Get out of Dunedin and go explore the south island! Past Review

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 07/08/2019 to 11/02/2019 with

University of Otago, New Zealand: Study Abroad Programme

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to live independently, manage expenses, and cook for myself full time. I learned the importance of working with others and relying on others and to seek friendships because everyone is starting over for a semester and wants to make friends while they are there. I learned to be a better advocate for what I wanted to do while also being easy-going and accepting the obstacles and mishaps along the way.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Classes were not required, only the labs and practicals were required. Readings were optional in almost every course and not necessary to complete in order to do well in the class. Big class sizes make for impersonal relationships with the professors and therefore less accountability.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Otago is incredibly supportive of international abroad students.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The staff who manage the international flats are incredibly kind and accomodating, although flatmates are random.

* Food:

We were responsible for groceries and cooking, so completely up to the individual.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

International students are mostly from the US and do not really integrate with the NZ students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The student clinic was helpful and the urgent care was nearby.

* Safety:

College campus and surrounding areas felt safe. The party scene is very different from Middlebury's.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I had done no prior research about Otago, and looking back I learned how to enjoy the program. However, if I could go back I would probably have gone to Australia.


* 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? $50-$100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy a cheap cheap and fuel efficient used car that you will be able to sell to abroad students once your semester is over.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

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

  • Other
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • the friends I made that I can keep in touch with in the US
  • the natural beauty of New zealand
* What could be improved?
  • I would have appreciated a phone call or more info from the students at my school who had gone to Otago before me for advice on what to do and not to do during my time there.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known about the process of purchasing a car: necessary for being in NZ. I wish I had known to do more research to prepare for weekend trips rather than figuring it out once i was there. I wish I had been advised to seek friendships outside of the ones I had prior to going there sooner, so that you expand your circles.

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:

Human Nutrition HUNT 141

Course Department: Health Sciences
Instructor: Sheila Skoff
Instruction Language: english
Comments: Incredibly interesting course, the practicals were insightful and engaging. I learned a lot about how my body specifically is affected by my nutrition and how to best care for it.
Credit Transfer Issues: