you really AUT to go... Past Review

By (Marketing., University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse) for

ISA Study Abroad in Auckland, New Zealand

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Since returning from my time abroad, I've developed a passion for encouraging others to study abroad. This in turn, has resulted in me pursing a career in international education!

Review Photos

Australearn: Auckland - AUT University Photo Australearn: Auckland - AUT University Photo Australearn: Auckland - AUT University Photo Australearn: Auckland - AUT University 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.

Most of the courses (especially in the business program) have a grading system that is solely based on ONE big project and ONE final exam. I felt the grading was fair, but the workload and course structure was not exactly conducive to be motivated to study all the time when we knew we would just cram at the end.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The AustraLearn orientation leaders were fun, energetic, and very helpful! Then once we arrived in Auckland, our study abroad advisor at AUT (Kenneth Holt) was also extremely helpful and responsive to our needs.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Bien Sushi. Right across from the Wellesley student apartments. SO GOOD and CHEAP!! Otherwise, I definitely improved my cooking skills while I was in NZ. There's a great asian supermarket nearby (on K-Road) where you can get cheap fruits and veggies.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program intro in Rotorua was the perfect way to get started in NZ. We learned the haka, went to traditional Maori performance and dinner, saw a sheep sheering show, had an opportunity to go ZORBING, went caving, and more importantly, it allowed everyone to really get to know each other in a very short amount of time. I mean, when you're rolling down a hill in a giant inflatable ball with two other people, chances are you're gonna create some good bonds.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never felt threatened living in the heart of the city. The security at AUT is pretty strict, and you need your swipe card to go anywhere in the building. People in NZ were all too friendly to cause a lot of trouble and/or violence.

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Go to the dollar store at the beginning to buy all things like kitchenware, toiletries, bedroom stuff, etc. SO much cheaper than at any of the main stores.


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? If you're ready to take advantage of the trip of a lifetime, go to New Zealand. You can surf, ski, skydive, bungee jump...all on the same day! Being in Auckland is the perfect place to study abroad because a) the weather is awesome, b) it's close to so many cool places you can check out on the weekends, c) you're within short walking distance of anything you would need. AustraLearn may be a little pricey, but to me and most others in our group, it was all worth it to have a solid group of like-minded people to be set up with from the get-go. Many of them are considered my best friends today.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:


Course Department:
Instructor: Jason King
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Jason is great, and the class is unlike any other class I have taken. I'd strongly recommend it. You'll learn a lot about yourself and others around you.
Credit Transfer Issues: This just transferred back as elective credit for me.


Whoa- Zorbing sounds amazing! Definitely throw some pictures on the site if you have any. Excellent review- thanks for sharing! November 21, 2011