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IES Abroad Auckland DE - University Of Auckland

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    3

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Say YES to Adventure

Pursing an education in an international setting was the most life-changing, inspiring, and empowering gift I could ever receive. My study abroad experience lit a fire in me to take on each day with no constraints, to deeply love people from entirely different walks of life, and revealed the blessing of speaking one’s words into action.
In Spring of 2014, I was given the opportunity to study abroad in Auckland, New Zealand. I went to class daily, but learned so much more from my interactions and relationships built outside the classroom. I took advantage of my 3-day weekends (I didn't have Friday class), and traveled every chance I could. I went deep-sea fishing with my host family, visited Goats Island and vacation homes with the locals, traveled to South Island to see Christchurch, Queenstown, and Milford Sound, and I joined the Canoe Club at Auckland Uni. I was the only member of IES to live in a home stay while I was abroad and I absolutely loved it.
I returned a transformed student with the sweetest memories, new goals, and changed definitions of happiness. After studying abroad in New Zealand, I have no idea what the concept of a 'comfort zone' is. I welcomed my first interaction with water on a canoe club trip while kayaking rapids and rafting over waterfalls. I was re-introduced to the great outdoors via a tent and sleeping bag after 10 years of separation. I went fishing in a harbor nicknamed "the graveyard." I zipped down the steepest zip-line in the world, and proceeded to jump out of an airplane at 12,000 feet in the air. I traveled cross-country, to new continents, and across the Pacific to find places that continued to knock the wind out of me due to their breathtaking beauty. Oh, and I leapt off the Sky Tower that stands 600 feet tall. I have never been more proud of myself and my ability to redefine fear, motivation, and adventure. Study abroad gave me independence, and showed me at the ripe age of 21 that I am in charge of my life. My advice? Say YES to the adventure waiting for you and sign up NOW!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Aotearoa - Experience of a Lifetime

My experience at the University of Auckland was a really good one. They have a different approach to learning and teaching, so it was interesting to see how students went about with their studies and what expectations they help for themselves. They seemed to be more laid-back than American students, which I absolutely loved. My Kiwi friends didn't get stressed out for no reason and just told me to take life the way it was. I have come back to the US with a whole new mindset and view about life, and I'm so grateful for that.
I lived in a student apartment with four other people, which was an alright experience. I wish they had more resident activities so I could have met more students from around the world.
Auckland itself is such a diverse city. There is so much to do! There is plently of life in the city throughout the day. I found it a to be a safe place as well. I actually felt safer there than I do here in the US!
IES did a good job in helping me throughout the experience. I do wish that we had more social events and cultural exposure through IES, but I found other ways to this. The IES mid-semester break was a great experience. We went to the Cook Islands, and I was really able to immerse myself into the culture there.
Overall, this has been the best experience of my life and would not trade it for anything. I can't wait until I can go back to New Zealand. I would jump on the next plane back it I could!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Auckland Uni

My semester at the University of Auckland through IES was the best semester of my university experience. Being directly enrolled into the University is definitely the way to go if you want a true Kiwi experience. It´s so interesting to experience university life in another country. I lived in the international house and met people from all over the world as well as tons of Kiwis. I fell in love with the beauty of the country and the kindness of the people. It´s so easy to travel independently and the IES trips are amazing! If you´re thinking of going for a full year I would suggest going in the spring semester and then the fall semester, that way you can start the year off with all the new students!! IES is so helpful and gives you great information before you you can even ask the questions! I would recommend IES and New Zealand to every student looking to go abroad!!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

American turned Kiwi

My experience in Auckland, NZ, through IES is next to none. I was immediately immersed in the culture and felt right at home. The program director was extremely easy to talk to and he did so much to keep us updated on local events around the city, safety issues, and special discounts that aided with our frequent traveling! I never had a negative experience with IES and they had a perfect combination of organized events and time to explore. If I were to ever study abroad again, it would definitely be through IES. Furthermore, New Zealand is one of the AMAZING places on this planet. With postcard landscapes everywhere you look and people that are truly the most hospitable people I've ever encountered, it is a country that just cannot be beat (not to mention their food is unbelievable!!!). So for anyone considering either IES as a program or New Zealand as a country, I say GO FOR IT! You won't regret it.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    8

Appreciating all opportunities

I am so grateful for my experience abroad with IES. Though there were times where I felt out of my comfort zone or challenged, I grew from those times and now appreciate everything because it shaped my overall experience. My IES advisor was always there to answer any questions I had, so I felt very supported from him and local friends that I met. It was the most unique semester I've had because of all the opportunities to travel, but also for the more unexpected moments and friendships I made. I definitely left New Zealand having a different view of myself and I can only credit it to my experiences while studying abroad.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    8

So Glad I Took the Leap

The decision to study abroad was, for me, sort of an agonizing decision. I'm sure lots of people decide when and where they're going to study abroad before they even pick their college, but in my case, I barely got my forms submitted in time because I was debating it for so long. Part of the issue for me is that I'm an athlete (I run track and cross country), so that going abroad would mean missing a season of track. The other factor was something I'm sure a lot of people struggle with in making this decision: I didn't want to go all the way back to square one and feel like a freshman again for a semester, not knowing the area, not knowing the university, and most of all, not knowing any people. The prospect of leaving the comfort zone I'd built around myself at Ithaca College, and missing what had the potential to be a great track season almost overcame my strong desire to experience a different life for a while, to explore the world and myself.

But it didn't. Pretty suddenly, it just sort of became clear to me that this was an opportunity I couldn't let just float on by into the land of what-if. I decided to go to New Zealand, and I am so extremely grateful to my past-self for finally reaching that decision.

New Zealand is an incredible place. Virtually any town you visit, whether it's the tourist havens of Queenstown and Rotorua, or the tiny town of Glenorchy (I don't know if there's a single stoplight in that place), there is something amazing nearby. In places like Queenstown, it's rather obvious (when you fly in, the airplanes land in a freaking valley between giant mountains, and you're never far from them in town). But even a metropolis (for New Zealand anyway) like Auckland has beaches within a short run or bus ride, and the mighty beachside cliffs of the Waitakere Ranges and even more beautiful beaches like Piha and Whatipu within a 35 minute drive. Similarly, in the other big town, Christchurch, the awe-inspiring Port Hills are a $3.50 bus ride away. There is so much to see. My best advice would be to join the tramping club (that's what they call hiking in NZ) - they organize trips all across the country and allow you to see places it might be hard to get to on your own. If you are a person who can appreciate the beauty of this world, New Zealand is seriously an ocean of possibilities. There's so much more to say, and I could go on forever, but I think the most important thing is that I'm so glad I took the leap.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    6

Enlightening, Challenging, Enjoyable, Fun, and Exploratory

I lived with the most wonderful homestay family in Auckland. They have become like family and we stay in touch to this day! In fact, I traveled back to visit them and they plan to come to my wedding this coming year.

I chose this program because it was supported through my home university, which made credit transfers easier, and it was located in the city I wanted to be in. I also liked that is was more of a "support" program and I would be directly enrolled.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Overall, IES Auckland was a great program

Overall, IES Auckland was a great program. I'd highly recommend it to anyone looking to go abroad.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

NZ !!

I absolutely loved the program and the way in which IES organized our housing (even if there were concerns, they were resolved promptly and follow-up was conducted in a timely manner), holiday break, and orientation. New Zealand is a wonderful country and travel is quite simple, enjoyable, and encouraged! The IES program coordinator in Auckland was wonderful and always very welcoming! I quite enjoyed the semester abroad and loved the IES program. One possible improvement would be integration of homestay students with those in the apartments and other living arrangements.

Overall Rating

5/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Almost perfect. IES planned a week-long trip...

Almost perfect. IES planned a week-long trip to Tonga (part of our package) which I would never have done on my own. Excellent program director.



Downside: Possibly too American-oriented. Would've been better to have been more integrated with other international students in New Zealand.