USAC New Zealand: Massey University

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About

This program offers the opportunity to enroll in a wide range of Massey University courses across the five colleges: Business, Education, Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences and Creative Arts including an extensive program in Maori Visual and Performing Arts. Massey University operates three campuses located in different cities, Palmerston North, Auckland, and Wellington, within the North Island of New Zealand. Each campus offers a unique environment in which to study and immerse yourself in the local culture. Check out the USAC website for more details today!

Highlights
  • Get a true taste of Kiwi culture in the Manawatu region, which also offers extensive countryside for “tramping”
  • Choose the “Palmy” (Palmerston North) campus to live in a young person’s city with affordable accommodation, plentiful cafés, a multiplex cinema, live music, shopping, and an international airport
  • Choose the Wellington campus to savor the cultural capital of the country with a lively cosmopolitan feel to its campus
  • Choose the Albany campus to take advantage of a big city lifestyle on the North Shore of Auckland

Questions & Answers

Reviews

98%
based on 4 reviews
  • Academics 7.8
  • Support 8
  • Fun 8.5
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
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Matthew
9/10

Massey was more than I could ask for

When I arrived in New Zealand, I was all on my own, not knowing a single person. I left the airport balling my eyes out after my program ended because of the lifelong friends I was leaving behind. The staff at the on campus housing was amazing. They put events together that everyone was excited about and it gave me a chance to make these great friends. The academics were totally different from what I was used to in Colorado. There were very few homework assignments but most of the classes were essay based. Being a finance major, I was not used to all that writing and it actually made me an overall better college writer. I wouldn’t trade the memories made while I was in Auckland for anything. I grew into someone that I’m proud to say is my best self.

How can this program be improved?
The only complaint I had while I was there was that the meal plans that we were forced to buy with our housing was some of the worst food I’d ever had. I’ve been in contact with a couple people who decided to stay in the halls there for a second year and they informed me that they have improved ten fold since my stay there.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Charlie
10/10

Truly the Greatest Experience at Massey Wellington

Signing up for a semester abroad at Massey Wellington was a bit of a shot in the dark since I wasn't really guaranteed to get any of the classes I was interested in. Since I was entering CoCA (Massey's art school) it's very competitive and difficult to get the classes you are interested in.

When I first got my schedule I didn't receive any of the classes ("papers") I wanted, but after talking with a number of different professors I was able to get into everything I wanted. The classes were by far my favorite classes I've taken throughout my college career. Being surrounded by so many creative minds and industry professionals was an incredible experience.

When I decided to study abroad at Massey though, my plan was to travel and academics were just part of that process. It turned out that academics became more than just a side job which I'm very grateful for. The traveling was also spectacular though. I've never seen so many incredible landscapes and gone on so many memorable hikes in such a short period of time.

If you're looking for good academics and scenery that you'll remember for the rest of your life, Massey Wellington is the place for you!

How can this program be improved?
The only issue with this program is that is very independent academically speaking. You need to be motivated to get the classes you want, and once you get them they're very hands on and independent so be prepared to work hard on your own. This isn't so much a criticism as it is a warning.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
srichter13
10/10

I Left my Heart in Palmy

I chose the semester-ling study abroad program at Massey University in Palmerston North New Zealand and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I made so many new friends and shared experiences that I wouldn't trade for the world.

Kiwis are some of the kindest people you will ever meet - the cashiers at Pak & Save actually took the time to ask me how I was doing and were interested in hearing what I had to say. In fact, I asked where something was one day and the store clerk stopped what he was doing and physically showed me where to find what I was looking for instead of riddling off a random isle number. I really appreciated that.

As far as academics went, Massey offered courses that were challenging and enlightening. The overall class structure was completely different to what I was used to with my home university: there were only a couple assignments or "homeworks" to pass in and then there were exams and those were your only grades. A lot of learning outside the classroom is required as well - professors don't hold your hand nearly as much as they do in the States. I learned a lot from my courses at Massey and was able to get an interesting take on various aspects of American politics and education by hearing the Kiwi side of it.

Culture shock was not really a problem in New Zealand since everyone spoke English. I think my greatest challenge was getting around, and even that wasn't that difficult. The bus schedules are posted throughout campus and are easy to look up online.

The scenery, the people, the culture... everything about New Zealand was amazing and beautiful. I loved it so much that I've been back again in a year and I am planning on living there permanently in the future.

How can this program be improved?
I would have liked to hear from USAC a bit more throughout my program. For example, I notified my program advisor that I had made it to Massey after a cancelled flight and an overnight in Auckland and they seemed almost surprised to hear from me. I would have hoped that the program advisor would have tried to reach out to make sure that I made it alright since I was flying literally to the other side of the world but that was not the case. Not only that, there were several earthquakes and eruptions while I was there and I heard nothing from my program advisor to make sure that I was alright.

Additionally, I would have liked to fly with other people from my program. My parents were extremely nervous about sending me to the other side of the globe on my own. Other programs through USAC offer group flights, group outings, even group dinners and I feel that the New Zealand program gets the short end of the stick. Program providers like GlobalLinks, IFSA Butler, etc. offer those same types of excursions which USAC New Zealand program did not.

The group dinner would have been very helpful to meet other USAC participants in the program. It was very difficult to seek each other out on campus with no internet connection. The International Student Support Staff at Massey hosted pizza nights for us international students to have us mingle and meet each other, and also to give us important information about the university, however it would have been nice to have USAC plan something for us.

USAC did not notify us of additional accommodation fees that we would encounter at the end of our program. The website says that we were to book our flight out with a departure date no later than the 4th July, however orientation did not start until just about a week later. Instead of sitting around campus all day with nothing to do, USAC should have planned a group outing of sorts to keep us occupied - some type of pre-orientation orientation would have been very helpful. A lot of people in the USAC program at Massey Palmy had never left the country before so culture shock and getting around was difficult for them. Living on campus for an additional week was not free, and that additional fee was not outlined in the USAC program information.

I have recommended this program to other students both from my home university and from other universities in the States, however I recommend this program with reservations.
Yes, I recommend
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Amanda
10/10

Massey Wellington a great choice

Even though this program description only addresses the study abroad experience in Palmerston North (where the largest Massey campus is), USAC students can also choose to study in either Auckland (New Zealand's largest city) or Wellington (New Zealand's capital), where Massey has smaller branches.

I chose to study in Wellington. In fact, I chose the USAC program specifically because it included the option to study in Wellington. I had visited Wellington before, and wanted to spend my semester abroad in this great city.

My experience at Massey Wellington was great. The International Student Support staff were all fantastic. I had an issue with my housing the very first day (I lived in a Massey-affiliated apartment with 4 New Zealand students, and was originally placed in the wrong flat), but the support staff was very helpful and got me into a better room situation within 24 hours. The staff also planned get-togethers and outings for all the international students, and were always around and willing to chat. Our main support contact even helped us out with travel planning!

Massey Wellington is largely a design school, but I took courses ("papers") there in journalism, pop culture, and travel writing. The courses were interesting, and the in-class time and workload was, frankly, minimal. I went to class 7 hours a week, and had 4-day weekends. Assignments were tough when they came around, but nothing I wasn't prepared to handle.

I enjoyed going to school in New Zealand. But I enjoyed living in Wellington even more. My flatmates were fun (though housing was co-ed, which I was not expecting), and the city of Wellington is fantastic. It's not a small city like Palmerston North, nor a big city like Auckland. Instead, it's a very walkable, livable city. There's tons of culture here (food, theater, nightlife), and always something going on. Plus, with it's location right in the middle of the country, it makes a great jumping-off point for other travel around New Zealand.

And, if you're going to study abroad in New Zealand, most definitely plan to do some traveling. The country is small and easy to get around, and has so much beauty that it will blow your mind. And the locals? Some of the friendliest people you will ever meet.

Yes, I recommend

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USAC is a non-profit consortium of U.S. universities that collaborates to offer affordable, academic and authentic study abroad programs. There are abundant opportunities to immerse in the culture, history, and academics of other countries providing...