Just Another Day In Paradise: An Australian Life Experience Past Review

By (Communication, University of Hartford) for

IFSA: Gold Coast & Brisbane - Griffith University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Absolutely. I gained so much knowledge about myself and the world around me. I appreciate life so much more and I truly enjoy and cherish every day that I have. I would love to do it again and/or work for a program like this one to help integrate students into their country of choice. I had such a meaningful experience, it would hurt me not to share it.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

As I said before, the workload was not overwhelming at all. I took about 3 tests, and wrote about 6 papers throughout my 4 1/2 month long study while taking 4 classes. Teaching was more of a "do it yourself" attitude and you must be prepared to motivate yourself to go to class and to do your work- because you can fall behind easily.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I loved everything about my program. It was the perfect size with great leadership. We were helped through any problem that we faced and I truly enjoyed my experience with IFSA-Butler.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

There was no meal plan with my program.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We went to go see an Australian Football League game as well as going to the rainforest, and sea kayaking in Byron Bay. We had a farewell dinner, and we met with our program advisor every Thursday during lunch time. It was great.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I was sick multiple times while abroad. I had conjunctivitis, the flu, and a sinus infection. Each time I went to the doctor. It was set up very nicely where I could use the on campus doctor, or go off campus and receive the money back for the visit through my insurance, OSHC. No vaccines were needed for going to this country.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent about $200 a week on food and personal expenses. I would try and stretch this money out as long as I could until I needed more. It is good to take out large amounts so then you don't get charged transactions fees!!!
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't forget that moving in is like being a freshman all over again. You will need extra pillows and things for your room! You will be there for a while and although it's hard to buy something that you know you are only going to use for a short amount of time, that time is longer than you think. So if you think you need it, buy it.


If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Very detailed.
* What could be improved?
  • Maybe something a little shorter, but make sure that all of the points that are important are hit.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Go with IFSA-Butler if you would like the option to be taken very good care of when you are in need. It is a great program to be apart of whether you are needy, or independent. If you need someone, they are there. If you don't, then you are in your own!