Pretending to be a local. Past Review

By (Philosophy., Trinity University) - abroad from 02/13/2013 to 06/30/2013 with

Arcadia: Sydney - Macquarie University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that it is important to experience new things and learn about a new way of life, but it is also important to stay true to yourself. It was definitely a worthwhile experience that enlightened me to various strengths and weaknesses in my own character that I had not previously been aware of. I focused more on getting to know people, particularly local students, more than travelling and seeing the country. And I think this was the right way to go about it. I have formed bonds with people that are completely different from anyone I've ever met at home and that is something invaluable to me.

Review Photos

Arcadia: Sydney - Macquarie University Photo Arcadia: Sydney - Macquarie University Photo Arcadia: Sydney - Macquarie University Photo Arcadia: Sydney - Macquarie University Photo Arcadia: Sydney - Macquarie University Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes were quite a bit easier than those I usually take at my home university, but I found that I was glad it was this way. It gave me more time to enjoy the experience rather than worrying about school work all the time.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Arcadia staff were very accessible and helpful without being overbearing or controlling. They provided opportunities but gave students the freedom to take them or explore other options on their own. I found this was the perfect balance for the kind of independent experience I was looking for.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved living at Dunmore Lang College. It gave me the opportunity to meet Australian students and really get a feel for what it is like to be a college student in their country. It allowed me to experience life the way Australian students do, which is what I was looking for all along.

* Food:

It was incredible having the dining hall at DLC provide all meals for us. Though the food wasn't top-tier quality every day, it was convenient and eating in the dining hall was an excellent way to socialize.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Living side by side with Australian students really let me get the feel for their culture and the way they do things and how this differs from what I am used to at my home university.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Health Care was incredibly accessible and OSHC covered all the expenses. Which was amazing. The best experience I had was being able to walk into the doctor, tell her which birth control I was on, and having her write a prescription and hand it to me. It was simple, quick, and incredibly convenient. And it didn't cost me a thing. I was so thankful that it was so easy to get my prescription as it was something I had been worrying about upon coming overseas!

* Safety:

There was not a single moment during which I felt insecure or unsafe in my environment.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* 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)

It's easy to live on a cheap, student budget, but it is also very easy to get caught up in everything that is going on and blow through your money. Its just important to keep track of how much you're spending and prioritize the activities you are interested in taking part in so that you don't end up looking at your bank account one day without having realized that you all of a sudden have way less than you should.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Just keep track of how much you spend each week and make sure you budget and prioritize.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Living arrangements
  • Hands-off staff
  • Freedom/independence
* What could be improved?
  • More explanation/information regarding class registration
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had really understood how expensive everything is in Australia. Prices on just about everything are somewhere between 1.5 times and twice as expensive as prices in the states. It kind of catches you off-guard, even if you had been warned, if you don't know the exact numbers beforehand.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'