The Perfect Student City: Adventure filled and Outdoorsy! Past Review

By (University of New Hampshire) - abroad from 06/22/2013 to 11/18/2013 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Ever since I've been back, I've been describing my abroad experience as "an unforgettable adventure." Although it may sound cliché, my trip truly was unforgettable for countless reasons. Since UNH is only three hours away from my hometown, I never truly felt like I was stepping out of my comfort zone. Every state and most towns in New England are fairly similar so I knew when I went abroad, I wanted a drastic change. I went from suburban life to city living, from a three-hour drive away to about a twenty-three hour in-flight commute. Suffice to say, I accomplished my goal of stepping out of my comfort zone, however, I would never say I was uncomfortable. Wellington felt like home from day one even though I was seven time zones away. I had an initial connection with the people, the culture, and unexpectedly, with city life. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would adjust so well to such drastic changes in my life, but I seemed to thrive in the chaos. I learned more about myself everyday I was away, through crazy adrenaline experiences as well as simply strolling through the city. My experience is forever ingrained my memory as well as documented in my daily diary entries, clearly unforgettable.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Course selection is very important for Victoria University. Most of my classes required the same amount of work as my UNH courses, unlike what many people told me to expect when I went abroad. I would suggest taking 3 courses instead of 4 if your schedule allows for it.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my living arrangement! I lived in a flat, only a five-minute walk to Victoria University and a ten to fifteen minute walk downtown. Our flat was in great condition! We had two bathrooms, six single bedrooms, a functional washer and dryer in-house, a large kitchen, a lounge, and unlike many of the other flats, a dishwasher. I loved that this house was co-ed! The boys in the house acted like older brothers to the four girls in the house and we all got along really well. My flat mates and I truly became family and I miss them more than any other friends I made abroad. I would absolutely recommend this flat for future students. Since it was in uni hall, they took care of any repairs or issues the house had with no expense to us. We had free Wi-Fi and were in a prime location: right next to campus, the cable car, and the botanic gardens. Compared to the other students I visited while I was away, I absolutely think my flat was the best of them all when considering location, amenities, and overall condition.

* Food:

There are many food options throughout the city. Since I lived in a flat, I tended to make most of my meals but if I ever didn't feel like cooking, a delicious meal from a restaurant was not hard to find.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Lacking a language barrier certainly helped me adjust pretty easily in Wellington. The city constantly offered good shopping, restaurants, and breathtaking views. I felt like a pure Wellingtonian in no time at all, going tramping on a sunny day and off-shopping on the weekends. No matter what you want out of your abroad experience, you can find it in Wellington.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Wellington is one of the safest cities in the world. I never had to worry about walking by myself at night or feeling unsafe in an unchartered neighborhood. I did not have a single problem during my six month adventure.

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)

Depending on how much you want to travel, staying on a budget in Wellington was pretty easy. I would suggest, however, paying close attention to how many weekend trips you make and how much you can allow yourself to spend on those adventures because travel is where I spent most of my savings.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? It depended on the week but usually around $60 NZD
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan ahead! Research weekend trips and budget yourself as much as possible. Also, try to restrain from eating out too frequently because that money adds up fast!


* 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

  • 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?
  • Organized
  • Adventure-Filled
  • Great supportive TEAN staff!
* What could be improved?
  • I honestly don't have anything bad to say about TEAN. They made my abroad experience unforgettable.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Try to hang out with as many people that go to the orientation with you! The more friends you make, the more people you can visit once you get to your home university!

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.