Loyola University Maryland

International Programs

Auckland: Information for Parents

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Program Director

Kenneth Kwarciany
Assistant Director
Office of International Programs
Phone: 410-617-2910
kckwarciany@loyola.edu

Thank you for your interest in our study abroad programs! The goal of this page is to help you better understand the Auckland semester study abroad program and highlight distinguishing features and components that will interest you as a parent. More detailed and updated information is given to your son or daughter in information sessions, academic reviews, workshops, and predeparture orientations. Once you read this information, we strongly encourage you to discuss this with your son/daughter first. Please know all information is given to the students, and we ask students to share all of this with you. 

Sending students abroad is a partnership that includes students, parents, university personnel, and our overseas partners. We realize that you will have questions, and if our website or your son/daughter cannot answer those questions, we will be happy to discuss the study abroad process and program information with you. Keep in mind that due to the FERPA federal regulation (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act), we will not be able to discuss specific information regarding your son/daughter; however, if your son/daughter is willing to sign a waiver form indicating the specific information to be shared with you, we will be more than happy to discuss specific matters regarding your son/daughter.

We hope you find this information helpful in assisting your son/daughter to accomplish his or her goal of learning, living, and serving abroad. We look forward to working with you and your son/daughter.

General Information

Loyola students can study abroad at the University of Auckland in Auckland, New Zealand. The program is a semester program and the semesters run from mid-February to late-June and also from early July to mid-November.

Criteria for Acceptance and Application Requirements

For the Loyola study abroad program in Auckland, students must have a minimum 3.0 CQPA. They should apply to Loyola’s Office of International Programs office by December 3 (Wednesday after Thanksgiving break) of their sophomore year in order to be considered for fall or spring semester spots in their junior year. Disciplinary records from the school’s Office of Student Life are taken into consideration when reviewing applications. Students should mark down second and third choices in the event that we cannot offer them a spot in the Auckland program. There are 30 available spots each semester.

Baggage

As of now, the first checked bag is still free for Air New Zealand. Because Air New Zealand is the ticketing airline, the rules apply for the domestic portion of the flights.

Once checked in, students are free to bid farewell to family and friends before heading to the departure gate. For further information regarding guidelines for checked baggage and carry-on luggage please visit the Air New Zealand website. Please keep in mind that international flights are very strict about luggage size and weight. Also, please see the following note about carry-on restrictions:

Carry-On Baggage

Liquids, gels and/or aerosols are permitted through security checkpoints. Items must fit in one clear, resealable quart or liter-sized plastic bag, in containers of 3.4oz/100ml or less. Plastic bags must be completely sealed and will be x-rayed at the security checkpoint separately.

The following items are allowed, but must be presented to officials at security checkpoints if they are not contained in clear plastic bags or are of greater volume than 3.4oz/100ml in the United States or 100ml/3.3oz in the EU:

  • Baby formula/milk, including breast milk, and baby food in containers if a baby or small child is traveling.
  • Medications (liquid, gel or aerosol), liquids, juices or gels for diabetic passengers who indicate a need for such items to address their medical condition. (A letter from your physician is not necessary).
  • Passengers are permitted to take liquids, gels, and/or aerosols purchased in the boarding area on board the aircraft. This includes all duty- free items.

On-Site Support

We have an on-site coordinator to assist the students with any questions, concerns, illnesses, or other issues while they are in Auckland. Ms. Jay Engelbrecht is the coordinator, and thus the main point of contact for the students throughout the semester. She is there for support 24/7 in case of emergency. Students will meet her on their first day when they arrive at the dorm from the airport. 

Auckland International is the office on the ground at the university that assists study abroad students. Sherry Fan is the Regional Team Leader in charge of the United States' students. Students can also seek help from anyone in their office for questions, advice, or any issues/ problems that arise during the semester. 

During orientation, students will also receive an international student handbook that will list the designated international student advisors and their contact information. Each year there are three designated Advisors that are available to students 24 hours/day, seven days/week. Like Jay, they can help with anything from academic issues to health issues to homesickness.

Arrival/Contact

The group will arrive in Auckland around 5 a.m. in the morning. After getting their bags and going through customs, students will take a bus from the airport to the dorms where they will be living. They will check into their rooms and have a brief introduction on the dorm building with the community manager. They will also meet Jay, our onsite coordinator there. There is a full university orientation that they will attend the following week.

Please remember that New Zealand is currently 18 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. It may be difficult for your students to contact you immediately upon arrival. I know that you will be nervous and apprehensive, but please give them time to get their bearings, find a phone card or the Internet and contact home. The phone system works differently than ours and the Internet will not be set up for them to use on campus right away. Remember that no news is good news! The students are generally very excited and busy adjusting to a new life in their first couple of weeks so contact may be less frequent at first. It would be smart to determine a good time to talk with your student once they know their schedule so that you don’t lose contact. The 18-hour time difference itself makes it difficult, and their busy schedules and traveling only add to that. 

Background

Auckland, known as the City of Sails, is located on the Hauraki Gulf on the northern island of New Zealand. It has quite a small city feel, and is very clean and lovely. It is mainly a walking city, but there is a good bus system that makes getting around even easier. Despite the small feel, it is still the largest city in New Zealand. If you enjoy outdoor activities, New Zealand is arguably one of the best places to visit in the world. The two small islands that comprise the country have everything from beaches to glaciers.  All imaginable outdoor activities are at your fingertips.

Academics

Students at the University of Auckland take four classes. These transfer back to Loyola as 4-credit courses, for a total of 16 credits instead of the usual 15 back here at home. Students must have one free elective available to get credit for a fifth course on their degree audit. Classes are registered for online just before departure and may require a concession to be approved in order to register. Classes are much larger than Loyola classes and are in the style of lectures as opposed to seminars. There is more focus on independent learning.

Length of Stay

This is a one-semester program for the fall or the spring semester

The fall program runs from early July through mid-November. The spring program runs from mid-February through the end of June.

Insurance and Health

Loyola pays for all students to be covered by New Zealand health and travel insurance through the University of Auckland. The plan is called StudentSafe-University and meets New Zealand government requirements. Students are covered anywhere in the Australasia region except for Asian countries. This means students are covered for any trips taken to Australia or any islands around Australia or New Zealand. Coverage starts within 31 days of the semester (beginning or end). There is a new underwriter for the policy now (switched from NZI to VERO). You can visit the website for more information on the policy.

Please note that the policy does include personal effects and belongings insurance as well as travel insurance. It also includes emergency evacuation and repatriation coverage. There is a full health center on campus as well as a dentist office and counseling center. Students can see the health center for free, and prescriptions written by the health center can generally be filled there for free, or at a very low cost. If a student wishes to see a doctor off campus, or a specialist, the health center can give a referral and help to get the student seen. Otherwise, students are free to use any hospital or doctor in the country. They will simply have to submit a claim, and then will be issued reimbursement. Our students have had good experiences with the insurance plan as well as the healthcare in New Zealand. The dorm, Huia, is actually next door to Auckland’s main hospital.

Students do not need to purchase supplemental health insurance. The New Zealand plan is what they will use as their primary insurance while studying there. We do require students to submit to us a copy of the front and back of their U.S. health insurance card. We also ask for proof of international coverage from the U.S. policy (either a letter from the insurance company or a printed copy of the international policy description from the policy's online manual). We are only asking for proof of overseas coverage for Loyola’s liability purposes. Since the New Zealand policy is not worldwide, and students are technically allowed to travel outside of the area of coverage, we need to know that your policy will provide a back-up to the New Zealand policy if your student goes outside of the area of coverage. However, if your policy does not have any type of overseas coverage (not even the basic emergency basis), then I do not think it is worth it to purchase supplemental insurance. Simply make sure that your son or daughter does not travel outside of the specified coverage area of the New Zealand policy.

Costs

Costs are listed below.

Meals

Students are responsible for their own meals. Students do have a large mini fridge in their rooms. Each floor has its own kitchen equipped with microwave, toaster, stovetops, oven and freezer. Students can purchase kitchen items from Warehouse in downtown Auckland (similar to Walmart). Cooking is the most affordable way to eat while in Auckland. Students in the past have usually cooked a lot of their meals.

There are many places for students to eat on campus. The campus is located in downtown Auckland, so there are also countless options around the city.

Money

It might be a good idea to open a Bank of America checking/debit account for your student if they don’t already have one. Bank of America is partnered with Westpac bank of New Zealand. If your student has a Bank of America account, they can use Westpac ATMs and branches without incurring any fees.

Students also have the option to open up a New Zealand bank account. There is a bank located on campus: National Bank. Students in the past have not done this, but due to a change in health insurance reimbursement, it may be a good idea. Students are refunded by the New Zealand insurance company by check, which can only be cashed by a New Zealand bank account holder. Students may be able to be reimbursed by bank wire to their U.S. account, but they would have to pay the wiring fees, which makes it illogical. If your student already has a Bank of America account, then they may want to open the New Zealand bank account with a small amount of money just to keep it open during their time abroad. 

Other ATM and debit cards should work in all ATM machines. Debit and credit cards are accepted as forms of payment for mostly everything (even taxis).  It is wise to keep your student’s money in their debit account and have them pay with that whenever possible to avoid ATM fees and to get the best exchange rate of the day. This also makes it easy for you to transfer or deposit money into their account for them if necessary. Students can bring travelers checks over if you would like them to, or they can just withdraw cash from an ATM when they arrive. 

We have advised students to contact their banks and credit card companies to inform them that they will be out of the country so that their accounts aren’t frozen once international activity occurs. We also recommend that you and your child check to see what international fees are incurred when using each of their cards, i.e. ATM withdrawal fees, currency conversion fees, etc. Also, you should check to see if your student’s bank is partnered with any banks overseas (if you aren’t with Bank of America, although that is the only one that I know of that is partnered in New Zealand).  The current exchange rate is 1 USD = 1.35 NZD (www.xe.com).  

Expenses

Students' expenses in New Zealand will vary greatly depending on how much they travel, shop and go out at night. Most students will take a trip to the South Island of New Zealand and some have gone over to Australia while abroad. Also, students may decide to take a stopover on their way home (see #11 or the Flight Info document). Other than travel and food expenses, there is not much else to account for in terms of fixed costs. Students should budget around $500 NZD for textbooks (the average). The range for how much students spent overall last semester was $4,000–$9,000 USD. That is all inclusive of entertainment, traveling, food, shopping, and textbooks. It is a large range, but again, will depend on how much your student travels, drinks and eats in restaurants. The median was around $6,000. 

New Zealand is not a cheap place to live though. It is a very small island, and whatever is not made there must be imported. The exchange rate is certainly helping to bring prices to what we would consider more normal levels. Clothing and alcohol are especially expensive, as well as outdoor adventure activities such as skydiving and bungy jumping. Outdoor adventure activities do tend to be a draw for students in going to New Zealand though, so it is something that they should budget for if possible.

**Please keep in mind that study abroad information, dates, benefits, and fees are subject to change without notification. You are encouraged to contact the Office of International Programs directly for the most up-to-date information regarding any study abroad programs offered at Loyola.