Australia: A Life-Changing Experience Past Review

By (Accounting, Providence College) for

Arcadia: Wollongong - University of Wollongong

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying in Australia was a very eye-opening experience that made me realize how diverse the world really is. Their culture, although it is said to be somewhat similar to ours, actually seemed very different to me, and I enjoyed learning their customs and the qualities that truly characterize Australia. The Australian people are overall very welcoming and friendly, and I made a great number of friends from both America and Australia that I will be keeping in touch with. I am now much more eager to travel the rest of the world after participating in this program, and I had a lot of fun exploring the country with all of the new friends that I made.

Review Photos

Arcadia: Wollongong - University of Wollongong Photo Arcadia: Wollongong - University of Wollongong Photo Arcadia: Wollongong - University of Wollongong Photo Arcadia: Wollongong - University of Wollongong Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I found that the University of Wollongong conducted classes much different than what I was used to at Providence College. Being from a small home college with small class size, I was not used to the large lecture halls in which most of my classes took place. In addition, the format of each class, which included one weekly lecture and then one weekly smaller tutorial, was also different. Despite these differences, the workload was fairly similar to what I was used to, and it did not take much time for me to adapt to this new system. I was still able to succeed academically in every class. I am still somewhat confused by the grading system here, as they do not have a system of A, B, C, D, etc., but they have a system of "High Distinction", "Distinction", "Credit", "Pass", and "Fail". I am not sure how these grades transfer over to Providence, but it seems as though they grade a little bit more difficult in Australia than they do in the United States. Nonetheless, I did not find it too hard to obtain a good grade here if you put the proper amount of time and effort into your assignments.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Arcadia made most things very easy for me upon my arrival in Australia. During orientation, they did a great job introducing any issues that might arise and how we should handle these issues, as well as introducing us to Australian culture and what we could expect while we were here. This minimized the culture shock of being in a new foreign place and made the transition much easier. In addition, they helped to introduce each participant to the variety of people in the program, and I was fortunate to meet a number of great people that I plan on keeping in touch with even when I return to the USA. Their administration services were also superb, as they took care of most paperwork and administration issues involving the host university as well.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Food was rather expensive here, as I had to prepare my own meals on a daily basis because my accomodation did not come with a meal plan. I spent a significant amount of money on food every week or so, which was a little bit of a challenge.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

During orientation, Arcadia took us to Sorrento and Melbourne on the south coast of Australia, introducing us to some great tourist spots and helping us assimilate into Australian society. They also took us on a free trip halfway through the semester to Jervis Bay, which was a beautiful beachy community at which we learned to surf and had a great week of camping. Throughout the trip, they also organized two dinners for all of the students at the University of Wollongong, which were great social events that allowed me to keep in touch with everyone in the program.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

During orientation, Arcadia briefed us significantly on safety and health issues that we may have faced while we were here. Their assistance in acquiring health insurance while in Australia was also very helpful, as I felt safe with this program during my entire trip.

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? Definitely plan on paying a monthly fee for internet and phone usage, as their technology is less advanced and more expensive than it is in the USA.


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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

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

Select all that apply

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • I liked the social aspect of the program, as several events were organized through both the study abroad program and the host university that made the entire semester very enjoyable.
* What could be improved?
  • I think that the correspondence of the program could be slightly improved, as they would often take care of application or accomodation issues without really letting me know that they were addressing these issues.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Choosing this program was probably the best decision that I've made during my college years. They allowed me to meet many great people and helped me flourish socially, so a very social person would do well in this program. They were very helpful throughout the application process as well as setting up the accomodations after my approval, so I would certainly recommend going abroad through Arcadia.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Australian Studies: Cultures and Identities

Course Department: AUST101
Instructor: Georgine Clarson
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was very enlightening in terms of Australian history and culture. I am very glad that I took it, as I feel that I learned a significant amount about Australia's past, present, and prospects for the future. It made me feel more in touch with Australian culture, and it was certainly a beneficial experience.It was a fair amount of work, yet I enjoyed completing the assignments because of the learning I achieved through them. It was also interesting to observe the issues discussed from an Australian perspective and then add my own comments from the American perspective as well.
Credit Transfer Issues: None to date.