My Home Away From Home Past Review

By (University of Southern California) - abroad from 02/23/2015 to 06/27/2015 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I could easily say it was the new skills I learned in CSS coding or photography or introduction courses into the Japanese and Maori languages. I could also say it's the food because I still strongly crave those fish-n-chips and $3 NZD meat pies. I'd even say all the adventure sports I did like skydiving and bungee jumping are right up there. But what I gained was a new home, a place where I was welcomed and given a place in a strong community that made my trip all the more worthwhile. And I miss them everyday.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes were equal to the rigor and coursework as I got at USC. I learned new skills that I would never have been able to at USC. I learned HTML, CSS, and Photoshop in my Communications class and it instilled a love of web design in me! I also began to learn Japanese- I'll admit, it's not much but more than I could pick up in the US. I also was able to enhance my photography skills while being able to document daily life in Auckland. But my favorite class was my Maori class, because this was where I began to feel at home.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My AUT advisors and TEAN advisors were wonderful! Kenneth, Sam, and Rachel were always available, always looking out for me, and always made sure I was comfortable. If I had any questions or concerns, they were always there to help me. The TEAN advisors also would put on many programs or events, like taking us surfing and hosting a fundraising run for Nepal. My trip would have been very different without their support!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Wellesley Apartments were great: I had my own room, I lived with great friends and it was a great hub for us International students. The only reason I didn't give 5 stars was because the security guards overstepped their bounds a bit, but that's only because there were many first years living in the building.

* Food:

If I could, I'd give this 10 stars! I loved everything I ate and the food is something that I miss the most. I really miss those curry pies, the lamb kebabs were some of the best I've ever eaten, and how I miss the best fish-n-chips I've ever had!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Thanks to my Maori class, I was able to learn more about the culture and language. But what I loved more was the people I met and the community I joined. They made me feel like home, and welcomed me with open arms and I miss them every day.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never went to the hospital or had a need to visit a health center. But the 5 stars are for the very fact that I had about 5 insurances protecting me the whole time I was there.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe. I felt as safe as night as I did in the afternoon. If I say police officers, I knew I could go up to them if need be. Luckily the need never came up. The most important thing to remember about safety is that even though it's more or less safe, it's still important to always be aware of your surroundings.

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)

I never felt like I was lacking in funds or needed more money. But I did spend lots of time saving money before the trip. However, the most money I spent was whenever I went to other cities for fun and did adventure sports.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About $60 USD
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Before you go, make sure to start saving money. Also look into the various scholarships available. Once you're there, for food don't always go to the huge name grocery stores. Look out for Asian markets and go there- they have great, affordable food. And make sure to check out Pak'n'Save!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* 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?
  • Maori Community
  • Food
  • Adventure Sports
* What could be improved?
  • Transportation Crash Course
  • Wi-fi know-how
  • Better NZ phone plans
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew about the internet and wi-fi issues. It took some getting used to and adjusting before I understood how it all worked.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.