Unforgettable Past Review

By (Communication and Media Studies, Brandeis University) - abroad from 07/13/2014 to 06/26/2015 with

ISA Study Abroad in Melbourne, Australia

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Any experience in a foreign country for a year will undeniably make you learn a lot about yourself and collect a tonne of experiences, and that was certainly the case for me. In addition, Australia is an incredibly beautiful country with a welcoming culture and kind people, so it's an ideal place for a year abroad. It was all definitely worthwhile - the country will always have a special place in my heart!

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.

Similar to Brandeis. The University of Melbourne is a highly-regarded institution, and has a high academic standing so don't expect to be able to slack off while you're here.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site co-ordinator was really nice, helpful and always reachable. No problems. However, I heard that this wasn't the case in other cities, so I guess it just depends on the person you get.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was put into a UniLodge apartment (UniLodge on Lonsdale) during my first semester. It was ok, not the best (apartment was dirty when we got there, some things in the apartment weren't working, etc) but okay. Since the switchover to ISA in the second semester, people were put into UrbanNest apartments which I was told are newer and better than UniLodge (I had found my own accommodation for second semester, independent of the program).

* Food:

There is a multitude of options for food in Melbourne. Some really GREAT restaurants and tons of awesome cafes!! I wish I could've eaten out for breakfast everyday...

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

You end up spending a lot of time with other international/exchange students because of where you live (UniLodge and UrbanNest are full of international students), events and clubs at the university, but if you make the effort you can easily meet plenty of locals.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was sick once while I was there, and all I had to do was go to the health centre on campus. The visit is covered by the healthcare given by the university (the University of Melbourne requires that you have overseas health care, in addition to the coverage given by Globalinks/ISA). I was given a perception for antibiotics and they were only about $15, so I could pay for it myself as the amount was too low to be covered by the insurance.

* Safety:

Very safe. Did not experience any safety issues at all while I was there. For example, people leave their bags at their tables when they go up to pay for meals, and no one steals them.

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)

Australia is expensive, and the cost of living is high. Melbourne in particular is very expensive. Expect to spend quite a bit of money, especially on eating out. If possible, it's a good idea to get a job since minimum wage is very high.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would recommend buying most, if not all, you're groceries from markets like the Queen Victoria Market or South Melbourne market, since prices are cheaper than grocery stores and supermarkets.


* 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
  • 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 free trips included throughout the semester
* What could be improved?
  • Housing options
  • Financial advice
  • Including advice on getting a job in Australia
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The cost of living, how to find a job in Australia, how the grading system works at the university.

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.