AUT UNI/New Zealand: Living a Dream Past Review

By (Finance, West Virginia University) for

ISA Study Abroad in Auckland, New Zealand

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was the best time of my life. I made wonderful friendships and got to explore a country that not many people know about. I gained a sort of independence that I dont feel here in America because I was on my own with new people. It has made me want to explore more of the world and help other people realize what is out there. So many people close themselves off from the rest of the world when we should all go out and embrace it. Living in New Zealand not a day went by that I wasn't happy, amazed, and wonderstruck. The experience is indescribable.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Compared to the the system I am used to here in America the school schedule was very appealing, especially being a study abroad trip. The classes I took were only held once per week so I was able to arrange my schedule so that I only had class M-W. This left me with thursday through Sunday to go on short little trips even during the semester. I enjoyed the classes I took a lot. There was a lot of student interaction and the teachers relied on our involvement to keep the class sessions rolling. The academic work contained mostly writing papers and then giving a few in class presentations accompanied by a final exam. I didn't feel like an outsider at all in the classroom because my opinion was valued as much as anyone else. There were also a lot of other students studying abroad so it was easy to interact with people in class and make friends.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Kenneth Holt was my advisor while I was there and he did an excellent job staying in touch with us before, during, and after my study abroad trip. He got my all settled in with my classes within the first week and made it very stress free.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The program arranged our housing for us and we lived in a student apartment/dorm called Wellesley Student Apartments. The apartments were nice and roomy with 5 rooms, a living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom with 2 showers and toilets. Much better than I expected. The building had an electronic gate for security purposes and an on site security guard all through the night.

* Food:

The school had a great area with a few restaurants that were really great. There was also a student bar in the same area that had nightly games and quiz nights where you were able to win shirts and bar tabs etc. There are a lot of places to eat nearby that should accomodate most diets; ranging from sushi, fast food, chinese, japanese, indian, thai. The list is endless really. If you are staying at Wellesley Student Apt I would suggest any of the restaurants directly across the street.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We had a 5 day culture and adventure program in Rotorua when we first arrived in country. This was an excellent time to meet all your study abroad partners and to get a taste of the New Zealand culture and environment. There were also a number of adventure activities to choose from. I chose to go white water rafting and cave exploring. I highly recommend both of them.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I had a very healthy trip and never needed any help but I knew a few people who were sick and went to the student health provided on campus and had their problems taken care of right away.

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)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If I could give any advice about this program it is this: DO IT! This program felt like a 5 month vacation. Auckland is a wonderful city and the program and school allow you to see everything you could want in New Zealand. There is so much to do in and around Auckland alone. The country itself is a land for adrenaline seekers. If you enjoy camping, hiking, bungy jumping, sky diving, etc. then this is the place for you. The nightlife is awesome and the people are friendly as well. In the same 5 month span I swam through crystal clear water and hiked through snow capped mountains. There is so much to do that you will never be bored, so stop reading and go already!