Grateful for all the experiences I had (and lots of hiking!) Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 02/20/2019 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?
more independence and confidence in living alone and abroad in a new place with new people yes

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I took courses that I did not have all the prerequisites for, so I found myself working harder than at my home institution. However, some of my friends on the other hand took courses that were far easier.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed in UniFlats which provided a lot of programming throughout the semester which was nice. I think it's a hit or miss on whether you get along with you flat or not -- I've heard a lot of stories from both sides.

* Food:

I was responsible for my own food, but OUSA had free breakfast on Wednesdays and during finals, and $3 lunches during weekdays.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Too many Americans on semester-long exchanges. It was hard to move outside that circle, but if you actively sought other communities, you could find them.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The emergency healthcare system was so lovely. They were kind and caring and friendly, and helped walk me through what I would need to do to use my insurance. The country also has accident care coverage which is so helpful to cover costs.

* Safety:

Dunedin is very safe; most people do not lock their flats. I know of one instance where someone's luggage got stolen out of their car when it was parked outside their flat on their way to the airport.

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

While it seemed nice to be in an exchange program at times, I'm glad that I was forced to put myself out there to find friends and I wasn't constantly surrounded by Americans.


* 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? 130
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? get a savings card at the grocery store immediately; buy produce from Veggie Boys; get club cards for petrol or use grocery store coupons


* 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
  • 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?
  • My flat
  • Academic opportunities
  • Outdoors opportunities
* What could be improved?
  • more local student interactions
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? use the OUSA discount to book a shuttle to and from the airport; you have to pay for each club you join