I HAVE to live in Australia for at least a year of my life Past Review

By (biomedical engineering, Vanderbilt University) for

IFSA: Sydney - University of New South Wales

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I became more self sufficient and adventurous. I don't think Australia provides cultural awareness in the same way countries with a language barrier do. However, there is a whole other perspective of the world because Australia is this far off land that gets left off the map. Yet it has so much to offer, people should really take a better look.

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I thought that the academic workload was very manageable and I liked all of my professors. It was interesting because the relationship with the professors was very casual. I had a hard time calling them by their first names initially because that is not how it is done in the US.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My host coordinator was fantastic! She communicated and saw us regularly, organized fun outings, and was very personable. I feel that she definitely contributed to my positive experience.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing was incredible. It was arranged by IFSA so I didn't have to stress about finding a place when I was on the other side of the world. The apartments were very new, only a year old, furnished, comfortable and pretty large. I also got to interact and live with international students which made my abroad experience even better.

* Food:

I mostly cooked and the grocery store was close by and accessible by walking. If I wanted to eat out, there were plenty of options nearby in Coogee.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There was a fun wine tasting tour in Hunter Valley, hiking in the Blue Mountains, the Vivid lights festival, a rugby match, a Jazz festival, and many other fun and exciting things to do.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I did not have any health issues and I felt very safe everywhere in Australia.

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? Australia is much more expensive than the US so plan accordingly, especially if you want to travel. Also alcohol is obscenely expensive.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • I loved Sydney
* What could be improved?
  • More interaction with Australians
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Do it. Take advantage of all of the attractions and activities you can while you are there. A student that likes adventures will benefit the most because you can really do anything with your study abroad experience.