IES Sydney is great! October 07, 2010

By (History And English, University of Rochester) for

IES Abroad: Sydney- University of New South Wales

Would return abroad with the same program
What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I was given the chance to remove myself from my comfort zone and go to a place that I have always wanted to go to. My expectations were exceeded. I saw such beautiful things and tried new things. I was fortunate to travel so much throughout Australia and also to New Zealand. I would never change anything about my abroad experience and would do it all over again if I could.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I was actually impressed with the Uni but I missed so much about my home University while I was there. I felt like everything was such a pain. For example, we couldn't turn in our assignments in class, we had to go to the office and fill out a sheet and turn it in there. Little things like this were annoying and sometimes confusing because the campus was huge!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My program coordinator, Thais Oso was incredible! She was so much fun and always there for us. I had a health scare while I was abroad and I felt completely comfortable calling her and having her help me. She followed up with me every day for the next week and made sure I was okay!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I liked where I lived and my accommodations but I did not enjoy who I lived with. Had this been different I think I would be able to better rate my housing satisfaction. Also, I lived in a suburb of Sydney so it was a 30-45 minute bus ride down town to bars. It could get expensive spending money on bus passes and also the long rides could be annoying. But it is hard to complain about living on the beach in Australia!

* Food:

I didn't have a meal plan

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I loved my program! We had our amazing orientation, then we had a surf lesson, a rugby game, and a closing event. On top of that we had an amazing spring break. We only had to pay IES 500 dollars for everything we did including our flight and it was so worth my money. It was a 6 day trip to Cairns where we did a three day boat trip on the Great Barrier Reef, a day at the Daintree Rainforest, and spent time in Cairns. It was awesome and such a great value for the little amount of money we paid.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Anywhere can be unsafe if you aren't smart. I felt safe because I didn't behave irresponsibly in a foreign city. UNSW insured all of their international students and they had an office on campus where you could bring medical bills. Being in an English speaking country with great healthcare was a plus.

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? It varied per week, whether or not I was traveling, and how much I went out. Overall on traveling and everything I did, ate, buses, etc. I spent around $6000.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget for public transportation! Australia is a very expensive country so be prepared for that as well!

Language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Do it! You will love it!