A Summer of Adventure in New Zealand! Past Review

By (Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication., Illinois State University) for

ISA Study Abroad in Wellington, New Zealand

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
YES! I learned a lot about a culture that most Americans know nothing about. New Zealand is a small, but friendly and absolutely breathtaking country. I would return in a heartbeat to "Aotearoa," if only for a few months to say "Kia ora" (traditional Maori greeting) to all of my friends.

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.

I had a lot of work to do, but hours at my internship were much more flexible than they are in the States. I was graded based on papers that I wrote and evaluations completed by my supervisor.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I really enjoyed my program. A strength of my program was that it offered a lot of independence. I did live with a few other Americans, but I did not know any of them before the trip, as they were from other universities across the country. I got to do a lot of exciting activities, such as bungee jumping and skydiving, and I learned a lot about the culture.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Definitely eat some fish 'n chips (if you haven't already traveled to England and done so). Also, they serve fries in most places with aioli--garlic mayo--and it is delicious! As NZ is an island country, you MUST check out all local seafood/sushi restaurants.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

New Zealand is a place for adventure! I traveled to Taupo for skydiving, bungee jumping, and jet boating. I also got to do some real spelunking and go lugeing (basically a go-kart without an engine) my first week in Rotorua. During my last few weeks in the country, I flew to Christchurch for the weekend to visit a friend and see all of the damage caused by all of the earthquakes they had experienced. In Kaikora, I drove along the coast to see seal colonies in their natural habitats. I also visited a winery for the first time with in the South Island.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

New Zealand itself is a very safe country when it comes to crime. If you do get hurt somehow, be it a natural disaster or accident, you want to be in a big city. There are a lot of small towns spread far apart from one another that either do not offer hospitals or do not offer many services at the hospitals that do exist.

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? I spent much more money than I expected. Fortunately, my grandparents were able to help me out by transferring money. My advice would be to bring more than you expect to spend. You want to be wise about budgeting, but you also don't want to miss going on that awesome adventure.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • I just enjoyed New Zealand. It was friendly and gorgeous!
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing.


Thanks, Mandy, for your feedback! We'll be sure to take this into consideration for future students. We're so glad you LOVED New Zealand!

Anonymous April 19, 2012