A Semester of Adventure in Sydney Past Review

By (Economics, Tufts University) - abroad from 07/17/2015 to 11/22/2015 with

IES Abroad: Sydney Direct Enrollment - University Of Sydney

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I had never really traveled before, so I really learned how to be independent and to be on my own. At first, I was incredibly homesick and the adjustment was very tough, but after a month or so, I never wanted to leave! It was absolutely incredible. I learned so much about myself and have a very different perspective on foreign culture and on my own home here in the US.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I did not find the academics nearly as challenging as at my school at home, but it was nice to have extra time to enjoy the city and travel.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our adviser, Matt, was absolutely amazing and very supportive!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

The food scene in Sydney is fabulous, but it's very expensive! And there are no dining hall kind of options.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It would've been nice to live with Australian students in our suites instead of just Americans.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

I knew I wanted to study in Sydney, but I chose IES fairly arbitrarily. I am SO glad that I did! Even compared to other abroad students I spoke to in Sydney, our support system was great, and they planned wonderful trips for us! I don't think I would've seen nearly as much of Cairns or areas around Sydney without this support. Our program was also pretty small, so it allowed for us to be a tight-knit group and really get to know each other!


* 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 a very expensive city. Even with the exchange rate in our favor, I spent around $200 a week, and this was a pretty average number, I would say.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget yourself carefully and prioritize the things you really want to do. Try not to eat out too much -- that was my biggest problem, but no regrets!


* 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

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • travel
  • social life
  • the city
* What could be improved?
  • living quarters (more Australians!)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Nothing, really! All abroad programs are kind of elusive... However, I never discovered anything about IES that I didn't end up liking!