Adventure is Out There Past Review

By (Occupational Therapy, Ithaca College) - abroad from 02/21/2015 to 06/28/2015 with

IES Abroad: Sydney Direct Enrollment - Macquarie University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was absolutely worthwhile and some of the best four months of my life. I made friends and memories that I will never forget and constantly keep in touch with. I traveled so many places that most people don't have the opportunity to see and I have definitely grown as a person and become much more independent.

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.

Macquarie University had a wide selection of classes I could have taken while I was abroad. I was able to challenge myself with some classes, by stepping out of my comfort zone and surrounding myself in a different culture. The assessments for each class were worth a lot more (percentage wise) in comparison to my home school, which made the academic rigor much more intimidating. There were many online resources that Macquarie University provided to help me do the best I could during my study abroad experience. The professors were extremely friendly and always encouraged emailing them if they had questions or to set up an appointment in their office.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The IES program was absolutely outstanding and the staff was so energetic, friendly, and helpful. They made us feel right at home as soon as we arrived in Sydney and always kept in contact with us throughout the semester to make sure we were all doing okay. However, Macquarie University I don't think was the right choice for me. It was a 40 minute train commute to the center of Sydney which I would go to alot and the transportation added up over time. I spent a lot of time with friends at other universities so I wish I was closer to them.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living in a residential college really allowed me to experience the Australian culture. I lived with 90% australians which made me develop incredible friendships, and allowed me to really live on my own.

* Food:

I have nothing bad to say about ANY of the food I ate while I was in Australia. The cafes were super cute and you could order anything you wanted, from poached eggs and smashed avo, to kangaroo pizza and crocodile steak. The food is relatively more expensive than America but it is absolutely worth it. I didn't eat out as much as some people did because I had a dining hall in my residential college which was really nice.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Especially living in the college, I felt very integrated with the culture very quickly. The locals are very friendly and always wanted to help Americans, they love the accents just as much as we love theirs!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Did not have an experience with healthcare while I was abroad but from what I've heard from other people, it was very easy to get to a doctor and address issues they needed to take care of.

* Safety:

Sydney is a very safe city and at no time did I feel unsafe when I was walking alone or traveling from city to city. I was not the only person who was not from Sydney, there are a lot of tourists in Sydney and both locals and tourists were very interested in learning more about different countries they had not visited. The biggest safety advice I have is to make sure you look to the right when you cross the crosswalks!!!

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)

Australia is a lot more expensive than America, but with a dining hall, I didn't eat out that much which saved me a lot of money. Most of the clothes there I could find back home so I didn't buy many things except for postcards and souvenirs for family and friends back home. I also planned a few big trips while I was abroad which is where most of my money went. I would book trips on JetStar, which is a website where you can find cheap flights near and around Sydney. The other thing I spent the most money on was transportation. Having an Opal card is great because it's very easy to get from place to place by train, bus or ferry, however, since my commute into the Sydney CBD was 40 minutes, I spent a lot more money on transportation than I should have.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $45


* 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

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • Friends I made
  • The atmosphere of Sydney
  • Food
* What could be improved?
  • Have more fun day trips as a program, they were so fun!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It's going to be a lot more expensive. Don't overpack because you need to buy souvenirs (Tim Tams especially)!!

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.