Australia: An Amazing Experience Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., Providence College) for

Arcadia: Sydney - Macquarie University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I loved studying in Australia! The country is so beautiful and so diverse, and it really gave me a new insight into respecting other cultures. I am much more aware of other cultures, and have learned things about the surrounding area that I would have never learned back home. Being so much closer to New Zealand and Japan during the earthquakes showed me a lot about the need to help other countries when they are in need. My academic interests have still stayed the same, but it was interesting to be able to take some of my major classes from a different perspective.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload is average, but assignments tend to count for a significant portion of your grade. Participation is not usually considered (unless it is required in tutorials), so the entirety of your grade comes from your essays and exams. Final exams are often at least 50% of your final grade, and there is not much opportunity to discuss grading with professors. The teachers are typically very well-versed in their fields, and lectures are generally interesting and informative. Attendance is not required and is at times discouraged for lectures because of the high amount of enrolled students, but all lectures are recorded online so that students can listen to them at home. The grading system is much different. Instead of A-F, the grades are High Distinction, Distinction, Credit, Pass, and Fail. It is common for students to get a Pass, and very rare for students to get HD's, so it can come as a shock for students coming from PC not to get the higher grades.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in the Macquarie University Village, which is located directly across from the campus itself. The housing was coordinated all through my host program, and all I had to do was request which place I wanted to live. The village was great for meeting international students as well as Australian students, but a majority of the Australian students live at home and commute to university. We were provided with bedding and kitchen supplies upon arrival. The kitchen was initially very messy due to the 2 Australian housemates that had been living here already. We had a few issues with our local roommates due to their lack of cleanliness, but our host program somewhat helped to sort out our problems.

* Food:

The campus hub has a good amount of fast-food type places, and there are multiple coffee shops and carts located throughout campus. There is a mall with a grocery store and lots of restaurants across campus that takes about 20 minutes to walk to. It's definitely nice to have a full kitchen, and I recommend buying groceries and sharing with roommates to save money.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Our program's orientation started in Melbourne, so we were able to see an entirely new city right off the bat. We were immediately brought to a place where we could get up close to wild kangaroos, which was a great introduction to Australia. Sydney is only half an hour away by train or bus, and our program offers harbor cruises and trips to the opera house that students can go on. We also had the opportunity to do a walking tour of the city when we first got here to get acclimated.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

So far I have not needed to use my OSHC or HTH healthcare, but there is a wellbeing clinic located right on campus and all healthcare is free to students who have these healthcare cards. It is required that these be purchased, which was a little unclear through the program, but if anything were to happen it is nice that you don't need to pay for your doctor's visit. No serious health issues were prevalent in Australia.

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? You have to pay for internet, which was $180 for 6 months. Transportation is also expensive so be prepared to pay for it often. The cost of living in general is much higher than back home as well, seeing as minimum wage is significantly higher in Australia. Phone bills can be only $30 a month if you purchase a pay-as-you-go Australian cell phone.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

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

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A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This program is great and really helps you with the study abroad process. Students that are willing to study independently but are also outgoing and willing to try new things will love this program.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Human Biology

Course Department: BIOL108
Instructor: Michael Gillings
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The class was challenging but incredibly informative. All necessary information is covered in lectures, so if the powerpoints are studied and lectures are attended, all of the testable information is available. Michael Gillings knows everything there is to know about biology, and integrates the real world very well into his class. He makes jokes and interesting comments so that the material is easily remembered, and uses videos and other visuals to enhance his lectures. He has multiple assignments and exams throughout the semester to even out the grading, but the final is worth half of your grade. Participation does occur, but the lecture consists of over 300 students so it is not likely that many questions can be answered. His exams are challenging, but he only uses information that he has explicitly discussed during lectures.
Credit Transfer Issues: