Past Review

By (Applied Mathematics, Rice University) for

IFSA: Dunedin - University of Otago

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained alot of experience, and wisdom about what to do and what not to do. I also learned that relationships are better than experiences. Still, getting to know the people there and explore as I did was certainly worth it. I highly value independence and exploration, and I was able to (almost) satiate those there.

Personal Information

The term and year this program took place: Fall 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I took difficult (third year) classes and found them somewhat difficult. I think that a student gets as much out of Otago classes as they want, and it sometimes doesn't correspond to the grade that comes out. It was certainly not as challenging to just meet expectations as at my home university (Rice).

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration is very strong - they just have alot of people, and most everyone does their jobs. Weaknesses - a few things slip through the cracks. For example, one person quit and one job (blogs being approved) remained undone for quite some time.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Decent flat with 5 other Americans. <br /><br /> Good place, pretty close to campus. The flats looked really nice, but were built shoddily.

* Food:

I'm still learning to cook.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Great travel. Kiwis are good fun to hang out with.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Health issues addressed. Information readily available from on-campus person

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Not sure at all. Rough guess: NZ $350 (includes weekend travel) ~$200 US
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget - some of my friends ran out of money and had a really lame end to the semester. Think about electricity - it's expensive.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
Language acquisition improvement?

They probably decreased, due to Kiwi slang.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Consider whether you need and on-campus presence with the program. I didn't, and spent alot of money for it. Other programs were much cheaper and had mostly the same stuff (besides the on-campus person)

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Computational Modelling 2

Course Department: COMO 401
Instructor: Mike Paulin
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Very interesting course, the teacher was too sensitive to student limitations/resistance. We could have covered alot more, but the teacher relaxed deadlines to the point of losing material.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Brain and Behaviour

Course Department: PSYC 111
Instructor: Several
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Introductory psych course, covered everything promised. The lab portion was difficult because of the writing aspect. Lecturers were engaging, and had selected material that was relevant and interesting. Participation in class was highly encouraged (even with candy!)
Credit Transfer Issues: don't know yet!
Course Name/Rating:

Mathematical Methods 2

Course Department: MATH 362
Instructor: Gerrard Liddell
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Very good course. The teacher challenged us, yet was sensitive so as not to overload students. The material was technical, but the teacher always found application and made us work with it.
Credit Transfer Issues: