TEAN gave me the opportunity to further develop my independence! February 19, 2019

By (California Lutheran University) - abroad from 07/01/2018 to 11/10/2018 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about what it takes to live in a place completely different then what I am familiar with. My experience taught me how to adapt and communicate with individuals who grew up in a different way than I did in Southern California. I also better understand the value of diversity!

Review Photos

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

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I enrolled in four courses. I took three that fulfilled major/ minor requirements at my university and one elective for a well-rounded course load. The class sizes were not overwhelming in my courses so I felt I could seek academic support if necessary. I had a positive experience with all of my professors and was very satisfied with class outcomes. Additionally, I was greeted by peers who quickly became my friends! Overall, I had a very inclusive and happy experience academically.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My on-site team was amazing! From our orientation throughout the entire duration of the program I had a team of contacts to reach-out to with any concerns or advice. Program administrators organized and participated in coffee-catch ups and outdoor/ city activities bringing TEAN students together to explore Auckland. Emails were also sent out to inform us of other events of interest happening in the city that we could explore on our own.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was very pleased with my living arrangements. I resided in the on-campus housing. I had my own bedroom and shared a common area, kitchen, and two bathrooms with my three flatmates. I was lucky and got the top floor of the 14 story apartment building. I had a lovely view of the city and lucked-out with amazing flatmates and two were from New Zealand.

* Food:

Please note that this program does not cover for the cost of food during the semester, but if you are looking to feed yourself beyond the constraints of a cafeteria then this is a great place to do so. Auckland is a food hub of restaurants, but I personally enjoyed walking to the La Cigale French Market for my produce for the week. This semester gave me the freedom to cook my own food and explore new foods in a foreign country. Also, try anything hokey pokey (honeycomb toffee)! If you are on a budget there is a great bulk store called Pak N Save, which is a bus ride away from campus, and offers a variety of foods in bulk which proves to be more cost-effective. Going here to get some necessary essentials is recommended!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was integrated in the local culture in two ways. One was through the Kiwi culture. I got a taste of what it meant for people to call themselves New Zealanders based on different geographical regions of the two islands. I was also integrated in the Māori culture by taking the course and attending the cultural weekend. Here I became a part of the Māori whānau (family) at the AUT marae (spiritual center).

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I actually had a foot injury the second week I was in New Zealand from stepping wrong. I utilized the campus medical center where I given medical advice and was recommended to a local podiatrist for additional support if necessary. The TEAN program includes campus-health insurance so it was very easy to utilize the resources.

* Safety:

Auckland is generally a safe city, but it is a city so using common sense and exploring in groups is always advised. I had no safety issues.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

In a holistic sense, I learned a lot about myself as an independent individual. Not only did my classes stress the value of self-identity and diversity, but they challenged me in new ways that I had not experienced at my home institution. Additionally, my travel experiences and social interactions allowed me to gain new perspectives in a terrain that was unfamiliar to me. This allowed me to grow and become more confident in future endeavors.


* 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)

Really this depends on your personal budget and the activities you intend to plan to do. If you are constantly eating at restaurants each week then you will surely spend more, but if you utilize the bulk stores, supermarkets, farmers' markets, balanced with some eating out then you won't spend as much. I splurged on some travel experiences, but through making friends you ca travel in groups lowering the cost of each individual.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $75
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? There are always ways to save money. This may mean being food smart by purchasing food from bulk stores and not purchasing meals in excess from restaurants. Also, this may mean you are branching out more by meeting people in your housing arrangement, from classes, or from your program to do group travel to cut some costs in a shared experience. Again, it depends on what you want to do, experience, or take away from your time abroad. Some weeks I spent under $50, others I spent over 100$. It is up to you and what your intentions are.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • The people I met through the program, my classes, and my dorm whom I would have never met if it were not for TEAN.
  • New Zealand is a beautiful country with changing landscapes that I have never seen before. Being able to explore the South Island during my orientation and experience sailing/ hiking in my host city of Auckland was lovely.
  • I loved the social aspect of the AUT campus and of Auckland city as a whole!
* What could be improved?
  • I would not say that there is anything major that needs improving, but adding one or two more events during the semester organized by TEAN would be nice if it is possible.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? There will always be things I wish I knew before headed to New Zealand like what places were better to travel to during the season I was there, but that is completely under my control. TEAN provided recommendations, but I recommend to research where you are headed to.

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

International Noho Marae: Indigenous Encounters of a Maori Kind

Course Department: Te Ara Poutama: Māori and indigenous development
Instructor: Jason King
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was eye-opening into the indigenous Māori culture. The course typically draws in international students and is recommended for study abroad students to participate in to gain a new perspective about New Zealand. The teacher was knowledgeable as a Māori himself and was well-prepared during the course. This was an elective course that was not as academically demanding as my other courses. The course involves participation in a weekend cultural experience as well and a weekly class. I recommend taking this class to meet incredible people both from New Zealand and from other countries!
Credit Transfer Issues: This course transferred as an elective for me so if you are seeking a class to ease the weight of maybe some other required courses, then this one is a go-to!