The adventure of a lifetime-incredible and unforgettable! Past Review

By (Arizona State University) - abroad from 01/20/2016 to 04/23/2016 with

CEA CAPA Education Abroad: Sydney, Australia

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was absolutely worthwhile-I would do it again in a heartbeat! I gained professional experience, independence, cultural awareness and much more. I learned about myself and that I can be confident in the face of challenges, and I can achieve anything i set my mind to. I cannot wait for my next Australian adventure and look forward to moving back and working and living there one day.

Review Photos

CEA CAPA Education Abroad: Sydney, Australia Photo CEA CAPA Education Abroad: Sydney, Australia Photo CEA CAPA Education Abroad: Sydney, Australia Photo CEA CAPA Education Abroad: Sydney, Australia Photo CEA CAPA Education Abroad: Sydney, Australia 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 loved my CAPA classes and my educational experience while I was abroad. I felt challenged by my courses but not overwhelmed, and I feel like I was able to learn a lot about the Oceania region through my classes. While I did had projects and papers to complete, I did not feel like my workload was too intense and I was confident in my ability to complete my work on time. The resources and support that CAPA offered me were a tremendous help as I learned to navigate the education system abroad. If I needed help with anything, from finding a fax machine or printer to navigating the online submission system, CAPA staff were always willing to help me and ensure that I had all the resources I needed to succeed. I felt like I had a really good balance of class assignments, internship duties and free time. I still had plenty of time to explore Australia and integrate myself into the culture, but my studies came first. I will always remember the help and support that my professors provided me with and the neat experiences I had within the classroom. My overall educational experience far exceeded my expectations and I would recommend CAPA to students who want to have an educational experience that enables them to interact with their host city and country.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I felt like I always had a safe place to go if I had questions or any concerns while in Australia. The CAPA support staff always encouraged students to stop by the office just to chat or try a yummy Australian snack. If I needed help finding a printer or fax machine, I could go there, and if I were to have had any issues, I am confident they would have helped me. It was so lovely to feel so welcome and at ease in a foreign country. The CAPA support staff planned many fun, optional activities for students as well-my favorite was the food crawl through Newtown!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I really liked the Urbanest apartments we were assigned. They were much better than I expected, with many amenities I really appreciated it, including a fitness center, computers and laundry room. The apartments were really nice and very big-especially the kitchen and the living room. I was surprised by how big they were! I always felt very safe in my urbanest and I enjoyed my living experience and getting to know my roommates!

* Food:

The food in Sydney was absolutely to-die for. I have never eaten such a variety of cuisine from around the world! On every street, there is a dazzling variety of food-from fast food staples to Thai, Mexican, Spanish, South American, Chinese, Italian and everything in between. One of the neatest things about Australia is that the country does not have a lot of chain restaurants. In America, we have Applebees, IHOP and a million other sit-down restaurants you can find across the country, but in Australia, almost every cafe and restaurant is independently-owned and operated, often times by families. I absolutely loved this, because I never knew what to expect and the menu was always different, featuring delicious food that I had not tried before. I must say Sydney's bacon&egg rolls easily became my favorite food of all time. I highly recommend stopping by a breakfast cafe (Newtown's Cafe in Newtown is my top choice) and trying a bacon & egg roll with barebeque sauce. I miss that meal everyday-it was my go-to while I was in Australia!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Australians are so friendly and welcoming in general, so I felt it was easy for me to integrate with the culture and meet Australian friends. I have some lifelong friends in Australia now, including some of my co-workers from my internship! I definitely did a lot of exploring in the small towns and suburbs in order to get a feel for everyday Australian life. There is always something going on, and it's easy to get involved and meet Australians, whether it be at the Manly Beach Surf Competition or the weekly markets in Glebe.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was lucky enough to stay perfectly healthy during my time in Australia, but a few of my close friends did get sick and I accompanied them to the doctor. I heard all good things about the healthcare system-there was a clinic in the nearby shopping centre that was easily accessible. We did not need any specific vaccines to enter Australia. My friends said the health care system was similar, and they felt like the Doctors generally cared about their health and wellbeing

* Safety:

I felt safer in Sydney than I have ever felt anywhere else. This may be because weapons are banned, including guns, as well as the fact that the public transportation system is very well-managed and secure. For me, living and attending school in a major metropolitan US city (Phoenix), a big safety concern I have is public transportation. While riders on the lightrail and buses are supposed to have a ticket, security is sparse and anyone can get on the public transportation. There have been times on the public transportation when I have felt very uncomfortable. In comparison, Sydney was a million times better. For their train and bus system all riders are required to tap on and tap off using the Opal card. If you don't have an Opal card, you cannot get through the gates for the trains or get onto the bus. This eliminates many of the sketchy figures that plague the public transportation in Arizona. I always felt very safe on the train and bus in Australia-there was never one time where I felt uncomfortable on my way to school or work. I also felt very safe walking throughout the city-I never felt as though I was in a sketchy area or that I needed extra security as I walked through the city.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I think about going back and repeating this amazing experience all the time. It was absolutely incredible to go to school, work and live in Australia, and it has completely changed my future. I want to move back one day. Studying abroad in Australia was always a dream of mine, and accomplishing it was absolutely incredible. Going abroad and traveling and experiencing another culture inspired me to always shoot for the stars and achieve my dreams-I want to continue living an extraordinary life and I look forward to the future. CAPA Sydney was the perfect mix of support and independence-I truly felt like I was a professional adult, working in Sydney and taking classes. I felt so independent, with my own apartment, grocery shopping, money management and much more. I feel like, now that I lived across the world successfully and independently, I can do anything! I would love the chance to do it all over again, but I know I will be going back one day because Sydney is now home for me.


* 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)

It was very easy for me to live on a student's budget, but I am very frugal to begin with. The Broadway Shopping Centre is a five minute walk from the apartments and boasts at least four major grocery chains, where students can easily shop for food, groceries and personal necessities on a budget. I would recommend Aldi or Cole's-I always found what I was looking for and I was able to get some very good deals. If you watch your spending and save your money for the fun excursions and adventures you really want to do, you will have no problem with money and your finances. There are plenty of ways to save money as a student in Australia. Also look for nearby farmers markets for fresh fruit and vegetables-it's a great way to support the local community and save money on produce!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save money by grocery shopping and cooking at home rather than eating out. Restaurant menus are generally more expensive in Australia, as waitress and waiters are paid a higher wage instead of receiving tips, so restaurants generally charge more. Expect to pay $15-20 for a typical casual dinner meal. Work hard before you go! The best way to have enough money for your trip and to do all the things you want to do is save before you go! Work hard--all of that effort will be totally worth it when you have the time of your life in Australia! Traveling with friends is a great way to save money. Split hostels, hotels or villas while on vacation, as well as taxis and more.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* 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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Excursions/Field Trips
  • Course topics that were specific to Australia and New Zealand
  • The support staff
* What could be improved?
  • transportation to housing site upon arrival
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't worry! I was so anxious and worried before I left, and I wish I hadn't been. Everything works out, I met my best friends on my flight to Australia, I had enough money....everything I had ever worried was never a concern once I was actually in Australia.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.