Adventure Is Only A Walk Away February 08, 2017

By (Wesleyan University) - abroad from 07/02/2016 to 11/13/2016 with

IFSA: Dunedin - University of Otago

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained more outdoor/hiking skills and a greater love for the outdoors. I also learned the importance of independence while in a new place. Sometimes, you have to learn how to be alone somewhere new, before you can learn to feel comfortable around others. It was most definitely worthwhile.

Review Photos

IFSA-Butler: Dunedin - University of Otago Photo IFSA-Butler: Dunedin - University of Otago Photo 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? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The place itself was incredible. I've never been surrounded by as much natural beauty. I was able to take high-level courses in my major (Neuroscience & Behavior) without having to give up weekend adventures (hiking/camping trips). I would love to go back, someday.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I loved the administrators of my program. They were all wonderful, kind, helpful people.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The house was spacious and well-equipped, but extremely dark and somewhat far from campus.

* Food:

I'm a harsh critic when it comes to food, and while I enjoyed the food I cooked, I wasn't impressed by the overall quality of food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

The program posed some difficulties for me abroad, but I grew as a person through it all. I don't know that I'll ever make it back to New Zealand, and I would never want to give up the experiences and adventures I had there.

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)

It was pretty expensive, because there is very little public transportation. Along with paying for meals, I spent a lot of money on gas/car expenses each week, in order to go on trips/hikes.

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? Don't bother spending money on eating out at restaurants or alcohol. The food/drinks are more expensive than they're worth. Save your money for trips/adventures that you'll never be able to do again.

Language

* 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
* 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?
  • Hiking
  • Traveling
  • Driving
* What could be improved?
  • Increased consciousness of social cliques
  • The heavy focus on legal drinking (this is an issue with students, not the program itself)
  • Activities that bring together abroad students with local students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The drinking/party scene is a big part of the social atmosphere on campus.

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.