A semester that changed my entire life and perspective on things. Past Review

By (Prosthetics and Orthotics, University of Hartford) - abroad from 06/20/2015 to 11/15/2015 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Really, the question should be "what didn't I gain?" I truly learned how to live on my own- cooking, cleaning, classes, traveling, budgeting, international housemates. I learned how to budget my time most effectively and I feel more prepared for the "real" world after I graduate. I know how to build relationships with people from all over, despite cultural and regional differences. Even with other students from other parts of the United States, I learned there are differences to be appreciated. It was truly an experience I could not have gained at Hartford, although I love my home university. It is just something you cannot fully understand until you do it for yourself; it was one of the most worthwhile decisions I have ever made.

Review Photos

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

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The TEAN host for Wellington, Fran Harvey, was absolutely amazing and did really well helping all of us transition into New Zealand culture and school. She's a student herself, and made sure to check on all of us periodically to make sure we were all doing well.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My initial housing was very poor, every house was different, and I just got unlucky. But I was moved within the week to a beautiful house and after that I had no complaints. All houses were close to campus- walking distance, which was really nice.

* Food:

I lived in an area that was self-catered, but the options on campus were good, too. Victoria University had plenty of options, and within the city there were supermarkets and farmer's markets all within walking distances from student accommodation, so it was not bad cooking for yourself.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Victoria International held events to get international students involved in student life which was really nice, and they also offered a "buddy program" to pair internationals up with local students, which was pretty neat. Other than that, the easiest way to meet local students was to go to class or clubs and talk to them, since study abroad students were integrated right into regular classes.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I got sick within the first two weeks of being there, and I didn't really have too many friends yet, so I found health services on my own and called them. Victoria's health services was easy to find and contact, and it was all very professional. The insurance that TEAN included worked perfectly and I didn't have any issues using it.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe, ever.

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)

Food was not included with my program, but I found groceries to be cheap, and eating out was pretty inexpensive, too. The conversion rate in New Zealand is really good, too, so that helped a lot when traveling and buying groceries.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Each week changes, especially if you travel on the weekends. Traveling is where the bulk of my money went. I saved up as much money as I could before I left which really helped. That way I didn't feel stressed or on a tight budget while I was there. I didn't want to restrict myself in any way during my time there.


* 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

  • 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?
  • Fiji Orientation
  • Events held throughout the semester
  • Contact with student prior to departure
* What could be improved?
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Honestly, I felt well-prepared by the TEAN team before going. They were a great program and answered every silly, little question I had before I left.

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.