I'd go back Past Review

By (Middlebury 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?
I gained some great friends, some sick calves from hiking all over the South Island, and a ridiculous amount of fun facts about the Resource Management Act of 1991

Review Photos

University of Otago: Dunedin - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo University of Otago: Dunedin - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo University of Otago: Dunedin - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo

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.

The grading scale seemed a bit easier than at my home university, and the baseline effort wasn't as rigorous, but there were plenty of opportunities to dive deeper if you wanted. The marine studies program is top notch. I genuinely appreciated all of my courses and did get a lot out of them. There was much more interaction with the professors than I thought there would be, even in bigger lectures.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Uni Flats Office was helpful, between lifts for injured friends and free tickets to events.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Uni Flats were awesome, though it was a bit odd to be living with mostly international students. Kiwi hosts were amazing.

* Food:

You cook for yourself, and I'm a great cook for my bland palate.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

They offer field trips to local marae that were enlightening to the local culture. I took an intro language course in Maori, as well, which I highly recommend.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I sprained my ankle on a weekend trip, the Uni Flats office was helpful in guiding where to go.

* Safety:

I felt safe walking around campus and the surrounding area, even late at night. But obviously be safe and smart.

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

Dunedin is a really fun town filled with amazing people, and is only a car ride away from some of the most beautiful places I've ever been. The classes I took were engaging, and exceeded my expectations. I went hiking almost every weekend and still did well in all my classes. Join the tramping club, they're a blast. $3 lunch is amazing.


* 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)

2.5 or 3. Food and drinks can add up quickly.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Invest in a car with flatmates. It sounds like a big deal (and it can be overwhelming at first) but it will save you huge amounts of frustration and in the end money if you can sell it back. All of my friends were successful in selling their cars, often for about what they bought them. My car's transmission failed and I had to scrap it, so it's a risk, but if you can go in with other people it's definitely worth it.


* 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?
  • OUTC
  • classes
  • town
* What could be improved?
  • more chairs in the library during reading days (real struggle)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It's worth it to buy a car, but definitely try to go in on it with a friend or two. Go to the museums. Go to the farmers market. Go sky diving. Do it all.

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:

MARI301 Marine Ecology

Course Department: Marine Science
Instructor: Candida Savage (and others)
Instruction Language: English
Comments: There were a number of lecturers involved in this class. Each brought a new perspective and focus into the course. A bit disjointed but I learned a lot from it. They increased the capacity of the class the semester I participated, so it was a bit of an adjustment period. The professors were eager to talk with students interested in their field. Overall, big fan of the class, though would have liked to take it with the smaller size.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

FOSC111 Food Principles

Course Department: Food Science
Instructor: Indra Oey
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Labs were more difficult than expected, it got quite busy in the kitchen. But learned a heck of a lot about food (highly applicable, especially to uni flat life). Professors very approachable. Overall, I would take it again.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

MAOR110 Intro to Conversational Maori

Course Department:
Instructor: Craig Hall (Taipa)
Instruction Language:
Comments: This course has an easier reputation, but to a certain extent learning a new language is going to be difficult. Taipa does a good job easing you in, though it does speed up pretty quickly as the semester goes. Study a bit and you'll be fine. Plus it's important to learn the language of the place you're traveling to.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

GEOG216 Resource Evaluation and Planning

Course Department: Geography
Instructor: Sean Connelly (among others)
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I really liked this class. Taught me a lot about the RMA, which gave a lot of insight into environmental management in New Zealand, if you're interested in that. Taught by multiple professors, all friendly and approachable. Certain lecturers were stronger than others.
Credit Transfer Issues: