A Dream Come True - My Semester in New Zealand Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., University of Pittsburgh - Bradford) - abroad from 02/07/2013 to 06/23/2013 with

The Education Abroad Network (TEAN): Palmerston North - Massey University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This was the experience of a lifetime and a dream come true! I've always dreamed of traveling to and living in New Zealand. Now, thanks to TEAN, I can say I've done that! I have lived in New Zealand for 5 months and it was 5 of the best months of my life. I learned more than I can ever put into words. Studying abroad has changed my life, for the better. I have become a global person, a more confident person, and I have discovered a passion for international travel and education. The experience was worthwhile. Thank you TEAN for opening up my eyes for what I hope to be a promising future!

Review Photos

The Education Abroad Network: Palmerston North - Massey University Photo The Education Abroad Network: Palmerston North - Massey University Photo The Education Abroad Network: Palmerston North - Massey University Photo The Education Abroad Network: Palmerston North - Massey University Photo The Education Abroad Network: Palmerston North - Massey University Photo

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.

In order to stay on track for graduation I had to take two of my major classes, and one literature class while studying abroad in New Zealand. I take classes that I normally wouldn't have gotten the option to take back at my home university, so I chose to take a New Zealand Literature class, and then one of my major classes I took Sport Psychology. I have to say these two classes were incredible! The literature class gave me a great view of the New Zealand culture, and even an in depth look at the native culture of New Zealand, Maori. My Sport Psychology class, although involved A LOT of reading and writing, was my favorite class. The class was taught by Gary Hermansson, a sport psychologist for the New Zealand Olympic team. He is such a down-to-earth guy and would casually provide examples from his time at various Olympics! Overall, I had a great educational experience, and although my classes did involve a lot of work they didn't make me miss out on exploring the glorious country!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

TEAN's on-site staff was incredible! They had the perfect balance with staying in touch with students, as they were neither too over-bearing, nor impossible to contact. If needed, the staff was a simple text or phone call away. Other than that, they met up with us monthly to see how we were doing and discuss our trips, classes, and plans for the remainder of our time. Although they did give us our freedom in the country, they were always looking out for us; a perfect example, was my incident in Queenstown, New Zealand. I ended up dislocating my shoulder during my trip to Queenstown, and within 24 hours (me, still being slightly unaware of everything) I had on-site TEAN staff, along with US-based staff and even TEAN-staff in other countries send me emails, texts, and other notifications to see if I was okay and if I needed anything. The feeling I got from all those messages was incredible, it was nice to know that TEAN actually cared for my safety and well-being.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in Tawa Hall at Massey University in Palmerston North. The hall consisted of single rooms and one main common room. Overall, it was nice to have my own room and such; however, at the time I stayed there it consisted of mostly incoming first-year local students. Being my junior year, I was older than a majority of the students, which wasn't really a problem but if I could do it over I would have changed housing the international/'more mature' housing.

* Food:

The food was great! Nothing extremely different than the USA. If you study in New Zealand, you have to try all the Fish 'N' Chips places!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt extremely integrated with the local culture. Rather than stay in one specific area of New Zealand to learn about the culture, I chose to travel the country and explore what I like to call the greater 'country culture'.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Massey University has it's own clinic right on campus which I took advantage of! During my mid-semester trip I ended up dislocating my shoulder in Queenstown and had to be taken to the ER there to have it popped back into place. Once back at Massey I went to the on campus clinic to get my shoulder checked and every week following I went there for physical therapy until it was time to come home to the USA.

* Safety:

I felt completely safe walking around my host city, day-or-night. Obviously, any place can be dangerous, so my advice to future students studying in any city in any country, would be to don't make poor decisions and use your intuition.

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)

New Zealand is a bit more expensive than the USA - however, there are deals everywhere! The majority of my extra money went towards traveling. Besides traveling, I ate cheaply and I wouldn't spend a lot of money when I went out. I maybe spent $50 USD weekly (not including traveling).

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Including travel (which I did A LOT) I spent, averaged out, roughly $200 a week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Spend your money traveling and for adventure activities that you can't do back home. Other than that, don't go spending $50+ at the local pub every night out - that is something you can do at home.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* 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?
  • Enthusiasm
  • Transitioning students to host country and culture
  • Easily accessible
* What could be improved?
  • Absolutely nothing!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? TEAN was great at informing and preparing me before I left to start the program. I wouldn't want it to change a thing.

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.