Welly, thank you. August 26, 2019

By (University of Hartford) - abroad from 02/09/2019 to 06/15/2019 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I definitely have grown a lot. I've learned to go about studying differently, especially when with other individuals. I have gradually learned to be more ok with being myself and being alone with myself. It all takes time. I am grateful for the people I met, regardless of if I am in contact or not. Everyone holds an impact, you just need to learn to use it as an opportunity for growth.

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.

I enjoyed the laid back attitude of the professors. It was a nice change of pace compared to the work centric environment in the U.S..

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was the only one cleaning. Make sure you have a system with your flatmates. Elsewise, it'll be a long trimester.

* Food:

I cooked for myself a lot at my flat or a friends flat. There were a lot of good eateries around welly in the city centre, yum choices on campus, and the farmer's market every sunday (wednesday at uni).

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It's hard to fit yourself in, rather, find your place. It's temporary and many bonds may seem they might last but they are really just surface level. Vic has a lot of opportunities to get social, however, they don't do a lot of physical checkups so RAs wouldn't know if the student just stopped showing to classes etc.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had to go to the hospital early on during orientation. I was not expecting this to happen, and understandably neither was the staff. That doesn't excuse the fact that nobody was trained to handle the situation. People on my trip handled it better than the staff.

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I'd want to go elsewhere. I love traveling. Also, wellington is beautiful and full of opportunities/foods/interesting people/etc but the winter was brutal and unexpected. I was expecting warm when I left the US during our winter and had to buy clothes over there because I was not prepared enough.

Finances

* 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)

Wellington is SUPER expensive. I would eat out a lot because I'd be tired of cooking or had to wait for the market due to pushing off grocery trips. On campus food is yum, but also adds up.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? way too much
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Set a budget, physically in a notebook or your phone on some app, whatever works for you. ALSO, set a cutoff on your cards. Definitely would help.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
  • Hostel
* 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?
  • I got to visit the place where bungee jumping was invented
  • I loved the opportunity to travel into nature, experience NZ's beauty
  • the slang presentation during orientation
* What could be improved?
  • more medically prepared staff
  • communication
  • system for international students so we are not penalized due to differences in study in NZ compared to US
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Culture shock comes in many, many ways

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'