New Zealand: For the strong spirited adventurer Past Review

By (Communication and Media Studies., Clemson University) - abroad from 02/08/2013 to 07/07/2013 with

The Education Abroad Network (TEAN): Wellington - Victoria University of Wellington

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned SO much from this experience. I was never very interested in outdoorsy activities or knew much about NZ before I went so I was really stepping outside my comfort zone. TEAN is first class all the way and really made my transition to the Kiwi lifestyle a lot easier. It was definitely worthwhile!

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.

Academics in New Zealand are much more demanding than those in the US so there is definitely an adjustment period. At Victoria, there are tutorials (extra study classes) that you must sign up for with each class you take.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in Te Kotahinga but I would strongly suggest living in Waiteata because the houses seemed nicer and had a better location on campus.

* Food:

Wellington has an amazing farmer's market every Sunday with hundreds of crates of cheap, delicious produce. Cuba St. is also a great option for endless ethnic restaurants. Sushi is also very prevalent in the city for very cheap and it is some of the best I have had in the world!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very integrated with the local culture because I joined several clubs on campus, most notably the tramping club, which brings members on weekend tramps and hosts social activities.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had a health issue but I assume other health issues were taken very seriously. I never felt unsafe.

* Safety:

Wellington was very safe. I never felt in harm's way while walking at night and I never heard of anyone having an issue with safety.

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)

Come prepared to spend a lot of money if you are studying in NZ. Although the US dollar is stronger here, the prices are still astronomical to account for all the importation the island must do. I spent way more than I ever planned to.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About $100 when just staying in Wellington but while traveling that number sometimes tripled or quadrupled (especially in Australia!!)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Go to the farmer's market every Sunday. It was so cheap and can really last you well into the next week.


* 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
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The pre-semester trip to Fiji to bond with everyone in the program and hello, to go to FIJI!!
  • The events that TEAN organized throughout the semester to bring us all back together as we enjoyed an aspect of Kiwi culture.
  • Helpful, easily accessible, and fun loving staff. TEAN is seriously the best!
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Come prepared to challenge yourself both mentally and physically. New Zealand is the adventure capital of the world and you will quickly find out why!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

DSDN144: Photographics

Course Department: Art
Instruction Language:
Comments: This class was probably the most challenging class I have taken in my college career. The class is for beginners but the students are anything but and the teachers teach you as if you already know everything about photography. With that being said, I did learn a lot but was very, very stressed out about school a lot of the time.
Credit Transfer Issues: