This trip has changed my life forever. Past Review

By (Therapeutic Recreation, University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse) - abroad from 01/12/2012 to 03/06/2012 with

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse: Australia & New Zealand - Pacific Challenge

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that it's my life and I need to take any and all steps possible to make it what I want it to be. This trip was definitely worthwhile, yes it was expensive but the memories that I gained are priceless.

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.

I did not take any of the credits offered, but I still learned so much from this trip. A lot of the students who took the credits got overwhelmed at times and wished that they hadn't taken credits so that they could just enjoy being in such an amazing country.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Dave was our man guy the whole trip and he is amazing!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We stayed anywhere from amazing beach houses to hostiles to camping on an island. No matter where we were, sleeping arrangements were great. At times you had to sleep on the floor but if you bring a camping matress pad, you're golden.

* Food:

All your meals are paid for except lunches and once every two weeks you have to get your own dinner which is actually great because it gives you a chance to eat out with your friends and to explore different foods and restaurants. Also, Meat Pies in Australia/New Zealand are amazing!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We learned so much from the locals, they are so friendly so don't be shy, they're always willing to share their culture. The Maori culture is especially interesting.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

If you're a tourist in New Zealand and you get injured, even without health care, you will receive medical attention for free for serious injuries.

* Safety:

New Zealand and Australia are very safe countries. Just don't go off by yourself in a big city because we had a few students get lost so just be careful. Everyone is so friendly that it's easy to find your way back.

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


* 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)

Everything is a little bit more expensive in New Zealand and Australia but almost all of your meals are paid for so that definitely helps. If you budget yourself wisely you'll definitely be okay. Just be careful not to spend too much money on extra things in the beginning and not realized that you don't have enough money for the rest of the trip.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy groceries in bulk so that you can share with friends. Peanut butter and jelly can go a long way.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The adventure experiences such as skydiving, swimming with dolphins, hiking mountains, etc...
  • Being in a big group of 18 students almost 24/7
  • The overall beauty of New Zealand and Australia
* What could be improved?
  • The trip could be longer.
  • More classes could be offered.
  • I would have loved to be with the second group that was 3 days behind us more.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? On this trip I thought that we would be camping more than we actually did. I wish I knew that so that I could bring better clothes and less camping gear.