NZ - great for the outdoorsperson February 06, 2024

By (Environmental Science, Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/19/2023 to 06/22/2023 with

University of Otago, New Zealand: Study Abroad Programme

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
To grow more independent and value time spent alone. Worthwhile and fun at times, but also very difficult.

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.

Very much changed class to class. Lots of knowledge obtained, but lacked much analytical experience

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Did not have any health issues while there, but friends often had good experiences, although it might take a while.

* Safety:

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

NZ is great for an outdoorsperson, but I question how much someone else might enjoy it. The south island of NZ lacks much culture and is poorly integrated with Maori culture. It could be socially isolating, especially as a less wealthy student without the means to purchase a car.


* 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? make 150 on travel
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Pak n save is a great way to get cheap food


* 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

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
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?
  • Outdoors adventure
  • Roommates
  • Dunedin beaches
* What could be improved?
  • Courses
  • Social dynamics
  • Tramping club
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Buying a car is expensive but super important to get around. Hitchhiking is more reliable and safer than you might think, and arriving early (January) is a good idea if youd like to travel. Travel is difficult in June.

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:

Plant Science and Biotechnology

Course Department: Botany
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Somewhat challenging, did not make use of location, but experiments were specific to the NZ economy (focused on kiwifruit). Teacher was knowledgeable, albeit sometimes clueless about the implications and background of his work. Assessed via 3 lab reports, midterm, final
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:

Marine Ecology

Course Department: Biology
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Difficult to do well, poor instruction, boring lectures, poorly planned field trips. Would not recommend. Assignments were confusing, assessed through lab reports, final
Credit Transfer Issues: No