Post Study Abroad Evaluation

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1 Post Study Abroad Evaluation Your Program of Study/Year Bachelor of Business Administration/ Year 4 Host Country New Zealand Host School/Agency Unitec Participation Dates July-November 2009 Type of Study Abroad Exchange Practicum Independent Other Section 1 Please rate your overall exchange experience on a scale of 1 to 10 (one being poor and 10 being exceptional) In a couple of sentences, explain why you rated your experience the way you did. I met so many amazing people while on exchange and had the opportunity to travel around New Zealand and a couple surrounding countries. It was an amazing experience. Section How difficult was it for you to obtain your travel documents (visa, etc.)? *Always verify immigration regulations with the consulate or embassy of your host country* Describe your transportation arrangements to your host country. Would you change any part of those arrangements? How was your experience clearing customs and immigration upon arrival in your host country? Any surprises? Describe how you traveled to your host facility. How long did it take and how much did it cost? It was pretty easy to get my student visa. The only problem I had was that they did not accept some of the documents I sent them, and so I had to send in new ones. However once they had what they needed I got the visa within a few weeks. I flew from Vancouver to Los Angeles and then from Los Angeles to Auckland. It was supposed to be a 2 hour layover but the flight was late and so I was stuck in LAX for 24 hours. However I would not want to fly direct because the flight would be too long. I did not have any problems clearing customs and immigration once I arrived. I took a shuttle from the airport to my dorm and it took about 45 minutes and cost NZD$20. If you are travelling alone it will cost about NZD$35 though. The best shuttle company would be Super Shuttle and I used them again in the future. You can also book with them online. Section 3

2 How satisfied were you with the orientation and assistance available to at your host school/agency. What help did you receive from the international staff or office? What was your impression of the international staff or office? What was the orientation like at your partner university, if there was one? How well did it suit your needs? What was it like to adjust to the culture of your exchange site? Were there people you could talk to about what you were experiencing? How receptive were the local people in providing assistance? I actually missed the official orientation at Unitec but the staff in the International office were really helpful at providing me with the information I had missed. They are only open Monday to Friday though, so I had to wait a couple days because I arrived on a Saturday. It s a much better idea to not arrive on a weekend. They provided me with a bag of brochures and helpful information and offered assistance if I ever needed it. I missed the orientation, but from what I heard from other students it was good. It was really easy to adjust to the culture of my exchange site because there were no language barriers and it is quite similar to home. I found it easiest to talk to other exchange students about what I was experiencing. My flatmates were locals and they were all helpful and offered me assistance. Section 4 Describe your accommodation arrangements. How early could you move into housing before term and how long after the end of term were you allowed to stay? How comfortable were you with your accommodation? Describe what you did about meals and what other options were available. How satisfied I lived in a 5 bedroom flat with 2 other girls and 2 guys. I m not entirely sure, but I think you could move in about 2 weeks before and stay about a month after. However you do pay per week and since mostly everyone moves out at the end of the term I would not recommend staying later. It was okay. I liked the people I was living with but the conditions of the building and my flat were not very good. We had problems with break-ins, cockroaches, and scabies in almost every flat on campus. Also, I was staying in 1510 which is across a river from the other accommodation and can be unsafe to walk to at night. There were a few incidents involving other students. I would recommend staying on the 310 side because that is where the majority of the international students live. The 1510 side where I lived was mostly kiwis. However, even though there were problems with the accommodation I still would not have wanted to live off campus because there were a lot of fun things I would have missed out on. There were no meal plans available on campus, but each flat has a kitchen. In my flat we each bought and cooked our food separately. This was how the majority of people did it. Only a few people

3 were you with the food? How close was your accommodation to where you had to study? actually bought food and cooked together. It was about a 10 minute walk to the business building where my classes were. Section 5 Please describe the registration process at your host institution. What assistance was available to you? Were you satisfied? How successful were you in registering for classes? What advice would you offer to another exchange student about how to register at your host institution? How many courses did you take per semester? What course load would you recommend for future students? What particular courses would you recommend to other students? To register I just had to choose courses that I thought would fit the best with my degree at Kwantlen and send them in to my host school with my application. If I had any problems I could Bronwyn in the international office there for assistance. I didn t have any problems with registering for classes. I took four classes while I was there and I think it was a good number. My classes were only on Monday and Tuesday, which was good because I travelled almost every weekend and a lot of people with Thursday and Friday classes ended up skipping them. I would recommend taking four classes because it s definitely manageable and you are paying for four classes anyways. Section 6 How satisfied were you with the amount of knowledge/skills you obtained from your host? How did the style of teaching compare with that in Canada? How did the workload compare to what you would expect in Canada? How many courses did you take during your time abroad? What impact did the language barrier have on your learning? What was your impression of the computer facilities, library, internet access, specialized I feel satisfied with what I learned in my classes. They taught me what I expected to learn from reading the class outlines. Classes were much easier in New Zealand than Canada. The workload was also much lighter. However you still have to do work, which can be hard to balance with all the travelling you will be doing. Often the assignments and tests would all be due at the same time, which could make it stressful. As long as you are good at managing your time it should not be a problem. Four There was no language barrier. There were a couple computer labs, where I could usually find a computer. I had a laptop though which I would highly recommend bringing on exchange. The internet in the accommodation was

4 equipment and supplies available at your host facility? really slow but it was much better at the school. Section 7 Books and Supplies per term I shared my textbooks, but I spent approximately NZD$200 for my half of three books, plus the one I bought on my own. I would wait and ask your lecturer if you will be using the books before purchasing them. Flight CDN$1300 round trip Accommodation per month NZD$147 per week. International students have to pay for 20 weeks before they arrive, but you can get money back if you leave before your 20 weeks are up. Meals per month Local transportation per month Health insurance per term Communications (internet, phone, etc.) per term Travel documents (passport, entry visa, etc.) Vaccinations Personal Spending (eg. entertainment and extra travel) per term What unexpected costs did you encounter? What items were less or more expensive than you expected? Approximately NZD$200 Approximately NZD$40 I don t remember but you have to buy it through Unitec s chosen provider. It wasn t too expensive. Internet is included with rent. I borrowed a cell phone for free and paid NZD$10 per month to send 2,000 texts. No one makes calls there on cell phones because it s about 85 cents per minute. It was CDN$140 for the student visa. I got a meningitis vaccine for about CDN$100 which I was happy to have since there was an outbreak at the school while I was there. I travelled nearly every week, and did almost all the adventurous activities that New Zealand has to offer. It ended up costing about NZD$5,000. I had to buy a new camera while away because mine broke. Other than that there were no unexpected costs. Vegetables and dairy products were more expensive than I expected, as well as stationary. You should buy all the stuff you need for your dorm room from the Warehouse and do your grocery shopping at Pak n Save because those are the cheapest stores. Section 8 How satisfied were you with the out-of-class opportunities at your host site? What organized activities (clubs, sports, etc.) were available to you while in your I was very satisfied. New Zealand is a small country so it s easy and cheap to travel around and experience all it has to offer. I went on all the USU s (student association) organized trips. These were excellent value and most international students went. I would highly recommend them. I would also recommend going to the free

5 host country? What extracurricular activities would you They are all fun and a good way to meet other students. movie nights, orientation events, and school organized parties. recommend to future students? What opportunities were there to work or volunteer. Did you require special permits to do this? What do you recommend other visiting students see or do on their weekends or holidays? I was unable to work while in New Zealand and I didn t volunteer anywhere. I saw pretty much all of New Zealand and I loved all of it. There is so much to see and do. I would recommend reading a guidebook to see what you want to do there and then get some friends together and rent a car. Section 9 Describe any safety concerns you had during your experience. The only time I felt unsafe was when walking back to my flat really late at night. They did install cameras, but they weren t monitored. Section 10 What was it like making friends? How successful were you at making friends with local (i.e., not international) people? What was it like to adjust to the culture of your host site? What, if any, cultural differences did you find particularly challenging? What parts of the culture did you most appreciate? How were you treated by local people? By university staff and faculty? By students? As far as you could tell, how easy would it be for students with disabilities to study at your partner university? I made heaps of international friends while I was there, but not as many local friends. I did live with locals though so that helped me meet and befriend more kiwis. It was easy to adjust to life in NZ. I didn t really experience any challenges other than a bit of trouble understanding the kiwi accent in the beginning Kiwis are really laid back and easy going. I was treated really well by everyone I met there. I didn t have any problems with the people I met there. Most people were just curious about Canada and liked my accent. I m not really sure. I didn t see much evidence of extra assistance for those with disabilities. However there is a learning centre, like at Kwantlen, that may be useful. For students who are visible There were people from all over the world studying at Unitec and I minorities in your host country? never saw evidence of any discrimination based on culture. For students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered? There were a lot of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students living on campus and they seemed to be well accepted.

6 Section 11 What are the 5 most important things one should take with them when going to your host country or region? 1Stick deodorant. They only have roll on or spray. 2 Binders if you have room. They can be expensive. 3Anything you have to decorate your room. Posters or pictures can be nice. 4A really sturdy umbrella for winter. It can rain a lot and the wind can be quite strong. 5 Good runners for walking and hiking because you will probably do lots of it What are the 10 most important things you would tell another student who is going to your host facility/agency: 1 Buy your groceries at Pak n Save, and everything else is cheap at The Warehouse. 2 Lemonade in New Zealand is just Sprite 3 You are not expected to tip. No one ever does. 4Fly with JetStar if you re looking for cheap flights 5 It s cheaper to take the train than the bus and you can get a 10 pack of tickets at the pharmacy on campus at a discount 6Get text2000. For $10 a month you can get 2000 text messages. It s with Vodafone. 7It s cheap to rent cars with Jucy 8Go to all the USU events and trips 9Bring an unlocked cell phone if you can because NZ phones are expensive 10 Embrace all the extreme activities that NZ has to offer What was the most rewarding part of your study abroad experience? What was the greatest challenge you faced during your experience abroad? As a result of your study abroad experience, how has your perspective changed? What else do you want to say about your study abroad experience? Meeting amazing people, travelling so much, trying so many new things. I didn t find anything very challenging. I had such a great experience. I thought it would be hard being away from home but I was having so much fun I didn t have time to be homesick. I feel that I have a somewhat broader worldview after living in a different country; however it was quite similar to Canada. This experience has basically made me want to go experience life in more countries now. There are a lot of things about life in NZ that I wish I could bring back to Canada. It was so amazing and I highly recommend it!

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