Some good, some bad- but the country is spectacular Past Review

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/29/2016 to 06/20/2016 with

University of Otago, New Zealand: Study Abroad Programme

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a hell of a lot more about myself. I learned how to take care of myself in a foreign country, how to cook my own food, how to handle a trip, etc. I came back a very different person, for the better I think, even if I didn't particularly enjoy my semester

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The academics seemed unfocussed. It was filled with information that I will quickly forget, required route memorization, and could easily be looked up in the future should I ever need it. The classes while somewhat rigorous were not inspiring or engaging on average. It was almost a waste of time to show up to lectures.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My housing was excellent, although this was not the case for every exchange student

* Food:

N/A no meal plan but great farmers market

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It felt very similar to my own culture back in the United States. Furthermore most of my classmates were actually foreign exchange students, many of them Americans. I lived with Americans as well. I had to go out of my way to experience any kind of novel cultural experiences.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

N/A never dealt with the program

* Safety:

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

But I would make very different choices. I would take only geology classes as they were generally great. I would try to get access to a car and aggressively go adventuring. Those were my best moments abroad, otherwise the semester kind of sucked.


* 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)

Housing was expensive, food was moderately expensive. One could get by if one was smart.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $80
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy food from groceries, do not eat out. Carpool as much as possible on trips


* 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

  • Americans
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The country
* What could be improved?
  • The academics
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew not to expect too much from the school itself. My negative experiences with classes really soured my experience and I wasn't alone in that sentiment.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Field Studies and New Zealand Geology

Course Department: Geology
Instructor: Chris Muy
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Great course! Highly recommend it! Learned a ton of useful stuff and enjoyed every minute of it.
Credit Transfer Issues: Nope
Course Name/Rating:

Fossils Strata and Hydrocarbon Basins

Course Department: Geology
Instructor: Ewan Fordyce, Andrew Gorman
Instruction Language: english
Comments: Some very interesting material, some was a little uninteresting. The exam was stupid as hell. lectures were so-so. Labs were amazing
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Artificial Intelligence

Course Department: Computer Science
Instructor: Alistair Knott, Lech Szymanski
Instruction Language: English
Comments: material alternated between extremely esoteric and unnecessarily complicated to extremely simple. Lectures were unbearable.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Hinduism and Buddhism

Course Department: Religious Studies
Instructor: Will Sweetman, Ben Schonthal
Instruction Language: English
Comments: great lectures, presented in an interesting and approachable way. Clear focus on trying to get the student to understand the major themes and important subjects instead of memorizing route details. Excellent.
Credit Transfer Issues: