Emily G, New Zealand- University of Auckland (Geology)


  1. What types of classes did you take abroad and how did they compare to UCSB? I took two classes that related to my major and two classes that I thought sounded interesting but didn’t give me any credits I needed. For all of the classes I took I had about four professors. Each course is broken into sections and a different professor would teach each one. It was a little weird to get used to because once you started getting used to a certain teaching style it would be time to switch professors.
  2. What was your favorite class abroad? I took the equivalent of math 4B and really enjoyed the professors, it was surprisingly my favorite class. I thought that the Professors taught much more clearly than math professors I’ve had at UCSB.
  3. Did you intern, volunteer, or conduct fieldwork or research abroad?  If so, tell us about your experience. I did not get involved with research or internships abroad.


  1. How would you describe your host institution? University of Auckland campus is very different from UCSB because it’s in the central business district of Auckland, the biggest city in New Zealand. There isn’t a separation between the city and campus there is just a concentration of university buildings along a few of the busy city streets. The class sizes however, are very similar to UCSB.
  2. Are there student clubs/organizations that UC students can join?
    There are a lot of fun clubs to join like hiking club, climbing club, canoe club, and underwater club. The recreation center also offers free exercise classes like weekly yoga or barre fit.


  1. Describe your housing situation. I lived in University housing. I had a furnished studio to myself  with a tiny kitchenette, and its own bathroom. It was about ten minutes walk to campus and ten minutes to downtown. It was a little bit more expensive than my housing in IV.


  1. Where did you eat most of your meals? Most meals I cooked myself in my room or got together with friends to cook group meals. We also had some favorite restaurants downtown that we would go to every week. The average meals in New Zealand are cheaper than those in the Santa Barbara area. There are some really good asian food options, but sadly no mexican! I really miss our favorite rice bowl place. Every week after yoga my friends and I would walk ten minutes to the CBD and eat out on a cute little alley filled with lights and good music.
  1. How much was an average meal?  Do you have any budgeting tips for future students? The average meals in New Zealand are cheaper than those in the Santa Barbara area.
  2. Would it be difficult for vegetarians/vegans and others with strict dietary restrictions to find meals? New Zealand is very vegetarian and vegan friendly. Most restaurants and cafes offer really yummy vegan options.
  3. Describe your most memorable dining experience abroad. I really miss our favorite rice bowl place. Every week after yoga my friends and I would walk ten minutes to the CBD and eat out on a cute little alley filled with lights and good music.
  4. What local food or drink do you miss most now that you are back? I heard the local Maori food is very good, but unfortunately I didn’t get around to trying it.


The view of the skytower from my room
  1. Describe your host city. Auckland city is a small city by US standards, but it is New Zealand’s biggest city. It is urban with bus routes that easily reach most of the city. It is diverse, and attracts lots of international students to its many universities within Auckland.
  2. Was it easy to get around? It was very easy to get around the city. Students are eligible for discounts on bus rides. There are also islands nearby that you can take ferries to to go wine tasting or hike on for the day.
  1. Did you feel safe in your host city? Do you have any safety tips for future students? The city felt very safe. It was well lit, and there weren’t very many suspicious people walking around. Often times I would walk home from friends alone and I felt completely safe. The only thing I would recommend to future students is to not walk through The Domain at night. 
  2. What were some interesting/fun things that you did in your host city? My favorite thing was hanging out in the Domain park during the day. There are beautiful gardens and little hiking paths.


  1. Describe any cultural differences you experienced while abroad. New Zealand is very similar to the USA. It is modern, they speak english, and you can find most of the food you are used to. It wasn’t a culture shock to me at all. 


The Great Barrier Island off of the N. Island of NZ
  1. Tell us your favorite travel story from your time abroad. My favorite trip was when a couple of friends and I took a ferry to a little off the grid island at the end of the semester. It was beautiful and quiet. We would ride bikes, kayak, and swim.


  1. What was your biggest fear about studying abroad that turned out to be no big deal? My biggest fear was that I wouldn’t meet people that I connected with and would have a go to group, but I had a really wonderful group of friends who I now still see almost every week back at UCSB.
  1. What was your biggest challenge abroad? My biggest challenge was staying focused in the ge type classes where students were not taking it as seriously as students at UCSB would have been.

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