Study abroad if you have the opportunity!!!! Past Review

By (Point Loma Nazarene University) - abroad from 02/11/2012 to 06/26/2012 with

ISA Study Abroad in Auckland, New Zealand

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a new insight on the world. I have a much more broader thoughts and ideas on new cultures. I am more open to new ideas and different ways of doing things. Yes it was worth while!!!! I have grown so much personally as well. I am a more independent person. I can more easily take chances and adventure out on my own now. This is an experience that I will remember and cherish forever!

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.

University of Auckland is way more academically challenging than most study abroad experiences. Students should not expect to have an easy semester abroad at this uni.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

AustraLearn was very helpful in getting me ready to go abroad. As a student I could always call the office if I had any questions and they were happy to answer my parents many questions as well.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed at the Parnell Student Village. It was a great location only a 20 min walk to campus and a 5 min bus ride into the city. I didn't like living with all American international students. I would have rather or recommend living with Kiwi student. The flats were great and perfect living. I had my own room and I shared the flat with four other students. There was a kitchen, only one bathroom, a living area with a table, couch and a nice tv.There was also public laundry facilities available.

* Food:

Food is expensive. A typical meal is anywhere from $15- $25. ($10 meal is a great deal!) So the best way to save money is to go grocery shopping and make your own food. Count Down or New World were the two best grocery store options and had pretty much anything you needed. There are also many farmers markets on weekends. (My favorites were the Parnell Farmers market on Saturdays and the French Farmers Market on Sundays) We were provided with a refrigerator and a kitchen so you could make whatever you wanted. It is best to pack a lunch to take to uni otherwise you will end up spending $10-20 on food a day which will add up quickly! But if you do forget to bring food there is many options on the University of Auckland Campus to eat. (Coffee, sushi, Mediterranean, salad, fish and chips) There are many fun places to go out to eat especially in the city. Restaurants can be expensive but if you research them before you go, you usually can find a good place the is not to much money. Gluten free food is available almost everywhere. (more money of course)

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I loved the culture of New Zealand! It felt like everyone was friendly and nice. The kiwis were laid back (but international students should know that they still take their studies very seriously even know they seem easy going!) Once you get to know Kiwi's they will want to meet up for coffee and invite you over to their house for a meal. They are very welcoming and want to take the time to get to know you. The Maori culture is a little different than the general kiwi culture. There are not that many Maori people left but the ones that are still there work hard to keep their culture alive and past on to the next generations. I was about to get to know this culture through my bridging culture program the first week. We went to a Marae and had a hangi (feast) in at a culture house. Then I took a Kapa Haka class where I learned about their culture especially through their dancing and chanting of the Kapa Haka (Haka, Poi, ect.)

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never needed to use health care but I heard the University of Auckland provided free care!

* Safety:

New Zealand is a very safe country! Obviously one should not go out alone at night or early in the morning. But I never felt afraid except when I was out alone in the dark (which only happened a couple times)

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)

Everything is very expensive in New Zealand. I had to be careful not to go out too eat for meals and instead make/ pack meals. Also buying coffee adds up so watch out for that!

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $ 150 NZD
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? -buy your own own food and make/bring lunches -dont eat out too much -buying a coffee a days adds up!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?
  • Bridging Cultures program (prepared me to integrating into the new culture!)
  • The leaders!!! (Gavin Murdoch an Paul Toilalo)
  • the friends I made from the program!
* What could be improved?
  • not live with just american students
  • more activities throughout the semester
  • better clarification with units transfer
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How the units transfer from the Auckland University to my home university.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Kapa Haka

Course Department: Maori Studies
Instructor: Angie
Instruction Language: Maori
Comments: This is a must take class if you go to the University of Auckland! Students learn the Maori culture through the Kapa Haka. It is super fun and a great experience!!!
Credit Transfer Issues: