New Zealand: The Time of My Life! Past Review

By (English, Hawaiian Studies, University of Hawaii - Manoa) for

The University of Auckland: Auckland - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Absolutely. Best experience of my life. I loved learning about the Maori culture and being able to compare it to Hawaii's own Native Hawaiian culture.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The difference in teaching styles was one of the biggest changes I experienced. At my home institution there are a lot of homework assignments given throughout the semester, but at my host university, students' grades were based on a mid-semester assignment (typically an essay or two), a final assignment (typically another essay or two), and a final exam. The format of the final exams was different from my home university as well. The final exam accounted for a majority of the students' overall grades, so it is important to put a lot of effort into studying throughout the semester. The grading system is different as well. An 80 would be equivalent to an A, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Worked hard to ensure we were prepared to study abroad. The visa application process was a little bit difficult. You need to submit your flight itinerary (to and from) and a bank statement proving you have around $4500. Because it's not the school's responsibility to complete the visa, I feel like it was a little bit confusing (or maybe I didn't really read the website fully).

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

You need to buy sheets, pillows, sheets, and any other household item generally needed to move into the dorms. Wellesley Student Apartments provided us with a set of dishware and a mattress cover. The apartment was staffed with a security guard from about 6pm to 8am. A key and a swipe card were needed to enter the premises. Very safe!

* Food:

Eat at the India Cafe at the Quad on campus... Butter chicken there is DELICIOUS!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We were there during the Rugby World Cup, so it was an amazing time to study in New Zealand.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe around the campus and in town, even at night. The on campus Health Program was a little confusing for me. I'm not sure what was covered by the insurance we were required to purchase (I believe we pay $250 for it).

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)


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? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Maori programs
  • All Blacks
  • Being in New Zealand
* What could be improved?
  • Visa application process
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Save up before you come so that you can travel to the South Island. My friends and I did a bus "tour" around the South Island with Stray (a travel company) and stayed at hostels. Also, make sure to watch an All Blacks game. You'll want a lot of money for traveling because Australia is so close (and a lot of other Pacific Islands).