A Truly Unforgettable Experience Past Review

By (Environmental Sustainability, Philadelphia University) - abroad from 07/26/2014 to 12/08/2014 with

IFSA: Sydney - Macquarie University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I could go on for days about all the things I learned and gained from being abroad, but I'll try to keep it short. I learned a lot about myself as a person, what I like and dislike, as well as where I want to go in life. I became more independent, spontaneous, and laid back. I learned to plan ahead, multi-task, and accept that things don't always go as planned. Studying abroad was the greatest decision I have ever made, and it will definitely be your greatest decision too!

Review Photos

IFSA-Butler: Sydney - Macquarie University Photo IFSA-Butler: Sydney - Macquarie University Photo IFSA-Butler: Sydney - Macquarie University Photo IFSA-Butler: Sydney - Macquarie University Photo IFSA-Butler: Sydney - Macquarie University Photo

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.

Australian courses are definitely a bit more intense than American ones. I say this only because you do a lot more individual learning in Australia, whereas in America I feel professors hold our hands a bit more. There is not as much work, only a few assignments per semester, however each assignment is worth a hefty percent of your final grade.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

IFSA Butler Australia staff were AMAZING! They were always just a phone call/text/email away and were extremely helpful with every situation students faced.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved having my own room and bathroom, I just wish we got partnered with more comparable roommates. Other than that, the village I lived in was great because all my friends were close by.

* Food:

I loved every single thing I ate in Australia. I'm a vegetarian and despite being such a meat-loving country, they cater extremely well to vegos. Everything they had was so delicious, I hated leaving and coming back to our crappy American food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Besides the gorgeous accents, while I was on campus I didn't really feel like I was in Australia. However, when I went out into the city, the beaches, or to festivals and events I really felt the Aussie pride and culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any personal health issues while abroad, but it was nice knowing I was covered.

* Safety:

There was never a time that I felt unsafe in Sydney. Overall, I think the city is very low on crime, and I was never worried while walking around at night because everything is very lit up and open.

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)

If you don't save up a lot prior to going abroad in Australia, it will be hard to budget. I saved up almost a year in advance, and I'm so happy I did because I never had to think twice about booking a trip or buying tickets to a rugby game. I was able to do everything I wanted because I had prepared. Things are definitely more expensive in Australia, so just be ready to pay nearly double for everyday items like snacks and drinks while you're out and about.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Aroung $100-150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Definitely plan ahead! Know that groceries are more expensive than here in the states. But keep in mind that restaurants are expensive too! So groceries and cooking for yourself are definitely the way to go when it comes to food. Also budget for transportation. I easily spent up to $30 a week on trains and busses. If you know you're going abroad, start saving now. It's always better having extra money to play with than being short and missing out on something!


* 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

  • 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?
  • The experience of a new culture and surroundings
  • Freedom to travel and explore the world
  • All of the events put on by IFSA-Butler to help us get a true Australian experience
* What could be improved?
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I was a bit more adventurous in the beginning and put myself out there more. I was hesitant being in a new surrounding, and I'm sure everyone will feel the same entering a new country. But be fearless and go out and explore. You won't regret it!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.