Studying abroad was the best decision I made in college. Past Review

By (Neuroscience, Middlebury College) - abroad from 07/20/2015 to 11/16/2015 with

The University of Auckland: Auckland - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I became more confident in my abilities to achieve what I had set out to achieve. This experience was way more than worthwhile, I grew and matured in ways I hadn't even imagined and have come out a better person.

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.

The academic rigor varied depending on the level of the course (100, 200, 300 etc) and the department.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The study abroad office in person was very helpful, but when trying to communicate with them while in America before going abroad was very difficult and disorganized.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived on campus in university-provided housing. I had my own single in an apartment very close to campus with a beautiful view of the city and which was very central to the central business and shopping districts.

* Food:

My housing did not provide a meal plan, thus I cooked all my meals in the industrial kitchen on the first floor, which had most of the essential materials required for cooking.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I did not feel very culturally integrated because I mostly went to international student gatherings, and as a result met few New Zealanders. Yet, in classes, I felt like I met many locals and learned more about New Zealand culture from my peers and my classes.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never needed to use the medical service provided by the University myself, but from my friend's experiences with health services, the University could support its students better.

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Auckland! People were very friendly, and receptive/responsive to people asking for directions or other miscellaneous questions.

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)

It took a while for me to learn how to cut expenses, but it wasn't that difficult once I learned how and where to purchase quality groceries and plan bulk meals that I could eat for multiple days.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150/week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Learn where to purchase cheap groceries if you need to cook for yourself.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

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

  • Apartment
* 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?
  • Apartment living
  • City accessibility
* What could be improved?
  • Health services
  • Quality of building accomodations
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known that joining clubs on campus was the best way to interact and become friends with local students.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Excercise Fitness: Myths and Realities

Course Department: Sports Science
Instructor: Waruna Weerasekera
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course was not incredibly challenging, but the material was very interesting. Professor Weerasekera began every lecture with music to help engage his students. We covered basic neuroscience, biology, anatomy and physics applied to the body. We were assessed with a midterm, a paper, and a final exam.
Credit Transfer Issues: I have not yet attempted to transfer this course.
Course Name/Rating:

Pacific Worldviews

Course Department: Pacific Studies
Instructor: Daemon Salesa, Jemaima Tiatia-Seath
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course was co-taught by two main professors with occasional guest lecturers and TA appearances. I loved this course, because I had no prior background in Pacific studies and feel like what I learned helped me contextualize the experiences I had with my Pacific classmates.
Credit Transfer Issues: I have not attempted to transfer credits yet, so I don't know if I will run into difficulty with this.