An Adventurous Semester in New Zealand Past Review

By (Civil Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland - College Park) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying Abroad definitely opens your eyes to the world around you. Little problems don't seem as important anymore, and the world definitely begins to feel a lot smaller. The best part was meeting people from all over the world and hearing their stories. There is a lot of learning in traveling, and a lot of growing up and gaining independence. I traveled for a month after the semester was over, and now that I'm home I'm already planning my next adventure.

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.

The school system at Auckland Uni was very different than school at home. I took two first-year cultural classes and two classes that pertained to my engineering major. The workload was WAY less...we only had a few assignments per class for the entire semester. I spent almost all of my weekends travelling, rarly studied, and still got B's as final grades. The one hard thing was that I never knew where I stood grade-wise, since I rarely got feedback from the teachers.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

TEAN leaders were great! They were all very knowledgeable about the city, school, and history of NZ. We had people stationed in Auckland as well so I knew there was always someone close by to help out. I got really sick in the beginning of the semester and they helped me with the school's health system. The size of the group was perfect, there were enough people to get to know beforehand but also make a new group of friends once we moved into our housing. ALso the fact that we were split up between cities was good so that we knew people living all over the country!!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing situation definitely made my semester. I met so many amazing people from all over the world since mainly international students were living there, but a few locals lived there as well! We had a backyard and were right next to the Domain, so even though we were in the middle of the city it really didn't feel like it! It was about a 20 minute walk into campus which wasn't bad because it was a great walk through the domain, it was only dreaded on rainy days! Also its about a 25-30 min walk to downtown and nightlife, which meant we rarely went out. Everything basic was provided (bedding, cookware, internet).

* Food:

I lived in a flat so we had to buy our own food and cook it ourselves. The food was very similar to American food so it was easy to cook, and the grocery store was a 10 minute walk down the road. There are also farmers markets and Asian grocery stores nearby. I rarely ate out at restaurants because of the price, but there were some good cafes and burger places right down the road in Parnell!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Going to Fiji and the Auckland Orientation were great programs!! I made so many friends and we did so many activities that TEAN organized for us like white-water rafting, zorbing, hiking, and going to the museum. I missed the cultural event because I was travelling, but the farewell dinner at the end of the semester was really nice!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt completely safe during my whole program. New Zealand is a very safe country in general and Auckland is a very nice city, though it is big and has some crime just like any other city. I got sick before school even started, and the university's health system was very easy and really took care of international students. I had bloodwork and lab tests done and I got all of the money back through international student insurance. There were not any health issues prevalent and I did not need any vaccines.

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)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Meeting great people with similar interests and mindsets
  • Fun and informative leaders
* What could be improved?
  • nothing!