A semester in Dunedin Past Review

By (Environmental Studies, Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/19/2018 to 07/30/2019 with

University of Otago, New Zealand: Study Abroad Programme

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that in order to efficiently get around in New Zealand you must have a car. It is a pain to work with the bus systems and many hiking spots are off main roads. New Zealand needs to work on implementing more sustainable travel systems.

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.

Class rigor depends on the subject. Humanities are relatively easy while the sciences are much more rigorous. Definitely go to Otago if you are a looking for good biology/chem/ecology/ forestry/fisheries management etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Amazing housing staff at the University of Otago in Dunedin!

* Food:

Food is expensive and most people cook all meals at home or eat at restaurants. The food is better quality than the USA- which makes it more costly

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

A lot of the American students stuck together. The kiwis are super friendly but are not really interested in making a connection with a student who will only be in the country for a semester.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100


* 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

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?
  • hiking / outdoor adventures
  • friends
  • the beach
* What could be improved?
  • costly food
  • way too many americans
  • class grading systems
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that so many Americans will go to Otago each year! Its hard to get out of the USA bubble

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:

Ecology and Conservation of Diversity

Course Department: Ecology
Instructor: Anna Wood (lab), many instructors for lecture
Instruction Language: english
Comments: The course was not too challenging as it is an intro 100 level course. They did make it interesting and I often that the material was still challenging at times especially with excel calculations.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Environmental History of New Zealand

Course Department: History
Instructor: Tom Brooking
Instruction Language: English
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Intro to Statistics

Course Department: Mathematics
Instruction Language: English
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

The Good Society and the Market

Course Department: Political Science
Instructor: James Flynn
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Challenging material and a challenging professor. Flynn is a super smart guy but not a great teacher. He rambles and lectures at the class for 50 minutes and I could barely keep up. If you are not a politics/philosophy person, I would not recommend taking this class. Readings are dense and he does a poor job of clearly explaining themes/ ideas. I would stay away from this prof.
Credit Transfer Issues: