Awesome trip to NZ Past Review

By (Environmental Studies, Brandeis University) - abroad from 02/12/2015 to 06/19/2015 with

IFSA: Dunedin - University of Otago

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Going abroad is definitely worthwhile, milk it for all it's worth, stay as long as you can, travel as often as you can.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Coming from a small University, it was difficult transitioning to a much larger school where my average class/lecture size was greater than 100 people. IFSA-Butler provides plenty of resources or gateways to resources that can help with adjustment.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

IFSA-Butler has a lot of really cool trips planned and they love to keep us involved throughout the semester, there's always something fun happening!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing is really a hit or a miss. If you choose to live in University Flats, you'll most likely be living with a kiwi host and 4 other international students. I loved my flat, we all became super close friends and travelled and tramped together a lot of the time.

* Food:

Food is all up to you, you'll be cooking your own food. The prices in NZ are much higher, but you'll be able to find everything you usually would, so no problems there.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This is something that will happen only if you put in the effort. There are a lot of International Students, and way more than half of those students are from America, so there will always be people you can connect to from the U.S., the problem sometimes is going out of your comfort zone and doing something really Kiwi without your comfort zone.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The student health center is awesome, and so is StudentSafe, the health insurance you'll be provided with.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe in Dunedin, it's really student-life friendly.

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)

You definitely can live off of $100 a week, but that would be stretching it a little. Definitely plan for spending more money, you won't want money to be something that holds you back.

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? Budget brand!


* 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
  • 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?
  • Location
* What could be improved?
  • Longer breaks!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Bring tramping/camping gear with you. Joining the tramping club is a waste of money! Make friends with people who own cars, don't buy one!