If I could do it again, I would! October 26, 2020

By (University of Iowa) - abroad from 02/07/2020 to 03/23/2020 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The thought of going and living in another country by yourself is scary, but it's definitely worthwhile. Studying abroad constantly required me to step out of my comfort zone whether it was physically (like skydiving), emotionally, or socially. Although it was short-lived, I have memories that'll last forever.

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

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

They put international students in houses (or "flats") with other international students from other programs. I liked living in an actual house—it made me feel like I was actually living in Wellington!

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

TEAN planned multiple cultural events during the semester. The ones in Wellington included visiting Zealandia, going to a rugby game, and touring Weta Workshop.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Even though Wellington is an urban area, I still felt safe walking around alone (for reference, I am a woman of color). Of course you should still stay aware of your surroundings, regardless of where you are.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

TEAN was supportive from start to finish, and they provided multiple opportunities to make the most out of studying abroad: orientation in Queenstown, excursions to other countries (like Thailand or Australia) during semester break, and several cultural activities in your host city.

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)

Because Wellington is a city, groceries are more expensive.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat at home and walk to places—it'll give you more of a chance to explore! If walking is not possible, then take public transportation instead of ride-sharing apps.

Language

* 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
  • 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?
  • Orientation in Queenstown
  • Living arrangements in an actual house with other international students
  • Location—Wellington has both hills and water!
* What could be improved?
  • Cost (although for what you get, it's well worth it)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Pandemic aside, I wish I packed better. I followed everyone's advice: I packed the clothes I wanted to take, and then took out half. However, I probably didn't pack enough warm clothes. But that just gave me an excuse to buy some New Zealand threads!