not have changed any of it for the world, except maybe to have more travel time after my finals. The people I met, the sights I saw, the culture I learned, the pictures I took will all remain invaluable to me.

Personal Information

The term and year this program took place: Spring 2008

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Going out of the US to study engineering, many people assume that we have the best schools & studying will be a joke. While it was a joke for most liberal arts friends I had, the engineering school is quite challenging. I feel like I didn't lose step with Tufts engineering at all, and actually got ahead in some aspects (such as vibrations.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

We had a student liason officer (aka caretaker) who we could turn to for academic help, transfer of credit info, etc. She was wonderful, met us once a week for free lunch (optional), and took us out to great dinners. It was nice to have someone who was so knowledgeable there.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

BIG 6 person apartments! Big windows. Approximately twice the size of a standard Tufts university apartment, I could've easily fit a couch in my single. You live with people from all over: US, Malaysia, Hong Kong, NZ <br /><br /> The housing was amazing, and really close to the campus/grocery store.

* Food:

I love to cook for myself.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Fantastic! If you love the outdoors, hiking, camping, skiing, kayaking, seeing penguins, etc...then NZ is the place. Christchurch really did have a good nightlife too, which was surprising for a city of 300,000. If you prefer larger cities or are a city-only-type person, then you may want to consider australia.

* Safety:

New Zealand is ridiculously safe, no worries about that at all.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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? I spent about NZ$80 total on food per week, and maybe $8 for the bus.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you want to travel a lot, you can actually do it really cheaply. NZ is one of the few places you can get away with just sleeping out in the open because there are so few people, and no dangerous animals.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* 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? Do it! Butler is incredibly helpful, and anyone I talked with from other programs was jealous of the perks we got as butler students. Christchurch is a great little city in a good location within hours of the Southern Alps.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Thermofluids transport

Course Department: ENME 345
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Takes place for Heat Transfer, good course. A good challenge too, but not overwhelming.
Credit Transfer Issues: no
Course Name/Rating:

Mech. Engineering Design A

Course Department: ENME 340
Instruction Language: english
Comments: Great design course takes place for Mechanical Engineering Design 2 at Tufts. You have 3 projects during the semester, no tests or homework. Last project is a ton of work though, but designing a rock crusher is pretty cool. My professor designed the retrieval unit for the Nevis bungee jump, then tried it out! Classic NZ
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:


Course Department: ENME 331
Instruction Language: English
Comments: A tough course which can be dry at times, but got me ahead in vibrations/relearning Laplace transforms. Definitely the most difficult one I took abroad, but not overwhelming. Weekly homework is optional but so helpful.
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:

Te Ahi Ka: Intro to Maori Culture

Course Department: MAOR107
Instruction Language: English
Comments: A very interesting course that you'll take away a good history of the Maori (indigenous New Zealanders). The work is a total joke, so don't worry about a challenge at all. Really the easiest course I've taken in my entire life.
Credit Transfer Issues: No, I actually got 1.5x credits