Sheep everywhere you look Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 02/16/2018 to 06/20/2018 with

University of Otago: Dunedin - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I relied on myself completely and was able to get to know people from all over the world. I hope to go back someday soon!

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.

Since I'm coming from a small, liberal arts college, Otago was a bit of a culture shock. Some differences: 1. Class sizes are much bigger at Otago 2. you don't get to know your professors as well 3. TAs either teach or are involved in labs and grade most of your assignments 4. There is little to no discussion in most classes. Lectures are the name of the game.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

While I enjoyed my flat, the bedrooms only had space heaters so it would get very cold at night. I recommend bringing some heavy sweaters and a sleeping bag.

* Food:

Most nights, my flatmates and I cooked our own meals. Your cooking will definitely improve and you'll learn new recipes!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I spent most weekends traveling to different parts of NZ and was able to get know people not only from those areas, but from all over the world. Hostels and campgrounds are great places to meet people!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

While I didn't have any experiences with healthcare, the university sent detailed emails and health services was within quick walking distance from anywhere on campus.

* Safety:

Be very careful when driving. Not only are you driving on the other side of the road but to locals, the speed limit is merely a suggestion. Don't feel like you have to go at a speed you're uncomfortable with: pull off to the side and let people pass if need be.

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

Finances

* 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)

Food is pretty expensive and public transportation leaves much to be desired.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Food cost me about $60-80 per week. Within Dunedin, I mostly walked everywhere but on the weekends, I would either rent a car or travel with someone who owned one. Renting a car varies, but when you divide amongst friends, it would cost about $30-60. It all depends on the rental car company, the time of year, and the quality of the rental.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Get a membership or club card at the local grocery store! Also, you may be able to get better deals at a farmers market or stand so shop around a bit before you commit.

Language

* 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

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Flexibility
  • Ability to travel
* What could be improved?
  • Financial aid
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The intensity of the academics. Wellesley is much more intense so at times, I felt like I wasn't being challenged.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.