TEAN is a great comprehensive and fun-loving program overall. The fun-loving attitude applies to all the TEAN staff and to the other students who choose TEAN as well. You can't go wrong with the activities and the pre-semester excursion to Fiji (for the TEAN NZ crowd) at the beginning of the program either. It was a great way to kick off a great start to a great program.
After being introduced to the magnificent TIM TAM (chocolate coated cookie goodness) by the wonderful TEAN staff at my Auckland orientation, my time in NZ just kept getting better. I met my four kiwi flat mates once I arrived in Christchurch. Once we got over our differences of what the word barbeque meant, we become pretty good friends and I had a great time learning all about kiwi culture from them. After studying hard the first half of the semester and becoming accustomed to unique vibe in Christchurch, I found myself back with some more TEAN students on the Thailand mid-semester trip. It doesn't get much better than laying on a beach or bartering for souvenirs in a market with lots of like-minded, adventurous college students while eating Thai food and then going to feed an elephant its lunch of several whole watermelon. Not only were all of those activities obviously tremendously fun, but in doing so, we learned about Thai culture as well as the sustainable eco-tourism at the elephant preserve.
TEAN, by being the study abroad program that it is, makes learning relevant to not only your traditional coursework at your home university, but they make learning relevant to yourself, to your own community, and to the rest of the world. This aspect of TEAN is what makes them such a great overall program. And, even better than that, it was just a fun overall program that made me sad to leave it behind.