Semester Vacation in Australia Past Review


IFSA: Sydney - University of New South Wales

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The experience was a lot different from what I was expecting, I think I thought it would be more American than it was. The people and attitudes are much more relaxed there, and I enjoyed living in a different atmosphere for a few months.

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The grading was fairly easy and the course load is really manageable. I never spent more than a couple of hours a week doing homework, and I was still always prepared for the tutorials.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program was really accessible and kept in touch with us throughout the semester. The abroad office at the school was really helpful as well.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The location was amazing, our apartments were really nice and they were right next to the beach. The neighborhood could be a little sketchy at times, but I never felt unsafe at all. Our building was full of American abroad students, so we all got to know each other pretty well. Silverware, pots, plates, cups, etc was all provided for us which was nice, we just had to buy sheets and towels and other household supplies.

* Food:

There are restaurants all over Coogee, the neighborhood I lived in, and the food isn't all that different from the US. It wasn't a hard adjustment at all.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program organized a few events that we could do together, and most of us kept in touch after orientation had ended.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The city was really safe, I never felt like I was in danger at all. We all had insurance cards as well, the waiting room takes longer because their healthcare system is different, but overall it was effective and accessible.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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 $200-250 a week on food and personal expenses. Everything is a little more expensive there, and eating out can get expensive. Going out to bars and clubs is pretty expensive too because of the transportation and drink prices.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Traveling is really expensive, so I would set aside a good amount for that if you know you want to go to New Zealand or Thailand.


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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

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  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

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  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

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