Aotearoa: Land of extreme adventures Past Review

By (Geography and Cartography., University of Southern Maine) for

ISA Study Abroad in Auckland, New Zealand

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I loved living on the other side of the world and meeting all new people. I did a lot of traveling by myself and I loved it. Its a great place to explore, bungy jump, go caving, canyoning, rafting, hiking, and alot of other crazy stuff!

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 final exams were worth 60% of the total grade. Projects/writing assignments were worth 10-20%. Labs were 10%. other tests/quizes made up the rest. The class size was much larger than USM: 100-250 people sometimes. There were less presentations expected and it seemed much more test oriented. The amount of reading assigned was much more than at home.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I thought they were kind of hard to find and their help was somewhat limited. I didn't really have any major problems though.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

I signed up for the meal plan at Wellsley and the food was really bad. The problem is, the grocery store was a really long walk and uphill all the way back. Food was expensive there no matter how you cut it. You can get good food but you will pay more. The dining hall, although was not good quality, was fairly cheap as long as you work the system. You can pay sign up for 1 meal a day (and sneak in for 3). Some people didn't pay for anything and snuk in. They're pretty relaxed.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

the first week of orientation we learned the Maori Haka, went to a traditional Maori Hangi dinner, did a tiny bit of community service, then we went white water rafting, zorbing, caving(best part of the trip). It was a good way to get to know a group of 20 or so Americans that you would be going to school with and hanging out with through the semester.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Auckland seemed perfectly safe to me. I know one American got jumped late at night and got beat pretty bad but for a city of 1.4 million, there is always going to be at least a couple idiots. Health insurance was included with the program, both at the University and by Australearn. The health insurance was pretty good although you need to pay for things up front and submit a claim for reimbursement. No vaccinations were necessary.

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)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • the setting, the structured orientation activities, and the education
* What could be improved?
  • The living arrangements were the worst part of the trip for me. 5 people in 1 little apartment-ugh
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Get your dads credit card!