New Zealand: Leave All Your Worries Behind Past Review

By (Biology/Pre-vet, 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?
While it set me back at least a semester, I wouldn't trade my experience for anything. It was by far the most fulfilling time of my life, and I am so much more aware of the person I want to be after traveling so independently for so long. People who think they don't have enough time to study abroad are severely mistaken. We're only young once. Make the best of it and don't be in a hurry to grow up.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload is as difficult as you want to make it. I took fairly easy classes so that I could more fully enjoy my experience. Grading is fairly similar, but the cutoffs are a little lower (A=80, B=70, etc.)

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

VUW strongly caters to international students. They hold parties, programs, and events for exchange students, and make sure you are well adjusted to living in New Zealand.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

I am vegetarian and there was plenty of vegetarian fare on and off campus.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was there for the Rugby World Cup, which was incredible. My favorite part of New Zealand is the conservation of the wilderness, which is unlike that of any other more densely inhabited place in the world.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I had many health issues abroad, including a sprained ankle and tonsillitis, and the clinic at the school was extremely helpful. International student insurance covers medical costs. New Zealand is ridiculously safe-I hitchhiking around the country alone and was not worried as a female (although I carried mace with me just in case).

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)

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The city of Wellington-a combination of beautiful landscape and big city culture
  • The friendly Kiwi attidue, especially towards foreigners.
  • New Zealand overall and all the hiking/camping opportunities
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing on VUW's end, but a lot on UT's end
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? People interested in big city life should not come to New Zealand. Wellington is extremely cosmopolitan and cultured and has a booming night life, but everywhere else in New Zealand is made up of uninhabited forestland, tiny towns, or small family farms. I went to New Zealand because I wanted to experience a place that was relatively untouched by humans, and I loved it. But if what you're after is a cultural experience that involves extensive human history, architecture, and big city lights, New Zealand is not for you.