New Zealand: Finding Bliss Past Review

By (Communication and Media Studies., Trinity University) for

IFSA: Dunedin - University of Otago

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I've mellowed out during my experience abroad and have come into my own. And I loved my host country! I'm now thinking about possibly working there in a few years.

Review Photos

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.

The American educational system is more interactive and encourages more critical thinking. I became bored in my classes since I was not encouraged to participate and learn. I basically taught myself in some classes.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program administration was extremely helpful and accessible. Questions were answered promptly and issues were resolved quickly. Administrators kept in contact with us constantly to give updates about program activities and useful information. Administration knowledge helped immensely, especially during orientation.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing was excellent. Most everything needed to settle in was provided (with the exception of bedding) and the flat was in good condition. All of us in the flat got along well and the location was ideal: close to campus and a few minutes walk to downtown.

* Food:

flat dinners were a great idea (everyone cooks once a week for the whole flat), we weren't crowding the kitchen while trying to cook individual meals and it gave us time to get to know each other and bond

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The Doubtful Sound adventure weekend was one of my favorite activities. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

My host city felt very safe and I would have no problem walking home after midnight. I did go see the doctor once and the staff was extremely helpful.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $70
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy generic food at the grocery store, go on trips with friends to help split the costs of food, lodging, and transportation


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

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  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

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  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

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A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This program is extremely concerned with its students and will go above and beyond to make sure your needs are met. The staff is friendly and helpful and always there if you need them. I feel that a social student would benefit most from this program due to the friendliness of its participants and the easy-going personalities of its students.