When Can I Go Back? Past Review

By (Communication and Media Studies., The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 02/21/2014 to 07/24/2014 with

Victoria University of Wellington: Wellington - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This was one of the greatest decision I have ever made and definitely worthwhile. I liked doing it my second semester junior year because it got me excited about going back to Texas for one more year and gave me a break. I also learned to have a better appreciation for world travel and how valuable it is to learn other cultures and to get out of your own cultural bubble. I also know that travelling is only going to get harder once I graduate so now is the time to do it.

Review Photos

Victoria University of Wellington: Wellington - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Victoria University of Wellington: Wellington - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Victoria University of Wellington: Wellington - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Victoria University of Wellington: Wellington - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Victoria University of Wellington: Wellington - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo

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.

Classes weren't too different. Only thing was that there are less assignments but they are worth more.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Loved my housing! I got along amazingly with my flatmates (they probably actually looked at our personality surveys). I lived in Te Kotahinga (international housing) in a house converted into two flats. I lived with two fellow Americans and a Canadian. It is probably more expensive than finding your own flat but the good location, utilities included, and convenience is worth it.

* Food:

Nothing too special. Go to the markets on Sunday for super cheap fruits and veggies. Also, it was hard lugging groceries up hill so my flatmates and I all chipped in for delivered groceries from Countdown and it was worth it. Also, take advantage of the abundance of cheap Asian restaurants compared to the States.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Getting involved in a student organisation called Student Life and attending a local church really made me feel integrated into the culture. Also, it really helped to take a Maori class.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have to go in for any sickness but I developed a bad cold and medicine was easy to find. Also, make sure to bring a doctor's note if you'll need to fill a prescription. I needed to buy more contacts but couldn't because I didn't have a note from my doctor.

* Safety:

I had no issues personally. My flatmate got her rental car broken into but it really was a matter of bad luck (and the fact that the rental car company plasters its name all over the car). There was also an attack on campus and the University addressed the issue promptly.

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 more expensive here but the currency rate is in our favour. It is definitely manageable if you plan and research. The things that will get you are the touristy activities (ex: bungy jumping).

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? Do a rental car with a bunch of people. It frees you so you can travel wherever, whenever you want to. I also slept in it a couple of times and stored my groceries in there. Public bathrooms are quite nice to freshen up :)


* 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? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The freedom to plan out what I wanted to do and what classes I wanted to take.
  • New Zealand is super easy to travel and pretty much everyone is keen to do it as well.
  • Meeting local students and families that I know will be life long friends.
* What could be improved?
  • Communication about buying insurance
  • Allowing more communal events to happen within the international housing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Travel before you start. It is summer in February and so it is easier to do hikes and outdoor activities then compared to after the semester in July.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:


Course Department:
Instruction Language:
Comments: Pretty boring and hard to get to the lecture (different campus) and hard to understand professor. Has a final.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:


Course Department:
Instruction Language:
Comments: Take this class if you want to truly learn about New Zealand culture. Super interesting but there is a final.
Credit Transfer Issues: