Tramping through Paradise Past Review

By (Biology, Le Moyne College) - abroad from 06/28/2014 to 11/23/2014 with

IFSA: Dunedin - University of Otago

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about the person I want to be and picked up a number of cool hobbies. It was certainly the most worthwhile experience of my life.

Review Photos

IFSA-Butler: Dunedin - University of Otago Photo IFSA-Butler: Dunedin - University of Otago Photo IFSA-Butler: Dunedin - University of Otago Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I took two courses that were science based that had 3 and 4 hour labs associated with them

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Both the regional adviser and on-site adviser were fantastic

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Nice house in a student centered area that was amazing, but make sure you pack warm clothes if you're arriving second semester because it is frigid in those houses.

* Food:

Cook you own food, or do a rotating flat cooking plan. Good experience to prepare for "real life". Local fast food is available but cheap fish and chips was my favorite option. Local ice cream is also fantastic and cheap. Watch out for groceries though which are significantly more expensive than at home. Reduced to clear section became my best friend.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Kiwis are incredibly friendly even though they barely know you. The kiwi host experience was amazing and certainly contributed to my overall immersement in the culture of my peers.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I personally did not have interaction with health care, but another peer in the group did and his experience seemed pleasant given the circumstances.

* Safety:

Feel extremely safe in Dunedin, but don't leave belongings around because petty theft can be a rpoblem

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)

Groceries and gas are both very expensive in a free-market economy on an island nation

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 150$
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Learn to shop cheaply and car pool whenever possible! Also don't spend frivolously early on because money will run tight by the end


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* 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
  • 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?
  • Friends I met
  • New place and new culture
  • New Zealand itself
* What could be improved?
  • Better educate on travel plans after program ends
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew I would have wanted to travel to Australia at the end of the program rather than using an itinerary designed by a travel agent that restricted me to a specific return date.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.