The Time of my Life Past Review

By (Rollins College) - abroad from 07/01/2017 to 11/19/2017 with

The Education Abroad Network (TEAN): Dunedin - University of Otago

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to be more open with people, to come out of my comfort zone every once in a while, you can learn new things from the most unlikely of sources, and you never know what you like until you try it. I feel like a left a part of myself in New Zealand and came back to the U.S with an improved version of myself.

Personal Information

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.

The education system was very different to what I am used to here, but it is very easy to get accustomed to and the demonstrators and tutors are approachable and very friendly.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My on-site program coordinators were always in contact with us either through email, Facebook, or text message. They were always informing us of local activities and meet ups for us to chat about how we were doing throughout the semester.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a 5 person flat/apartment two blocks from campus with four randomly assigned roommates. I have never been more exstatic about how my living arrangements turned out. Not only did my roommates and I click from the very beginning, we cooked dinners for each other, studied and went out together. To this day we still keep in touch and plan about having a reunion here in the states!

* Food:

I like all food and it was great to see the comparisons between American food vs. Kiwi food. The options are a lot healthier and they serve smaller portions, at some places, but the quality exceeded my expectations.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Living with a Kiwi host made it much easier to get to know the local student population. I even made friends with some people in my classes. It was strange at first to get used to their customs and accents, but as time went on, I felt like I had made a new home in Dunedin.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There was a student healthcare facility about a block from the center of campus. My program coordinators gave us a tour of the campus upon our arrival and showed us many of the resources and buildings that would be useful to us throughout the semester, and the student health facility was one of them. the facility was very similar to the one I have here on my home campus: you make appointments, there are doctors and nurses on-site and they can diagnose and prescribe any medications needed. For my program, it was required to have all routine vaccines and recommended that you get Hepatitis A and B shots before arriving.

* Safety:

Dunedin is a college town. With that being said, it is heavily populated during the school year and fairly empty when school is out. The only major concerns I had about the city was the fact that there was always broken glass on the streets and sidewalks and that there were incidences of breaking and entering. I did not experience the latter, but I had friends tell me they did.

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

There are ups and downs to any life experience, but you have to make the most of what you are given. I took advantage of every opportunity, maintained my studies, and had the time of my life.


* 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 I had budgeted properly, then I might have been able to make it with minimal cost. However, my biggest issue was coming across a trip or event that I didn't think I would ever have the chance to do again. I always jumped on every opportunity that came my way, and most of the time, it came at a cost.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $300
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The OUSA office at the university offers extremely low priced meals, but in bulk, have flat dinners and switch off who cooks each night, leftovers.


* 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
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
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?
  • Communication with coordinators
  • Orientation bonding ans site
* What could be improved?
  • opportunities for travel with other program students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How amazing New Zealand is and how easy it was to travel across the country.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'