A Valuable Internship in a Beautiful City January 02, 2016

By (Business, Psychology, Law, Brandeis University) - abroad from 08/17/2015 to 12/03/2015 with

Boston University: Sydney - Sydney Internship Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience abroad was certainly worthwhile. Not only did I learn about myself but I also learnt a good amount about Australian culture. During my time abroad, I gained personal confidence from the validation that I received from my internship advisor and my boss. Moreover, I gained insight into the Australian workplace, and a greater understanding of non-profit, human rights organizations. Further, I completed some of my academic goals by learning some universal marketing skills, in my Marketing Services class, that will hopefully help me with my Business major at Brandeis. Additionally, although I love the Brandeis campus, I am grateful that I was able to experience living in an urban atmosphere.

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.

The educational experience was not intense. There were only a few assignments that counted for a large percentage of the grade, rather than many assignments due each class.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Although the administration on the program were all friendly, at times it felt as though the administration was running this program for their first time, as they were not always organized. I was very appreciative of the events that BU coordinated for us, including pizza nights, a Halloween party, Thanksgiving dinner and a farewell event. That being said, I believe it would be more beneficial if some of the funds allocated to those luxurious events went to arranging necessities, such as transport for us to the airport instead.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

It would have been nice to have a larger kitchen that included a dish washer, but overall, the living arrangement was satisfactory.

* Food:

I enjoyed cooking food for myself. The grocery store was nearby and it was easy to find regular, "American" type food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Inhabitants of Sydney are extremely diverse in terms of culture. Therefore, local cultural differences were only subtle. Generally, it was easy to pick up on local customs in order to feel integrated.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Fortunately, I did not have any experience with healthcare while I was abroad.

* Safety:

I felt extremely safe in Sydney. I was never afraid of walking alone, even at night. Moreover, the dorm building had very high security, including a key pass and a security guard.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

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)

Sydney is an expensive city. However, I did not find it too difficult to live on a budget.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? It depends on what my weekend activities were (i.e. how much exploring, partying), but roughly $150 per week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cooking food for yourself, rather than going out for food, and checking what the grocery stores had on discount are two ways to save on money. Additionally, taking public transport instead of taxis and Ubers. Further, drinking before going out, rather than buying drinks at a bar/club was helpful in saving money.

Language

* 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

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The internship opportunity that I was provided with.
  • The fact that I made several friends from Boston University that I plan on keeping in touch with and seeing next semester since it is an easy commute from Brandeis University.
  • The many festivals and markets that Sydney offered.
* What could be improved?
  • The classes. I did not learn nearly as much in my classes abroad as I usually do at in my classes at Brandeis.
  • The way in which the program chose to spend its money. (I believe they should be spending less money on unnecessary luxuries such as open bars at events and more money on helpful resources such as transportation to the airport).
  • More integration with Australian students.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that I would not experience a large amount of culture shock prior to going on this program. I expected Sydney, Australia, a city across the world, to be very different than American cities. However, I discovered many similarities.

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.