New Zealand....ROCKS! Past Review

By (Rtf, The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 07/16/2012 to 11/16/2012 with

Victoria University of Wellington: Wellington - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to get along with all kinds of people and that everyone has a story. And they will tell you that story if you take the time to listen. There's so much beauty out there that we never take the time to look at and we should. It was the best experience of my life so far and I can't wait to travel again.

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.

It wasn't as different from home as I was expecting. There were still assignments and test but everything else is what made the big difference. It was about much more than just taking a semester of courses.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They had a lot of support systems in place for the international students.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing wasn't that great and it was often too cold and wet but Wellington tends to be that way anyways. Internet is pretty much nonexistent and really expensive.

* Food:

Very different from American food, be prepared to not have your comfort food. And fast food is super expensive, about twice as much as here.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt closer to the people I met while traveling then I did with the people I went to school with. They're okay but not super friendly.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had a health issue.

* Safety:

It was generally safe place but you need to use common sense like don't walk after 11pm or when intoxicated. Find a friend to go out with, it's much safer.

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)

It wasn't too hard but you need to cook for yourself and not eat out very much. The currency exchange is good but things are a bit more expensive.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 7000
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Spend money on memories, not materialistic stuff. Make a budget and stick to it. Decide what's important to you. For me, I wanted to backpack and travel after school let out so I was very strict with my spending so that I would have more money and freedom while I traveled.


* 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

  • Dorm
  • Apartment
  • Hostel
* 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
  • Americans
  • International 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?
  • Backpacking
* What could be improved?
  • Social mixers set up by the school, it's hard to make friends.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It's harder to make friends than expected. And internet is very expensive.

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.