Past Review

By (Geosciences, Wellesley College) for

IFSA: Dunedin - University of Otago

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Being in New Zealand has definitely given me a new perspective on the world, one that I am definitely happy to have.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: University of Otago
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 light in comparison, although the final assessment was cumulative, so you are tested on everything that you learn. The system is different than Wellesley's, but I found it to be a good contrast. Having weekly tutorials was also an interesting experience, one I enjoyed and learned from.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

IFSA-Butler is a great program - the on-site go-to guy was great, and the program took us on trips around parts of New Zealand that were absolutely fantastic!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a flat with 5 other people - one kiwi, one international (not american) and the rest were americans. This was a wonderful experience, the only downside was that there wasn't any insulation in the flat, so it got a little cold in the winter. Dunedin is a great city!!!!

* Food:

Food on program-related trips was delicious, otherwise I had to feed myself.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Program trips were only with students in the program, so I'm not sure that it facilitated meeting other internationals. Trips were great for getting to know other students in the program though!

* Safety:

I didn't require any health care while abroad, so I can't speak to the first question, but Dunedin is a safe city, and I never felt threatened or endangered.

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)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? People who are outgoing, independent, and outdoorsy will enjoy this particular program of study (in New Zealand, that is to say) the most.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Introduction to Ngai Tahu Society

Course Department: MAOR103
Instructor: Jim Williams
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Although this was a very enlightening course, I would just advise others that the course is run as though those enrolled do have some previous background knowledge of Maori society.
Credit Transfer Issues: I didn't have any issues.
Course Name/Rating:

Practical Programming

Course Department: COMP150
Instructor: Brendan
Instruction Language: english
Comments: I highly recommend this course, it was excellent!!
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Field Studies and New Zealand Geology

Course Department: GEOL252
Instructor: There were many...
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was a great introductory mapping course. One issue is that an overload of international students severely limits the effectiveness of the course, and if there are too many internationals for too many years, rumour is that the university will change the course to a lecture based course, rather than a field course, and that would be tragic.
Credit Transfer Issues: My program translated the grades from the University of Otago system to my home institution's system, but the Univerity department is willing to work with students whose study abroad programs don't do that to make sure that the grades get transferred as closely as possible. Make sure to talk to the department!