Amazing! June 22, 2016

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 02/11/2016 to 06/23/2016 with

IFSA: Dunedin - University of Otago

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was absolutely worthwhile! I got more comfortable living and traveling on my own, met some amazing people, and got to explore some of the most beautiful places.

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.

The rigor really depends on the classes you take. I was in mostly introductory classes that weren't too rigorous but upper level classes could require more work. In general though, there was more weight placed on fewer assignments, which was a change (a final exam could be worth up to 70% of your grade).

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

IFSA did an amazing job with everything. I was really impressed with their organization and the support they provided us.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living in a flat was so much fun. I got to be close with my flatmates and we hung out and cooked together often. The actual quality of the flats themselves varied greatly but were all fine. They are poorly insulated though so it can get cold in the winter.

* Food:

There's no central dining hall or meal plans so I largely cooked for myself. It is easy to find all normal groceries and they weren't too expensive. Food on campus and around Dunedin is really good, it can just get expensive eating out frequently.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

You can meet locals through classes and clubs, and I did have a few Kiwi friends. However, for the most part I was traveling and hanging out with other Americans or international students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any health issues while abroad but some of my friends did and they all could get appointments quickly and seemed satisfied with the healthcare and insurance.

* Safety:

I always felt safe walking around Dunedin.

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

IFSA provided everything we needed. In addition, orientation and the trips they planned for us throughout the semester were so much fun.

Finances

* 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)

I also traveled a lot, and while a lot was very cheap as it was mostly camping and hiking, it can add up.

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! Also camping saves a lot when traveling.

Language

* 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
  • 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?
  • Orientation
  • Doubtful Sound weekend
  • Weekly meetings
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Pack any outdoor gear you think you'll use, it's cheaper than buying it. And you don't need as much as you think!

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 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.