NZ is a dream, especially with TEAN! Past Review

By (College of Charleston) - abroad from 02/07/2018 to 06/21/2018 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
First, it was DEFINITELY worthwhile. During my time in New Zealand, I learned so much about other ways of life, made connections with different kinds of people, and learned so much about myself. The most important thing I learned while spending a semester over seas is that there is more than one way of life and that there is no right way (except the right way for you- live the life you want to live, be the person you want to be). After being in the U.S. for most of my life, it was incredible getting to live somewhere else for such a long period of time and seeing how different countries have different values and beliefs. It was truly life changing.

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.

During my time at Otago, I took 4 classes (2 Tourism & 2 Māori classes). The cool part about taking both the Tourism and Māori classes is having the opportunity to learn about the topics have shaped New Zealand to the nation it is today. To put it simply, each of these classes only had a few, but major assignments and a final exam. It was ideal for being able to explore the country & it's culture as well as excel in classes.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The TEAN staff are amazing, extremely helpful, and very kind. Throughout the semester, TEAN had a staff member on campus that helped us get acclimated to life at the University of Otago as well as New Zealand. Over the course of the semester, she organized small get togethers at local cafés, restaurants, and the University museum. It was a great way for all of us to catch up. More importantly, if you ever needed help with anything, the TEAN staff members were more than happy to help, especially our our on-site contact! Additionally, the International offices are very resourceful and welcoming as well.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I absolutely loved my living arrangements and it was one of the best parts of my time abroad. I lived in an university flat with 3 other roommates, one being the kiwi host (local NZ student) as well as two other Americans studying abroad. TEAN, UniFlats, and International Office of the university truly want the students to enjoy where they are living and go the extra mile to make sure they are satisfied. They really take the pairing of roommates/flatmates seriously and I loved the people I lived with. It was amazing living with people who were familiar with New Zealand as well as living people who had the same desire to explore.

* Food:

The food was good and honestly pretty similar to the States! As a study abroad student, the most affordable approach to food in NZ is to get groceries and cook. With that being said, there are variety of good restaurants ranging from Indian, Thai, classic pub food, and so much more.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My kiwi host taught me a lot about New Zealand culture (especially Māori- the indigenous people of NZ) and recommended places my friends & I should explore/travel! He was extremely welcoming and answered any questions I had as well. He also introduced me to some of his mates which was so fun! Overall, between exploring and bonding with local students, I felt very integrated.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I personally never went through the process to access healthcare while over seas, but some of my peers did and I heard that it was easy to access and that everyone was very nice.

* Safety:

New Zealand is a very safe country. With that being said, no one place is perfect. Be sure to lock your doors and hide your valuables when you leave your flat/housing accommodations. Like I said before, NZ is very safe and I never felt uncomfortable/nervous walking around during the day or night.

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

With the help of TEAN, I had the semester of a life time. The people I met, the places I explored, and the experiences I had while immersing myself in New Zealand were some of the best times of my life and it wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for TEAN. They truly want to see their students have the time of their life and enjoy studying abroad. I'm forever in debt to TEAN for helping have the best semester I could of ever asked for. I'm eternally grateful I had the opportunity to study in NZ with TEAN.


* 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)

Living in NZ, particularly Dunedin, as a student is pretty affordable. In terms of spending time & money in NZ as a study abroad student, the main things you invest in are gas/transportation, food, gear, and mainly things needed for weekend trips. Gas/petrol is more expensive in NZ than it is in the US. Additionally, groceries are a tad bit more expensive since so many items are imported. With that being said, the US to NZ dollar exchange is in favor of the US dollar. Overall, even though some things are a tad bit more expensive in NZ than the US, you make your money back on things by the experiences you have. Also, souvenirs are also key and aren't to pricey- depending on what you get of course.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Maybe around 120-150 (including weekend trips, food, etc.)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? In terms of saving money, work as much as possible before you leave and definitely look for deals when you arrive in NZ. I know having a Travel Club Card at New World (grocery store) saved me bucket loads.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* 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
  • 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?
  • I loved how TEAN had set up our group orientation in Queenstown and gave us the opportunity to get to know each other before arriving in Dunedin.
  • Furthermore, I also enjoyed the activities and meet-ups TEAN provided throughout the semester! It was a great way for everyone to catch up and to learn about new spots to explore!
* What could be improved?
  • I couldn't be more satisfied with my experience with TEAN. They truly prepared me for my semester at Otago and helped everyone get acclimated to the New Zealand way of life. They truly want their students to have the best time and to feel at home! I highly recommend TEAN!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? TEAN gave me all of the information I needed to know before departing to New Zealand! They truly took the time to prepare us for our semester abroad by sending us useful emails, online chat meetings, and more. I'm extremely grateful for them and all of their useful knowledge.

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.