Studying in Australia: The Best Time of My Life Past Review

By (Elementary/Special Education, Providence College) for

Arcadia: Wollongong - University of Wollongong

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself while studying abroad. It made me reflect on my life and made me appreciate and think about the everyday things I have and do while in the United States. I missed my family, but it helped teach me how important family and some friends are.

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 grading system was very different than I was used to. They graded much harded and had a different scale to use. Instead of using A, B, C they used HD which is high distinction, D which is distinction and P which is pass. The grade transfer over differently and it is similar once back at PC.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Arcadia had wonderful program directors that were very close and available to my university. Although they were located in Sydney, they made several trips to Wollongong to meet with us and they encouraged to call anytime we needed anything or just wanted to talk. They planned trips and aided us when we needed them. The orientation when we first arrived in Australia was great and it got me comfortable with the country and customs quickly. It also gave me an opportunity to meet other students studying abroad both at my university and at other universities around Australia.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved living at Weerona College. I thought it was one of the best decisions that I made. The orientation week we had before classes start was one of the biggest helps I had. It allowed me to meet other students who began living at Weerona at the same time and also other returning students. It was how I made most of my friends. It was very close to nightlife and there was a party bus that picked us up at Weerona to bring us to local bars on certain nights. They supplied sheets and pillows and a towel and there was plenty of space to store all of my belongings. The co-ed bathrooms were strange at first, but was easy to adjust to. It was a great location because you could walk to the mall, the bars, and to campus.

* Food:

You eat a lot of sandwiches at Weerona. At breakfast there is a station where you can make your own sandwhich for lunch. I did not like this because I do not eat sandwiches very often. I got used to it and went out to lunch often. Other than that the food was not too bad. It's dining hall food, so how good can it get?

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was the best time of my life and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Spring break was one of my favorites times there. My friends and I went on one fish two fish, which is a planned trip up north. It gave us a chance to see beautiful islands and experience partying throughout Australia. We signed up for this by ourselves, but the program told us about it.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe everywhere in Wollongong. Everyone was very friendly and I never felt threatened. I did not need any vaccines and I did not get sick while I was there.

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? I think that brining Australian dollars with me was a large help. Also, I had Bank of America which transfered to a bank there, so I did not have to deal with opening an Aussie bank account or getting fees for using a different ATM.


If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The orientation when first arriving in Australia
* What could be improved?
  • More aid while completing the applications by PC
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I think any student would benefit from this program. I think that the amount of effort you put into having a good time, experiencing the culture, and meeting new people is the amount that you will get out of the experience.