The country was beautiful and the people were amazing. Past Review

By (Multimedia Design, University of Wisconsin - Stout) - abroad from 02/02/2012 to 07/02/2012 with

Universal College of Learning / UCOL Whanganui Campus: Whanganui School of Design Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I know that I can handle myself in an international environment, in terms of figuring things out like car rentals, food, housing, and living with very different personalities. I enjoyed my experience solely based on the people I met and the places I was able to travel to. I wouldn't go there again, its too expensive, but I'm glad I went.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The school's administration in Wanganui is the most unhelpful and tedious group to work with. They were extremely unhelpful in getting our grades, transcripts, and projects back. We're all still waiting on any feedback from the school. I also paid for a class in which I NEVER MET THE TEACHER. We had a student giving us our projects. I feel like I should be refunded the money I spent on this class because I did not learn anything, the teacher was never even there. I felt like the school was very lax and had us basically figure out what our projects were going to be, how in depth they were going to be.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

They were disgusting, broken, and overall disappointing. The landlords of our place and the fact that our neighbors went to school there, were the only positive aspects. That place was overpriced and disgusting.

* Food:

We bought and made our own at home, so we liked it, obviously.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was easy to fit in, the people are all extremely nice and the area is safe, so we didn't feel as though we were ever in any danger being abroad. It was easy to make life long friends.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

They really weren't an isssue.

* Safety:

Besides the occasional crazy driver, it was safe.

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)

* Was housing included in your program cost? No
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $75 - 150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't study abroad if you're going to be money conscious.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

Kiwis have much different slang than we do, they speak English, but with the accent and weird words, it felt as if it were another language.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
How many hours per day did you use the language?

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

  • 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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Peers
  • Projects done by other students previously.
  • The country's landscape
* What could be improved?
  • Efficiency of school through Admin i.e. transcripts, grades, projects
  • Staff should be in class or another TEACHER should teach.
  • Housing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Everything was very expensive, the cost of living was insanely high. The school was not challenging at all, the 'tutors' as they call them, did not teach me anything. I probably could have learned just as much at my house in the summer on my own time, for free. I can't stress enough how much the Admin did not do their jobs. The housing was disgusting, should have found a new place right away.