Feeling On Top of the World in the Land Down Under Past Review

By (Franklin & Marshall College) - abroad from 07/19/2017 to 12/02/2017 with

IFSA: Sydney - Macquarie University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that I could rely on myself and trust myself through anything. It was worth all the hardwork I have done my entire life, to get into college and then get into my study abroad program. I'd do it all over again if I could.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I was still expected to complete assignments and do well on exams, but I learned so much without being overworked or over-stressed!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Spending a few days in the city was really great, I liked the hostel we stayed at and the program did a great job of telling us what we needed to know without keeping us from exploring on our own time.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

For the most part, I loved my housing situation. Although it was scary not knowing my roommates beforehand, having my own room and bathroom (I lived on the West end of the Macquarie University Village) was comforting and I was close to the laundry facilities too.

* Food:

I had to prepare essentially all of my meals abroad, which is nice because I didn't have to worry about eating but it was annoying to have to come home after a long day and cook.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

By the end of my time abroad, I felt as though I had fully immersed myself into their world. So much so that I felt comfortable exploring downtown by myself without friends or GPS instructions!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Through my program we were given two types of insurace, to cover me both in and outside of Australia during my time abroad. It was easy to set up and they provided me with all the materials I needed. Once I had to set up an appointment with the doctor and it was simple and quick as there was a hospital right next to campus!

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe or uneasy the entire time I was in Sydney. Even when I went out with friends to clubs, there were security posted around multiple blocks down the street. They were friendly and made sure no one was lost or too drunk to get home. I was still vigilant as I was in a foreign country but I never had anything stolen.

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

I had the autonomy to do as I pleased. I wasn't just a student abroad, I was a 20 year old young woman living in Sydney, Australia for almost 5 months. I grew so much, while still learning in school and balancing the normal everyday challenges of being a grown-up. I love Sydney, and IFSA-Butler gave me the opportunity to spend as much time in it as possible.


* 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 VERY expensive. Groceries, going out, travel, souvenirs, you name it. If it can be sold, it is probably going to cost more than you're used to paying for in America.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Easily $75 American dollars on groceries alone.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan out your time abroad. See what places both in and outside of Australia you would like to see. From there you can prioritize and pick what is most important so you can budget everything!


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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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 places I saw
  • The people I met
  • The freedom I had
* What could be improved?
  • I'd wished I lived with more people in my program instead of only 1 or 2 and the rest strangers.
  • Maybe make orientation 5 or 6 days as opposed to 4, so there is more time to enjoy the city while living in it.
  • I felt that sometimes the Macquarie students weren't as considered in IFSA activities as those students at UNSW
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how much money I'd be spending and that I was going to be on one of the best trips of my life.

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 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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Introduction to Anthropology: Identity and Difference

Course Department: Anthropology
Instructor: Aaaron Denham
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was hands-down my favorite class during my time abroad! I learned an incredible amount of information, things I never knew existed about human interaction and why we organize ourselves the way we do in different societies. The professor was incredibly friendly and encouraged us to get involved with discussion both in lecture and tutorial! There was a midterm, final, 3 mini essays, and then weekly readings with quizzes. The workload was more than manageable, and the readings were so interesting!
Credit Transfer Issues: No, my credit transferred as an intro anthro class no problems!