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Study abroad in New Zealand

mdcisspmdcissp Registered User Posts: 2,494 Senior Member
edited September 2009 in Parents Forum
Does anyone have any feedback about study abroad in New Zealand? How do you feel about your child being so far away? Was it a worthwhile experience? Thanks.
Post edited by mdcissp on

Replies to: Study abroad in New Zealand

  • Grcxx3Grcxx3 Registered User Posts: 2,072 Senior Member
    I can't offer any info on study abroad programs.....but New Zealand is a fabulous place! Yes, it is far away - but it has so much to offer, especially in the area of outdoor adventure. People were great, food was wonderful, history is interesting, and the scenery is spectacular!!!!

    Just my 2 cents..............
  • mdcisspmdcissp Registered User Posts: 2,494 Senior Member
    I heard New Zealand is the most beautiful country in the world. Sounds like a once in a life time experience to travel there for study abroad. I wonder if anyone can compare the university experience there to being in the U.S. and if it was worth it. Thanks so much again.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 21,036 Senior Member
    My daughter is in Sydney now, not NZ. We flew out with her and got her settled before we came back. A few things she (us) found to be difficult was availability of internet and cell phone. I did a lot of research before she went on cell phone costs. They usually require you to be a resident before they would allow pay as you go, which is the cheapest. You could have an unlocked phone or get one when you get there. She has one of their most expensive and economic pay as you plan, $50 for $500 worth of usage - .25 SMM (local and international) and .2/min international calls. At her uni they do not allow Skype on their internet, so I've had to purchase wireless broadband for her to access Skype. She downloaded a few movies, and the usage was $400(asked her what she did, "I don't know what happened."). The idea of unlimited usage is very foreign over there.

    It was very hard for her the first month. Contrary to popular believe, Australians (not sure if it's the same in NZ) are not very friendly, nice people, but class conscious (any Aussie on this board?). She wanted to come home after the first month. I had to bribe her with a trip to Fiji for her to stay. Two months later, she is loving it. The weather has turned nice, school work at Sydney U is nothing like her school back at home(very easy), so she has a lot of time to explore Australia. She is also legal to drink over there...

    We speak 3-4 times a week, so it doesn't feel like she is really that far away, except for the time difference (14 hours ahead of us). It is worth it to do some homework before going over there. There are many things we take for granted in this country. I think overall it has been a good experience for her. I really do miss her a lot, but she is coming home in 7 weeks (who is counting).
  • Grcxx3Grcxx3 Registered User Posts: 2,072 Senior Member
    <<The idea of unlimited usage is very foreign over there.>>

    We had this problem living overseas as well. Those movies are a killer!!! DS#2 learned the hard way!!!!!
  • KelownaKelowna Registered User Posts: 2,829 Senior Member
    Ah, she is at a legal drinking age there ! I would extend my stay ;)
  • mdcisspmdcissp Registered User Posts: 2,494 Senior Member
    Did your daughter bring in a laptop? Is it expensive to use the internet on the laptop in Austrailia? Thank you for your informative note. Is it also expensive to use an unlocked cell phone?
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 21,036 Senior Member
    She has her laptop. We pay $35/mon AU for 5GB usage, and $50 AU for $500 usage (yes, it is strange). It is enough for calling us(we talk at least a few hours a week), texting over there and her local calls. I asked them if I could pay $70 for 10 GB, the answer was "we don't offer that." Same for cell phone. They offer one plan, and you better like it.

    You don't need a converter for a laptop or for many electronics. What you'll need is a lot of local plugs for your electronics. We bought them on eBay rather than at regular stores. They were less than 10 for 8 of them.
  • KathycKathyc Registered User Posts: 622 Member
    The only concern I've heard about studying in New Zealand is that the parents think the kid is too far away! Meanwhile, the kids always seem to have a great time and want to stay longer. New Zealand is a fabulous country--will he be on the North Island or the South Island?
    Be aware that the plugs used in New Zealand have a very different configuration from normal European/Asian plugs (our Singapore/Hong Kong plugs just didn't work!)
    Skype shouldn't be a problem--our mutual children's school doesn't forbid the software on the laptops.
  • robertocarlosrobertocarlos - Posts: 4 New Member
    Once upon a time in the Kingdom of Heaven, God went missing for six days.
    Eventually, Michael the arch angel found him on the seventh day, resting. He inquired of God, "Where have you been?" God sighed a deep sigh of satisfaction and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds "Look Michael, look what I've made." said God. Archangel Michael looked puzzled and said, "What is it?" "it's a planet," replied God, "and I've put LIFE on it. I'm going to call it Earth and it's going to be a great place of balance." "Balance?" inquired Michael, still confused.

    God explained, pointing to different parts of Earth, "For example, North America will be a place of great opportunity and wealth while South America is going to be poor; the Middle East over there will be a hot spot and Russia will be a cold spot. Over there I've placed a continent of white people and over there is a continent of black people," God continued, pointing to different countries. "This one will be extremely hot and arid while this one will be very cold and covered in ice." The Archangel, impressed by God's work, then pointed to a small land mass and said "What's that one?" Ah," said God. "That's New Zealand, the most glorious place on Earth.

    There are beautiful lakes, rivers, streams and hills. The people from New Zealand are going to be modest, intelligent and humorous and they're going to be found travelling the world. They'll be extremely sociable,hard-working and high-achieving, and they will be known throughout the world as diplomats and carriers of peace."

    Michael gasped in wonder and admiration but then proclaimed, "What about balance, God? You said there will be BALANCE!" God replied wisely,"Wait until you see the w@nkers I'm putting next to them.
  • BromfieldBromfield Registered User Posts: 1,936 Senior Member
    I've had friends whose kids (Colby College students) studied at the University of Otago (South Island). Both of them loved it and wanted to stay longer and travel. I visited New Zealand (Christ Church) when my oldest D competed at the Pacific Alliance championships. We stayed for 10 days and toured the South Island. NZ is an amazingly beautiful country. At the time, there was a favorable (for US $) exchange rate, so lodging/food--everything--seemed very reasonably priced. Don't know if that's the case today, but my friends saved on tuition because they paid the NZ university directly and tuition/room and board were much less than Colby's.
  • 2Leashes2Leashes Registered User Posts: 1,632 Senior Member
    One of my now 33 year twin daughters spent a semester in New Zealand and Australia her sophomore year of college. Most the time was spent on the North and South Island of NZ. Not quite as much in Australia. When she was at the end of her freshman year she found out about the South Pacific Semester. Three of her college professors took them over to study Biology, Geology and Art History. She majored in Biology. They stayed in different locations all around the two countries. It was a wonderful experience. She stayed in contact with us via phone and postcards. I'm not sure why we didn't do email. <--??

    When she decided she wanted to go, she knew we couldn't afford it. As it was, she was putting herself through college almost exclusively (loans and working). So she decided to work all summer at the local Jamba Juice. She then enrolled in the community college for the fall semester and lived at home and continued to work. She put every cent into a savings account that she couldn't touch. At the end of the semester she had enough for her trip. And, after her South Pacific Semester she went back to the college and finished her degree in Biology. That trip was a very rewarding time for her.
  • 2Leashes2Leashes Registered User Posts: 1,632 Senior Member
    My daughter celebrated her 20th birthday over in NZ, so she could drink legally. And, I found out they definitely liked their ale over there! Well, when she came back home she was back to being NOT legal for another year. :)
  • 2Leashes2Leashes Registered User Posts: 1,632 Senior Member
    I just found an itinerary that looks almost identical the one my daughter had back in '96. Oh, I just realized why we didn't communicate via email. We didn't actually hook up to the web until later in '96.

    Itinerary Spring 2009

    Jan 3-16, 2009
    Orientation and instruction. Basic courses in Art History 10, Biology 10, Geology 1.

    Jan 17-Feb 21
    North Island including Auckland, Rotorua, Tongariro, Wellington.

    Feb 22-Mar 31
    South Island including Kaikoura, Christchurch, Westport, Franz Joseph, Queenstown, Southern Alps.

    Apr 1-15
    Australia, including Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, Cape Tribulation, Orpheus Island.

    Apr 16
    Return to US or continue your travels.

  • VeryHappyVeryHappy Registered User Posts: 16,872 Senior Member
    Both my sons spent a semester in New Zealand at University of Otago. My older son particularly loved it. (Younger son was, at the time, developing a Relationship back at school and couldn't wait to get home.) DH and I also visited older son while he was there.

    Wonderful things about New Zealand:

    They speak English!

    The people are soooooooo nice. They are curious about Americans and eager to chat. Friendly as can be. Most every teenager there spends time abroad, so they are eager to hear about different places in the world.

    New Zealand itself is absolutely beautiful. It's the way I imagine the U.S. was maybe 75 years ago. Very rural, lots of sheep, very relaxed.

    Older son did a program through Butler University (although he attended a different college) and included in that was a "farm stay" with a farming family. We have a photo of him shearing a sheep! He will remember that experience forever. He was amazed at how humble and charming the family was.

    He and some of his friends bought a used car together so they could get around and see things. Had a great time and saw just about everything on South Island.

    At the end, he had two weeks between the end of his classes and his finals, so he traveled -- by himself!! -- to North Island and did some trekking up there. (Trekking is hiking, in American terms.) He says that New Zealand is the most beautiful place on earth.

    Problems? We tried to mail him a backpack he had forgotten and it took absolutely months for it to arrive; we have no idea why.

    He had a fantastic experience. BTW, one advantage of his being so far away was that he wrote substantive e-mails, which I have saved.

    Don't worry about their being so far away. You can Skype with them, if you can figure out the time difference.
  • ELYELY Registered User Posts: 1,117 Senior Member
    Loved NZ when I visited about 12 years ago! (I agree with VeryHappy, it was like going back in time.) My advice is to start saving now and go for a visit toward the end of your child's stay there. (Recommend visiting Dunedin on the SE coast.) We have friends whose D is in Sweden and she has a website and blogs about her experiences & posts photos--helps her parents with the distance.
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