New Zealand: The Best Place on Earth and The Happiest Memories Past Review

By (Film, Video and Interactive Media, Quinnipiac University) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience abroad was the happiest I have ever been. New Zealand was so welcoming and I learned so much about myself while I was abroad. I learned how to be independent and to try new things. I learned to more socially confident and take the time to really get to know my friends abroad. I walked away from New Zealand with new knowledge on cultures from all over the world and a new outlook on life: simplicity is key and alway look on the positive side of things. New Zealand is such a happy country and I think about it every day and I definitely want to return one day to continue my travels. It also taught me that I want to learn more about the world and travel, travel, travel! Studying abroad was the best decision I have ever made and I encourage every student to take this opportunity.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: N/A
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 found the academia to be slightly easier than my home university because I saved all of my elective credits for when I went abroad, that way I had the freedom to take 100 level classes so my work load wasn't overwhelming in a foreign counry. I found one of the biggest differences was the essay writing format. They have a separate format for their essays which was difficult to get used to at first. The large lectures and small tutorials is much different than my home university with 20 person classrooms, but it was interesting to have a different experience and see how large schools operate. Lastly, I took a Maori Studies class on their performing arts and I would encourage all students to take a Maori class becuase it taught me a lot about New Zealand culture and I think it is important to learn about the history of a country that you will be living in for 5 months.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

When I arrived in New Zealand, the international student orientation was very helpful and the Education Abroad Network had prior students on campus to help us out. Of course it took some adjusting to figure out schedules but everyone at the University of Auckland was very helpful and responded to all of my emails propmtly.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I think my dorm really made my study abroad experience. I lived in 14 Whitaker Place, the University of Auckland housing. The apartments are very homey and cozy and the set up of the dorm is very social. The dorm is located less than 5 minutes from campus and 10 minutes from Queen Street (the main street in Auckland). It was so easy to get around the city and the dorm was in a great location. Living with a mix of Kiwi and International students was amazing because not only did I learn about New Zealand culture, I also learned about British, French, Australian, and Canadian cultures. My dorm is where I met all of my friends and I think that living in Whitaker was a great way for me to meet people. The RA's in Whitaker were also very helpful and friendly.

* Food:

I didn't find that big of a difference between the food I eat at home and the food I ate abroad. I will say that there is no meal plan at Whitaker but I liked cooking for myself and feeling independent.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Like I said, living in the international student dorms was the best part of my study abroad experience because I made so many international friends and learned about so many different cultures. The local people in New Zealand were so friendly and so pleasant, I loved their attitudes on life and their simplicity.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Even though I lived in a foreign city, I felt very safe. The city was very clean and it was small so I never felt that I was in danger. New Zealand is such a friendly country that my safety was never a big concern.

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)


If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Take advantage of every opportunity and don't be afraid to introduce yourself to international students. You have your whole life to meet Americans, meeting British, Canadian, and Kiwi friends is a lifetime opportunity. Also take every advantage of the easy traveling. Go away on weekends and enjoy the beauty that New Zealand has to offer. Don't be afraid to try new things and don't let the time slip away- it goes by way too fast!