The Best Time of My Life! Past Review

By (Kinesiology, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities) - abroad from 07/08/2011 to 11/19/2012 with

ISA Study Abroad in Brisbane, Australia

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My time abroad was extremely worthwhile and I learned more there than I ever could have if I would've stayed at my home University. I learned so much about myself and what I am capable of handling and how much the world has to offer if you just put yourself out there and let yourself experience something new.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The class structure was completely new to me, which was tough to get used to. They put way more emphasis on assignments, yet they were more relaxed about "busy-work".

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The advisors with Globalinks were awesome! They did a great job of telling us all the logistics and basics about what to expect and did a great job making sure we felt comfortable about our experience before we got there.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived off-campus in an apartment building, which actually housed the majority of students in my program. It was great because we got to explore the rest of the city instead of being stuck on campus all of the time. It gave us more independence to get to know each other, get used to the transportation system and go out and explore the culture.

* Food:

Food was definitely very costly in Australia. We all stuck to the basics, but always had a lot of fun cooking dinner together yet making sure we still made the time and effort to go out and experience their restaurants.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Living off campus was a great way to become integrated in the local Brisbane culture. We were always going to food markets on the weekends, walking into the city to shop or get groceries and we had a lot of opportunities to meet local people as well as other international students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

We were introduced to the healthcare practices and made sure to have the correct insurance before arriving in Australia. No one in my trip ever needed to make any trips to the hospital but we made sure to find where they were on campus and off just in case.

* Safety:

I felt completely safe in Brisbane. Most of the time we were out at night and even in the city, there was never a time we felt unsafe, but we were still careful to stay in groups when we were out late.

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)

I gave myself a budget of $100 a week, which worked pretty well. I only ever went over budget when we spent money to travel, but those splurges are well worth it!

* Was housing included in your program cost? No
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would definitely recommend saving money prior to your study abroad experience. I had one friend that got a job in Australia and she loved it but she missed a lot of trips that the rest of us took. The majority of us had saved up thousands of dollars that lasted the semester. It's almost important to keep an eye on how much you spend every week because it can definitely get out of control if you don't limit yourself.


* 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
* 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 people I met in the program
  • Location
  • opportunities to travel
* What could be improved?
  • Communication after coming home
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You're going to pack way more than you will ever really need. You shop a lot during your time and get tired of your old clothes.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.