My Study Abroad Experience in Wellington, New Zealand Past Review

By (Kenyon College) - abroad from 07/06/2017 to 11/17/2017 with

IFSA: Wellington - Victoria University of Wellington

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was really worthwhile- I learned about the history of New Zealand and the Maori culture, got to travel and hike in some of the most beautiful places on Earth, and met some lifelong friends. I also became much more independent and learned a lot about living/traveling on a budget.

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.

Victoria University Wellington is much bigger than my small liberal arts school in Ohio. It took a bit of time to get used to the big lectures, but the weekly tutorials felt like the intimate, discussion based classes I am used to. The professors were mostly engaging and helpful, and my classes were pretty interesting. Overall, my classes required less work and were easier than classes at Kenyon.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Weekly meet-ups with my IFSA Butler program advisor and the other students in my program were fun and helped create a sense of community abroad. The IFSA staff also organized several fun weekend trips.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a flat with two other students- one from South Korea and one from Italy, which was a lot of fun. I also lived right next door to people from my IFSA program. Cooked most meals at home, and the flats were a 15 minute walk from downtown Wellington.

* Food:

Great food on Cuba Street!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Pretty good/accessible health center on campus, and the IFSA staff was always there to help out with any health issues.

* Safety:

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

I love IFSA Butler and would highly recommend. The staff members are fun, caring, and accessible, and really make an effort to help you feel at home in your new country.


* 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? I tried to spend under $40 on groceries per week, which wasn't difficult. Going out to eat can be expensive, but many restaurants have good deals on various nights.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Go to the farmer's market in Wellington on Sundays! Fruits and veggies are expensive in the grocery store but cheap at the farmer's market.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

English is my first language, so this was not an issue.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? N/A
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Talk with locals

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Accessibility of IFSA advisor
  • Weekend trips
  • Living arrangement
* What could be improved?
  • Would love even more organized events/trips!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Utilizing resources provided by the program can help make the adjustment to a new country much easier.

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.