The Adventure of a Lifetime with Wonderful Friends July 10, 2019

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/13/2019 to 06/20/2019 with

University of Otago: Dunedin - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained so many friends from across the US, NZ, and the world. I learned a lot about New Zealand itself through living there but also through classes. I got to experience the feel of a large university. I would repeat this semester over again in a heartbeat. One of the best decisions I ever made, and probably the best 5 months of my life.

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.

Classes were either hit or miss. I took two upper level science classes, which I thought were both very interesting and the lecturers were very engaging for the most part. On the other hand, I took two intro level classes, where most of the lectures were not interesting even though there was a lot of potential with the subject matter. The educational system differences took some getting used to, and it was very interesting to see how a different system worked and learning in that environment. With that said, it made me appreciate my education back home even more!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing was probably one of the best parts about being an international student at University of Otago. I was able to make incredible friends with my flatmates and neighbors, who were also internationals.

* Food:

I cooked for myself and with my flatmates for most of my meals, which worked out great.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I feel like I learned so much about NZ culture and did feel integrated to a certain extent. The Uniflats housing helps meet local Kiwis and help integrate into the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I always felt very safe in Dunedin. We never locked our doors in our flat, although we lived away from the main part of the city.

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

I had the most incredible time while studying in Dunedin. The student culture and people there make it such an incredible place, and some of the most incredible places in New Zealand are within a weekend trip distance away.

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)

The exchange rate works well in American's favor, so everything is relatively inexpensive, especially tuition. Gas was the one thing that was extraordinarily expensive.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $120
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I found that cooking with flatmates helped bring down the cost of food, and also made it easier so that I didn't have to cook all of my meals.

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

  • 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?
  • The People/Friends
  • Traveling and Exploring
  • Living in Dunedin/Student Culture
* What could be improved?
  • I would have chosen some of my classes differently, but that was hit or miss.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had a better plan for places that I wanted to go to while in New Zealand, and I wish I had been more on top of getting a beater car while I was down there so I had more abilities to choose what I wanted to do and explore, instead of following what friends with cars did.

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

MARI302: Biology and Behavior of Marine Vertebrates

Course Department: Marine Science
Instructor: Steve Dawson
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was one of the best classes I have ever taken. I learned so much about marine vertebrates in general, but also specific case studies regarding New Zealand species themselves. Professor Steve Dawson did a large amount of the lecturing and was very knowledgeable and engaging. The class was mostly assessed by the final exam, but the other large components were lab, reports, and a group project.
Credit Transfer Issues: