Mixed bag of experiences Past Review

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/21/2016 to 06/23/2016 with

University of Otago, New Zealand: Study Abroad Programme

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I got to experience some incredible hiking and places in New Zealand, as well as learn how to navigate a strange and at times confusing academic system.

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.

Your classes are as rigorous as you choose. As I was in two 300 level math and biology courses, I found them fairly rigorous. However, my 100 and 200 level Maori and history courses were fairly easy. Additionally, my grades all counted into my GPA and were not pass/fail. Most colleges allow their students to take their abroad courses pass/fail. As there can be such a difference in academic systems, I wish Middlebury would do this as well.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

As a direct enrolled student, there was very little/no support from Middlebury College. I found this to be fairly disappointing. If I could do it again, I would come with a program. And I would recommend that if Middlebury is going to provide no support, then they should recommend their students go through a program as well.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

You are cooking for yourself. So food is as good as you are a cook.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

New Zealand and University of Otago Student Health is great.

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

If I did it again, I would go with a program and not direct enroll.


* 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)

Spent on average $100 a week on food/personal expenses. More when traveling.


* 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
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
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?
  • Accessibility of hiking
  • Housing
  • Quality of lecturers was very high
* What could be improved?
  • Middlebury College study abroad administration
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had come with a program. I wish I knew that I would be the only person of my group of friends who would be taking courses for actual grades due to Middlebury's draconian credit transfer system.

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:

Numerical Methods

Course Department: Mathematics
Instruction Language:
Comments: A good and challenging course. The most similar to a liberal arts course I took during my time at Otago
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Introduction to Conversational Maori

Course Department: Maori
Instruction Language:
Comments: Very easy and no final exam
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Advanced Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics

Course Department: Biochemistry
Instruction Language:
Comments: Very challenging, 12 hours of lab a week for the second half of the course.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

History of Crime, Shame, and Scandal in New Zealand

Course Department: History
Instruction Language:
Comments: Good and interesting course, fairly easy compared to Middlebury history courses
Credit Transfer Issues: