NZ/AUS: Prepare to learn, up close and dirty! Past Review

By (Wildlife, Boston University) for

The School for Field Studies / SFS: Australia & New Zealand - Rainforest Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about foreign ecology and culture, and about the US through interacting with my fellow students. I learned about myself and what I want to do for the rest of my life. I am very happy I did this program and I would love to return to NZ and AUS.

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.

I did the combined summer sessions, and the NZ/AUS sessions had a very extensive work load. When our group expressed concern about this, the second AUZ session had a significantly lighter load that was greatly appreciated.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our host director, Moni Carlise, had an abrasive personality that was sometimes hard to deal with, but it can never be said that she was bad at her job. She set up everything for us and our extensive schedules gave us the optimal NZ/AUS and AUS experience.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing was cabin style and every cabin had a serious mold issue. It is understandable that cabins in the rainforest are prone to mold damage, but I can see some major health problems arising from constant exposure to spores.

* Food:

There was always plenty of food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We had the oppurtunity to live with a native family in NZ and the constant traveling allowed us to explore a great deal of both countries

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

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)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? After having completed this program, I would say that it definitely is not for the weak at heart. This program is not a vacation. Living conditions are rugged and privacy is a rare commodity. However, if you're a student that wants to get totally immersed in a foreign culture and environment, this is the program for you. You pay for what you get, but the experience is priceless.