Life changing Past Review

By (Elementary Education, University of Maine at Orono) - abroad from 02/15/2012 to 06/22/2012 with

USAC New Zealand: Massey University - Undergraduate and Graduate Courses

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained so much from the experience and it has motivated me to want to see the rest of the world. My experience was unbelievable worthwhile and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

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.

The papers I took in New Zealand were not difficult for me because I attended every class and tutorial session. I think if a student does not attend they will find that they will be lost and not able to stay on track with the material. There were a lot of essays instead of exams with the courses I took, so it is something that I believed helped to strengthen my writing. I enjoyed each paper I took and the professors were very entertaining and able to keep students attention which made the papers better.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site staff at Massey were extremely helpful and welcoming with any problems that may arise. The international programs office is great and it was a nice to have the sense of home even though I was not at home.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My living arrangements were great because I was in a residence hall with students from all across the world. I found this to be very beneficial because I was able to learn more about other cultures other than the New Zealander's. It was nice that all the rooms on campus are singles because then every student is able to have there own space. It was a bit different having to pay for internet and the recreation facility, but the cost for them was reasonable. On the upside every student is able to ride the bus transportation all around the city for free, so that was nice.

* Food:

The food is great but I found talking to locals about what to eat is beneficial because they know where good places to go are and the different types of food to try.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I met a lot of local by going out on the weekends and just being very social with everyone. The Kiwis are the most friendly people I have meet and they really embrace foreigners coming to the country. They want to share their culture and they will help guided you through the country making sure that you don't miss anything. I must say though rugby is practically a religion down there and I fell in love with the game when I was there and I still watch there teams play.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any health problems while I was abroad, but some of my friends who are foreigners who did had no problem with the health care program.

* Safety:

New Zealand is very safe especially the city I was in, Palmerston North. I mean don't go out at night and walk around by yourself, but as long as a future student uses conman sense they should be fine and have no problems.

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)

I was able to living very easily on a student budget because things in New Zealand are cheaper for the most part than they are in the US.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50 - $65
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Defiantly save lots of money to travel around the country that you will be studying abroad in. I literally came back with about $20 in my bank account, but I had an unreal time in New Zealand and was able to see and do so much.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • How supportive everyone is
* What could be improved?
  • More scholarships availiable for students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? There is nothing I wish I knew before the going on the program because I learned more if there was something that tripped me up, its just part of the adventure.

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.