Arcadia Abroad

Program Reviews

Katherine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The city of Cape Town alone could fulfill anyone's ideal itinerary for a study abroad destination. With the city so close to the universities, and plenty of hikes just an Uber ride away, traveling to other countries or cities on the weekends was unnecessary. There was never a shortage of new coffee shops, art pop-ups, or bars to go to in Cape Town. The University of Cape Town was challenging, something I wasn't prepared for but ended up loving. The class discussions were progressive and related to the political and social challenges the city was facing. The Arcadia house in Mowbray was perfect for creating close connections with people in the program and its location was an easy bus stop or walk from campus. Our RA Pumi was helpful and welcoming. She introduced us to her friends which was a great way to meet locals.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish I was warned about the difficulty of classes.
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Michaela
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I'd wanted to go to New Zealand my entire life and I was able to through Arcadia and the Vic. The Arcadia program managers were amazing and fun to be with--very interesting and amazing people! I had decided to take easier classes while abroad because my credits with my home school gave me some wiggle room in what I had to achieve while I was there, which gave me more room to explore and experience all that Wellington had to offer.

Speaking of Wellington, it is an incredible city; I'd definitely consider living there for a period of time. It's extremely walkable and just fun to learn the ins and outs of. There are two farmer's markets every Sunday, one on the water front, which also has a bunch of food trucks, and another, slightly smaller but less busy one only a few blocks away! There is also a night market every Saturday night on Cuba Street off of Manners (at one of the food trucks we got 2 massive, delicious samosas for $6NZD, which is like $4USD--quite the bargain).

A few other Wellington highlights were the Botanical Gardens (the Botans) and Koha. The Botans are beautiful and free and just a great place to go hang out! Plus some glow worms live there so if you want to scout some out for free it's the place to do it, 100%. Koha (which means gift in Te Reo Maori) is a cafe super close to campus, on the way from the Hub to Kelburn park/field, which is within range of the campus wifi and has the sweetest staff. It is a Christian organization but you don't have to be Christian to go hang out there (I'm not lol). There you can get coffee, tea, hot cocoa, sometimes they have sweets, and you only pay what you can! You leave a 'koha' when you leave, so it's a very nice very affordable place for students to come and get some work done. Highly recommend it.

My last note would be that the trips that Arcadia takes you on are unbelievable. For one, orientation was a blast and a good way to get to know the people you'll be spending time with. Two, the weekend trip to Abel Tasman was a once in a lifetime experience and I appreciate that Arcadia added this to the group activities because I wouldn't have been able to afford it otherwise. The scenery was beautiful and the hiking was amazing! Most of the students also got to go kayaking the last day there, which looked like a blast. I (unfortunately) had just gotten a wrist cast off and so could not participate in that.

10/10 experience! I already miss it and the people, though I know I made some life-long friends while I was there (sounds cheesy to say, I know, but it's 100% true... so... sorry for the cheese but it is one of the best foods.)

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Study abroad is truly what you make it. One of my friends from the program was the chilliest and most positive people I know and took every situation and saw the funny side to it and I honestly think he had the time of his life. I got stressed out at times but the chill Kiwi way of life is very comforting and really helped me take everything for what it was and not blow it out of proportion. I would say hang out outside when you can (can't beat a good day in Welly!) and participate in things that make you happy. Make the most of your time there.
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Esmely
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The experience was great. The staff have been very lovely and supportive. I have enjoyed the activities they've planned for us and I would recommend this program to anyone who would like to study abroad. The University of Auckland is the opposite of my home school in the US and it gave me the opportunity to become more independent and adaptable. The courses were rigorous and demanded a lot of work which allowed me to work more on understanding my preferred way of learning and studying.

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Meghan
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

London is the perfect city to go to if you are looking for a home base from which you can explore all of Europe. I traveled to 17 countries in 5 months and loved every second of it. Arcadia also has a great support system in helping everything from the application process until you are ready to leave your program. In addition, Arcadia encourages you to acquaint yourself with the city you chose and thus holds a lot of free events.

What would you improve about this program?
This program could be improved by educating applicants on what the East End of London is like because I was a little surprised.
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Audrey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

ARCADIA:
Awesome program! Very thorough orientation and the transition into my semester abroad went smoothly. The Directors and Student Support Coordinators answered ALL my questions and were very helpful/accessible throughout the entire semester. We went on many excursions together too: geothermal parks, black water rafting through glow worm caves, surf lessons, a re-created indigenous Maori village, Zorbing, an All Blacks rugby game, and more! I had lots of fun and bonded well with my fellow Arcadians on these weekend trips. Not only that, but Arcadia coordinated my accommodation and placed my entire program in Carlaw Park Student Village. Carlaw is located in a great neighborhood and is just a 10 minute walk from campus. I have to say that it has the most facilities and was the cleanest student accommodation I have ever stayed in.

My experience was unique because I took a Pacific Studies course as well as a Islam in the Contemporary World course... topics I could not have taken in my home university. By the end of the semester, I felt that I had gained a rich cross-cultural learning, where I definitely had to engage in cultural humility and self-reflection, while confronting and reconsidering my preconceptions. With courses that foster critical thinking as well as the most beautiful natural landscapes/views I have ever seen, studying abroad in New Zealand at the University of Auckland was truly a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I'm glad I did not pass up on!

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Richard
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Study Abroad was an amazing experience and this program allowed me to enjoy my experience to the fullest. The only downside is the price of the program which is a little expensive.

The housing provided by Arcadia was optimal. We lived apartment style and were conveniently located five minutes away from campus. Additionally, Arcadia did excursions throughout the semester which allowed us to explore parts of Ireland we could have never gotten to ourselves.

The only downside in my opinion is the price of the program. The students in Ireland pay very little tuition and their housing is cheaper than what we have to pay when you add up all the costs. All in all, it feels a bit overpriced considering all Arcadia has to do is host an orientation and then provide students with transcripts.

Overall, the experience with Arcadia was phenomenal. They are a great program and provide excellent service. I was much more prepared and had a good network to reach out to for help in case I needed it. In contrast, some of the other students I knew studying abroad with different programs had very little support.

What would you improve about this program?
Less Expensive for what is offered.
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Blessing
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The experience was a very exciting one overall. The classes were pretty relaxed, so I had ample time to explore London, England, and other European countries. However, the university was very disorganized. There were cancelled classes and we were not made aware of it and were criticized when we had questions about it. Also, there was a large paper that I had to write and was not made aware of it until the last minute, which was a bit stressful.

What would you improve about this program?
The institution could be much more organized in the procedures and communication with the study abroad students.
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Meghan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

By far the best decision I have made is studying abroad in Barcelona. The Arcadia Staff made sure the experience was extraordinary, fun and insightful for all of the students. Everyone got along so well and we became a family within the span of 4 months. Words do not do it justice. Useful tips: Hang onto your phone tight at clubs or it will get stolen. The fixed rate for the taxi is about 2 euros. Elisabets has amazing cheap tapas. Pregame at D-9 for cheap cheap drinks, the best club is Razzmatazz; it's expensive but worth it.

What would you improve about this program?
Let the students have more free time to travel on the weekends. Do the embedded excursions during the school week and afternoons so that students have time to achieve their personal travel goals.
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Jasmin
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The opportunity to live in Havana for 4 months is quite honestly the most unique study abroad opportunity most U.S. American universities offer. Havana is a beautiful city teeming with spirit and positive energy and the Arcadia program specifically helped me experience that. Compared to other U.S. study abroad programs at the U of H, the Arcadia program administration and staff formed the closest ties to the University of Havana and allowed for me and my fellow students to feel like a family. Our housing situation, with all the program students living together in the same casa particular, felt like the ideal combination of a dorm/home stay, with the perfect amount of independence and privacy coupled with support and care from Arcadia staff and the house staff. Arcadia's resident director arranged for our dance classes, our beach trips, some of our nights out, etc. and truly cared for us while abroad. The Arcadia program's semester break, cross-island trip via van was also the opportunity of a lifetime, one that students on other study abroad programs envied, and with good reason. We got to visit every province in the country save for Guantanamo and experienced everything from the country side to the coast to el Oriente. While classes at the University of Havana were not that challenging compared to the courseload I've been used to, I learned a lot and my professors were all eager to engage with me outside of class and talk about things from an entirely different sociopolitical perspective than the dominant one in the U.S.

What would you improve about this program?
More upfront information about the housing situation and (as much as is possible) what classes will be available to students at the University.
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Rachel
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Overall, my time in Edinburgh was a dream, filled with magical moments and friendships that I will treasure for the rest of my life. It wasn't always perfect, however. During the dark, winter months, I found myself isolated, depressed, and unsure what to do with my days. Because of professor strikes, I did not have many classes or homework. This meant that many days, I did not have any real reason to get out of bed in the morning. This, coupled with the bad weather trapping everyone inside, made for some tough days. The mental health resources were there, but not super accessible or helpful. Luckily I made two great friends with whom I explored the city and traveled with. Once the weather got better, and classes resumed, I felt more like myself again. For the last month and a half, I fell completely in love with the city and had more adventures than I thought possible. I met someone in the meadows, who that same day lent me her camping gear, I hiked Arthur's seat to watch the sunrise (highly recommend!!), I explored Crammond Island, I backpacked/camped in the Pentlands, found secret gardens throughout the city, barbecued on Portabello Beach, walked through Deans Village and the Botanical gardens, volunteered in people's gardens, discovered countless cafes and hole in the wall restauraunts/bars, traveled to Glasgow and the Highlands, and so much more. I learned how to confidently connect with strangers and put myself out there. I learned how to make things happen, execute ambitious plans, and work through crises. Although I wasn't pushed academically as much as I would have liked, I developed many valuable life skills. I wouldn't change anything about my semester abroad; I had the time of my life.

What would you improve about this program?
The program itself is pretty well organized/designed. The only thing left is for YOU to make use of your time there.