New Zealand: So Much Fun Past Review

By (Radio-TV-Film, The University of Texas at Austin) for

Victoria University of Wellington: Wellington - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained such a bigger view of the world. It sounds really cliche, but studying abroad really did change my life for the better. It really made me re-evaluate what's important in life and, more importantly, what I want to do with my life. I'm not sure I would have had such an eye-opener without studying abroad.

Review Photos

Direct Enrollment: Wellington - University of Victoria Photo

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.

The grading system was very easy compared to US universities. A much lower percentage led to a passing grade compared to grading systems here.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There was a very accessible international office. I had very little interaction with them though because they were on top of things from the beginning.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The location and overall feel of the dorm I lived in was really great. I loved the that it was located right in the middle of the Wellington. I did have to buy some things when I arrived like bedding, but the apartment was furnished overall. Some friends and I (including an RA, who was one of my roommates) had some trouble with the management of the building. They were at times rude and treated some of my friends poorly, from my American friends there to my RA roommate who is from New Zealand. Overall, I had a great living experience there, but the management needed a little work (and better communication skills).

* Food:

Make sure to take enough money for groceries.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I had a really great group of friends in New Zealand. Myself and my American friend went and stayed on one of my roommate's family's farm for a week and really got a taste of the life of an average NZ family. I also stayed with another friend's family for a while in Queenstown and got to travel around the area for a week and a half. During these trips, I went skydiving and bungy jumping, which were both very big highlights of my semester. I also happened to study there during the semester that New Zealand hosted and won the Rugby World Cup. Seeing the cultural excitement and energy about that was pretty cool. Walking through downtown Wellington about an hour after New Zealand won the final was definitely an unforgettable experience. I also saw a fireworks display in Wellington harbor on Guy Fawkes Day, which was also unforgettable.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Wellington is known for being pretty safe. I lived right in the city center, which was also extremely safe. During the 5 months I was there, I only ever heard of one instance of violence in the city. I had no experience with their healthcare system while I was there.

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The prices in New Zealand were noticeably higher than in the US. I spent a lot more money on food than I anticipated, but I still had enough to travel and have fun.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

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

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • I made a really great group of life-long friends.
  • The travelling I did around New Zealand.
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing particular that I can think of.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Words of wisdom: Make sure to exercise a little before you go. I was not prepared for all the walking I did (especially the extremely steep uphill walk to campus--but the view from the top was worth it).