Finding a new home in a beautiful place. Past Review

By (Biology, English, Williams College) - abroad from 06/21/2014 to 11/14/2014 with

The Education Abroad Network (TEAN): Christchurch - University of Canterbury

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be independent, to break out of my comfort zone, and explore! It was really hard for me at first, but definitely worth it.

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.

I thought all the classes were super interesting, and the professors were enthusiastic. It was a bigger university than I'm used to, so it was less personal, but there were plenty of resources if you need help. There's a lot of independent work, and not too many assessments.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Overall, the local staff were excellent. I reduced my rating because there wasn't a staff member in Christchurch specifically. It would have been nice to have someone to kind of guide us along the first couple weeks.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Ilam apartments were kind of loud, since there's a huge party culture. My room was on the far side of the apartments, though, so it wasn't too bad. The rooms were excellent, the location was great. The kitchen situation wasn't the best, but what can you do.

* Food:

I bought my own food, so it was cheaper stuff and in bulk. The bread gets moldy pretty quickly, so you should keep it in the refrigerator.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Since I don't drink, there wasn't much occasion to mingle with Kiwi students. I did make a lot of friends at my local church though, and that was a great link to Kiwi culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any sort of issues. One girl in my group got stung by a jellyfish in Fiji, and she was taken care of just fine.

* Safety:

My city felt pretty safe. I didn't run into any problems.

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)

Day-to-day living was pretty cheap, but trips and travel were very expensive. A lot of the exciting things to do in New Zealand are high-adventure and cost a lot.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Maybe average of about $140 a week? I spent roughly 3500nzd
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I got my vegetables at Grower's Direct, which was cheaper. I got other food at Pak-n-Save, which is the bulk food store. Make sure you get a metrocard to save on bus fare. You can also get discount passes on Nakedbus, InterCity travel, and airlines. gets you discounts on things to do.


* 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?
  • The classes were super interesting and informative.
  • The orientation programs were pretty amazing.
  • Getting to explore New Zealand was a blast! It's such an amazing place!
* What could be improved?
  • There wasn't an in-country staff member in my city. I would have liked a little extra support at the beginning.
  • I wish I could have stayed past the end of the program. I think I could have switched it, but it wasn't default.
  • I would have liked less free time before classes start (while I'm still getting used to things) and more at the end.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that I would want the extra time at the end of the semester. It's hard to get all your exploring in when you have to study!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.