A Super Sydney Semester June 18, 2017

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/18/2017 to 05/04/2017 with

Boston University: Sydney - Sydney Internship Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying abroad was incredible and was a period of great personal growth. I would HIGHLY recommend anyone thinking of studying abroad to do it.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The program was not particularly rigorous, however, the exams and grading did not seem to match the difficulty of the courses. Lectures were easy to understand and essay assignments were simple, but each professor graded in a very different way. They seemed to be very harsh graders for the type of assignments and lectures given, which was frustrating. However, the professors were very nice and made themselves available for questions, which was nice.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site staff were amazing. They were so friendly and helpful and kind. The internship placements for everyone were incredible. I was amazed that they were able to meet varied people's needs in such amazing placements.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing complex was very nice and centrally located. There is air conditioning and housing is in suites of 3-4 single bedrooms, one full bathroom with shower, one toilet/sink bathroom, and a kitchen (no oven). I loved the living situation but was not as happy with the housing placements. It seems that the staff doesn't read the housing surveys and didn't accommodate those needs, instead prioritizing placing people from the same school together. I think this is not best practice for facilitating friendships across schools and socially isolates students.

* Food:

There is no meal plan through the program- you are responsible for your own food. I loved the food in Sydney, but it is pretty expensive. It's a big eating out city, and because there is no oven in the apartment, I bought meals at restaurants a lot. I recommend creating a food budget and meal planning to save money.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program does not academically integrate students with Australian students, but most people were expecting that. Classes are with all Americans and it is hard to meet Australian students. However, the internship is really helpful in creating an immersive experience into Australian work culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was sick a few times on the program and the office staff were very helpful in finding a doctor or treatment. There is a "minute-clinic" type doctor's office a block away and a pharmacy in the same area. The program insurance reimburses you for every expense and prescription medications are extremely cheap. There were no vaccinations I needed to get before going to Australia.

* Safety:

I felt extremely safe in Sydney. The public transport is clean and safe.

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

I think I would have chosen a more immersive program for my own interests, but I loved BU and thought the program was overall great and I also knew what I was getting into.

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 very expensive. I spent most of my money on food and transport (public, I didn't use Uber).

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150-200 USD
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I highly recommend budgeting through an app or website to plan how much money you will spend a week and strictly sticking to it. Meal prep is very helpful and buying instant coffee or a cheap french press could save you lots of money on coffee.

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Amazing internships
  • Great staff
  • Fantastic city
* What could be improved?
  • Length/grading of classes
  • Housing
  • Efforts to integrate with non-American students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how long the classes were. They are 4-5 hours and that style is not conducive, for me at least, for successful learning.