Aotearoa is a beautiful land, people, culture, and way underrated. Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 07/24/2017 to 11/20/2017 with

The University of Auckland: Auckland - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Definitely worthwhile. Learned both in and outside of the classroom.

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.

I took a lot of intro courses on culture (Pacific Studies 105 & Anthropology of Pacific Music) and the work was pretty lenient but the grading was not. They expect a lot from you but they also provide mjanh resources to help guide you. I also took a 300 level psychology course on culture that was new and I thoroughly enjoyed the content as well as the end goal of the course. Since it was a new course, there wasn't much guidance but overall manageable and worth it. I took a statistics course that had 4 assignments worth 20% all together, a midterm worth 15%-20% and then the final that was worth between 60%-65% which was pretty nerve wrecking when it came time for the final but the semester itself went well. There is a statistics help room that was really helpful and because the class size was huge, it helped me meet and keep up with other students in the course. Overall great experience! I learned a fair amount in a variety of fields. Things I wouldn't have learned at my home uni.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Not the best but not the worst. Communicating with them is a hassle because of the time difference.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Really nice flat with 4 people total in Carlaw Student Village. Getting placed there was not the easiest process, though. Pretty pricey too.

* Food:

Had to cook for myself so I would try to go to the grocery store Countdown every other week because eating out is pricier than in the States. Taste-wise, the only food I really really liked were meat pies and other bakery food. I also liked island food from Otara!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I loved it! People were friendly and welcoming, although they sometimes came off as reserved. It is worth it going out of your way to meet local students because they can turn out to be the sweetest and share the beautiful cultures that thrive in Auckland and New Zealand.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

No issues.

* Safety:

Never felt unsafe in any neighborhood.

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

Direct enrollment in a large university completely different from my home university was exactly what I was looking for and I got so much more.


* 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)

Auckland and the rest of the country is expensive. I spent &80/week on basic groceries. A fast food meal is easily $15. Public transport only runs in Auckland and doesn't go far out of the central part so getting around elsewhere is not affordable on a minimal student budget.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150-$200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Countdown and Pak-N-Save are cheapest groceries as well as souvenir chocolate like Whittakers. There are no Walmarts nor Targets. It's not worth it getting the 18+ card that you can use to get into places where they sell alcohol if you don't go out a lot like I didn't. It's not too much of a safety issue to carry your passport there. It's really worth it to plan ahead and save as much money for living expenses as well as souvenirs because there are so many beautiful remembrances you'll see and want to bring back. Go to the Otara Market on Saturdays for rather cheap local souvenirs.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • 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?
  • Safe and secure.
  • Relaxed.
* What could be improved?
  • Communication while in the States.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Cheaper options for housing.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.