I'm moving to New Zealand Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 02/18/2019 to 06/20/2019 with

University of Otago, New Zealand: Study Abroad Programme

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
A new appreciation for taking my time and enjoying being in the present, the world's most beautiful views, new friends, and a university experience completely different from Wellesley. Definitely worthwhile

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.

Very different from Wellesley - large, lecture-style class sizes; fewer assignments throughout the semester; different grading scale; classes not necessarily as rigorous. This took some getting used to and higher levels of self-motivation than I was expecting... however, I appreciated having a larger university experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The international office made themselves open and available.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Loved flatting, and UniFlats are constantly unkept and very clean in comparison to some of the other student flats I saw. The kiwi host system was great and provided a good initial way of interacting with domestic students. I do wish that international and domestic students were more integrated -- the flat complexes tend to be fairly separate, and this made meeting New Zealanders more difficult.

* Food:

Students cook for themselves

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Everyone is incredibly welcoming, but because international students are housed together for the most part it definitely takes some effort to go out and meet locals.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Had to go to Health Services for an illness -- was a very easy trip and getting my medication afterwards was also easy.

* Safety:

Felt very safe.

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

I absolutely loved my time at Otago -- the classes I got to take, the people I met, and the places and things I got to experience while in Dunedin completely surpassed my expectations.


* 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 in NZ can be expensive, but if you budget it is manageable.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50-$75


* 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
  • 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?
  • Location
* What could be improved?
  • Better integration of international and domestic students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Traveling around New Zealand is much easier with a car. Many international students choose to buy a cheap used car at the beginning of the semester and then resell it at the end to get some or all of their money back... if I could have fit this into my budget, I would have. Definitely worthwhile if you plan on seeing the sights.

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.