Remember that one time in New Zealand? Past Review

By (Broadcast Journalism, University of Southern California) - abroad from 03/02/2015 to 06/26/2015 with

The Education Abroad Network (TEAN): Auckland - AUT University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The most significant thing I learned from my experience abroad is to say "yes" to everything. I had more experiences during my time studying abroad in New Zealand than I've had so far in my life (some of which I did with TEAN's help). These were full visceral, eye-opening, exhilarating experiences that I look back to fondly and frequently. I often tell my friends and family something I did "that one time in New Zealand." During my time abroad, I learned how to surf, camped on the beach, bungee-jumped off a bridge, skydived above New Zealand's largest lake and forged new friendships. What I've learned the most from these experiences is to always see the open-minded and to be flexible. My desire to do everything, helped me meet and learn about new people, places and things. In return, I made new friends and a lifetime of memories. I know my experiences sound clichéd, but it honestly was the best time of my life.

Review Photos

The Education Abroad Network (TEAN): Auckland - AUT University Photo The Education Abroad Network (TEAN): Auckland - AUT University Photo The Education Abroad Network (TEAN): Auckland - AUT University Photo The Education Abroad Network (TEAN): Auckland - AUT University Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The good thing about signing up through TEAN is that one of the international advisors also doubled as a residential advisor. This made it easy to switch papers if necessary and also find support. Overall, the course load is not difficult to manage as long as you schedule time for everything. Since the grading scale was different from my home university's, it seemed easier to achieve at AUT. However, the courses were graded harder than I thought, which made me take the papers seriously. The overall grade is usually split into three percentages or two percentages, making it easy to fail and easy to pass. So, it was just a matter of doing well on all assignments. I thought it was a fair way of grading because it motivates students to keep up with their coursework. Scheduling time for work was sometimes difficult because there are so many other things I would have rather been doing in a new country. Nonetheless, the professors steer us in the right direction to succeed. In terms of teaching styles, it will vary with professors. Some are more responsive than others. As for course selections, all the papers I took were enjoyable. I got something out of every paper, but the ones I like the most are my photography and cultural leadership class. Both of them were unconventional class settings. This made it more enjoyable to learn the material and also learn by doing.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Education Abroad Network set up a strong foundation for my study abroad experience. Everything the advisers prepared me for helped me find resources and enjoy studying in New Zealand. Before arriving in New Zealand, TEAN reached out to me and made sure all of my paperwork was in order. They were very responsive to all the questions I had and answered them with enthusiasm and timeliness. When I arrived in Auckland, they held an orientation, which had important information pertinent to Kiwi culture. During the semester, they hosted several cultural events and stayed in contact with me regarding local events and just general check ins. One of the most impressive things about TEAN's residential advisors and program administrators is how they show sincerity and compassion for their students. It seems like they really do want students to have the best program experience possible and it shows.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was very satisfied with my living arrangements because of how TEAN organized everything. TEAN took care of making the living arrangements and even ordered a linen pack for our accommodations. A residential advisor escorted us to our residences and

* Food:

There is no meal plan is place with the university, but markets and places to eat are better alternatives. There are also plenty of farmer's markets every weekend for people to peruse for local goods.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The best way to feel integrated with the local culture is to engage in local events and participate in a Māori cultural experience. Before starting my semester at AUT University, TEAN took us to a Māori experience on Waiheke Island. I felt like this was the best way to get to know New Zealand. We stayed overnight at a marae and learned about Māori traditions. During our stay on the island we also took a tour and went wine tasting. The introduction to all of these new experiences were helpful in acclimating myself to Auckland and New Zealand life. Overall, I felt very integrated with the local culture and remained respectful of their traditions.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any health problems while studying abroad. However, I knew I was fully insured because the university provides insurance to buy and I was also required to have insurance through my home university.

* Safety:

They say that it's safer to bungee jump off the Auckland Bridge than cross the streets of Auckland. With that said, Auckland is still a very safe city. Once I got the hang of crossing the streets, I felt very comfortable walking around. There are very low crime rates and I did not feel threatened by anyone at all. Kiwis are generally kind people and TEAN reassured me at the very beginning. My residential advisors were also a testament to Kiwi hospitality.

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)

It was quite easy to live on a student's budget because food was similarly priced to food back home. I made trips to the market every two weeks, which was enough food to last me.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent about $40 a week on food and about $20 on other expenses each week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? One way I saved money was going to the farmer's markets later in the day, when they had half-priced produce. There are also a number of cheaper supermarkets in Auckland to buy basic food essentials.


* 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

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International 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?
  • People
  • Experiences
  • Scenery
* What could be improved?
  • Local guides
  • Transportation help
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Before going on this program, I wish I knew a little more about the country and how to plan hikes and excursions. I got lucky in finding a group of friends who knew more about the country. I wasn't too bothered by not knowing much about the country because it was easy to adapt and learn.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.