Best experience of my life! February 28, 2020

By (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo) - abroad from 06/28/2019 to 11/11/2019 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
SO worthwhile. I learned how to be on my own and push myself out of my comfort zone to make new friends from all around the world. I had so many new outdoor experiences such as walking on a glacier, bungee jumping, and canyoning! This experience has changed my life.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

School was definitely different from my home university. I am typically on the quarter system (10 weeks long) and taking engineering courses. The University of Otago is on the semester system so things were a lot more spread out which I found gave me more time for travel on the weekends, etc. I also took mostly GEs which were writing and reading based classes (not what I am used to), however, I did just fine! Course difficulty was very reasonable. Most classes had just a few things that made up your overall grade (i.e. essay 30% final 70%). Overall, I think I adapted to this different learning environment fast!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The TEAN representatives at the University of Otago were also outstanding. They went above and beyond to plan fun outings for their TEAN students. What I really appreciated was that they were there if we needed them, but they also let us explore and have our own individual experiences. Planned events were frequent enough to keep in touch and check in, but spaced out enough to let us explore on our own. I really can't say enough good things about how TEAN takes care of its students while they are abroad, while still allowing them to be independent with their experience. Thank you TEAN!!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Our on-site TEAN reps were Kiwis (from New Zealand), and were a great resource for any questions about Kiwi culture, recommendations for travel, food, or just about anything!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I hurt my ankle (might have been a sprain or maybe a small broken bone). I wasn't fully healed for about 3.5 weeks. I went to the health center to get their opinion on my foot. The wait was not long at all, and the doc I saw was very nice. She told me to rest up and gave me some bandages to hold my ankle in place. I was also able to get a flu shot while I was abroad - the university advertised this very well and it was all free!

* Safety:

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

TEAN was there for me throughout this entire experience. They helped me meet some incredible friends and immersed me in New Zealand's culture in a way I likely wouldn't have been able to do myself. Thank you 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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner

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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Amazing, helpful staff that were there for me throughout my entire experience
  • My on-site TEAN reps who got to know each of their students personally. One of mine even took me surfing!
* What could be improved?
  • Honestly, I can't think of anything.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Bring less clothes and more outdoor gear!

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 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.