New Zealand: A Whirlwind of Adventure Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., Wellesley College) for

The University of Auckland: Auckland - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained personal independence, perspective and greater worldview. I didn't gain much in the academic sense, but in the personal realm I grew as a person, student and traveler.

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload was much, much lighter on a daily basis than my experiences in the American System. Classes were very large lectures, and grades were based on two components: a midterm and a final. There were virtually no other assignments over the course of the semester. The teaching methods differed also: professors lectured from powerpoints consistently, without much variation.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very little support given by the international office. Really just on your own in the sense of getting around the university.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was very lucky to find housing in a dorm with other students, although the students were two years younger than I. I was very very close to class as well as the center of the city. I was supplied with sheets, but had to buy other bedding and room supplies.

* Food:

Very very poor quality food, not only in the dining hall but in the surrounding restaurants and supermarkets.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

They didn't arrange any trips--I arranged trips myself.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Extremely safe atmosphere and country. Healthcare was included in the university tuition and was very easily accessible, prescriptions were cheap. No health issues--first world care and treatment.

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


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? It was unavoidable to buy food and drink outside of the given sustenance. Would spend 50+ dollars a week on food although I already had a supplied meal plan for 3 meals a day, because the meals were inedible and nutrition deficient. Also, personal items (bath, soap, toothpaste, clothing, etc. ) are all MUCH MORE expensive than in the U.S. Any item that you required was 3x as much there, due to costs of importation. I would recommend bringing any personal items in bulk so that you don't have to buy them there.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Costs of luggage, cost of clothing, personal items. All very very high. Food is much more expensive as well.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The availability of travel around the country
  • The smooth transition
  • The ease of enrollment
* What could be improved?
  • Housing choices
  • Program's Internation Office outreach
  • The budget and food costs
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This program is in an urban setting where you can have fun, but need to get out of the city to experience New Zealand as a country itself. An adventurous and outgoing student with the personal incentive to explore would thrive here.