Past Review


IFSA: Sydney - Macquarie University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience was definitely worthwhile. I learned more about the type of person I am and how I relate to new situations and people. I wish I could have spent more time there. I do not think any other experience has been able to teach me so much about myself, other cultures, and how everything relates on a global level. I appreciate everything that I have gained from the people I met, the teachers I had, and the country as a whole. Most of all, I have a new appreciation for my life at home, yet also a new determination to travel as much as possible.

Personal Information

The term and year this program took place: Fall 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The work load was less per week than in the United States, but more challenging. I wrote several research papers during the semester and was expected to read at least two novels per week.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I was fortunate enough to have a very likable, knowledgeable, caring program advisor who spent a lot of time planning excursions for us. She made herself available often, especially in our initial acclimating phase. The orientations offered by my program and the school were very informative and answered all of my questions and concerns. My school advisor was also very helpful with any problems I had.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in the Macquarie University Village West Side. I had my own bedroom and bathroom, but lived with four other international students. We shared a kitchen and living room. <br /><br /> I really enjoyed living with people from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds. Living with other international students enhanced my abroad experience. The neighborhood was safe and not too far of a walk from a small shopping center, classes,a large shopping center, buses, and trains.

* Food:

N/A - no food was provided for me.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I went on a trip to the Blue Mountains for a weekend excursion sponsored by my program. It enabled us to experience a part of Australia that we probably would not have been able to visit otherwise. It was an optional trip, but very well-planned. We visited caves, went horseback riding, and went hiking. We also learned a lot about the culture in the mountains. Overall, the most memorable attractions were the Blue Mountains, the Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, the Great Barrier Reef, and Philip's Island.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I was aware of all of the student health options and I was even able to get the H1N1 vaccination before returning home. I never felt unsafe the whole time that I was abroad, no matter what part of Australia I was visiting. My campus was very secure and the other places I visited were safe areas with a lot of people around.

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? My spending advice would be to buy any souvenirs for people back home as early as possible. It made it easier to worry about at the end of my time abroad. I did not realize that my phone and especially internet would cost so much. Also, Australian items are generally more expensive, but when I first arrived the exchange rate did not make that too much of an issue. However, well I was there, the dollar broke even, making the expenses seem more outrageous. Overall, I would suggest putting as much money towards doing and seeing things than purchasing things.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? IFSA-Butler made my experience as amazing as it was. It is a great program in terms of providing knowledge about the country and university, and making you feel comfortable. The program encouraged all of us to make the most of our time in a new country and learn as much as we could.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

World Literature in English

Course Department: ENGL275
Instructor: Dr. Rosemery Colmer
Instruction Language: English
Comments: We examined books written in English by authors whose native language was not English. I was exposed to different writing styles from areas in the world that I had not read works from prior to the class. The class largely focused on different cultures, post-colonialism, and diaspora.
Credit Transfer Issues: I did have credit transfer issues, especially with the English Department. I would suggest that other students try to obtain a syllabus as soon as possible and have several back-up courses just in case.