Unforgettable Past Review

By (Kansas State University) - abroad from 12/26/2011 to 05/14/2012 with

ISA Study Abroad in Sydney, Australia

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained who i was as a person. I learned so much about my self, and were i stand and all my flaws and in all honesty who my true friends are. It was by far the best growing up experience possible.

Review Photos

GlobaLinks Learning Abroad: Sydney - University of Sydney Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

My overall experience was the best experience of my life. Although, i wasn't a big fan of the internship i did, i am glad that i got the experience. Everyday i constantly tell all my peers how they need to study abroad. I am always asking them "are you going to study abroad" and they ALWAYS give me the same answer "well, i don't know, or well, i don't think i have time". I instantly say "YOU HAVE TIME". I wouldn't have done it, if i didn't think i had time. But, my only warning to everyone is, the classes are HARDER. That was a big struggle for me, and something i never was able to overcome.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My host country was the beautiful Manly, Australia. Living on the beach couldn't get any better.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing was something i wasn't the biggest fan of. The University i went to had many rules, that was hard to get used to coming from a college that doesn't have many rules at all. A couple of the rules that everyone seemed to have the hardest time with was changing your laundry. They give us our sheets and bedding every week, and if you are a second late for your time they mark you up (unless your in class and have talked to them prior) and if you get more than three marks, you are kicked out of the school.

* Food:

The food at the college. This is a hard one. When you go to a hospitality school, you instantly think, "this food is going to be outstanding". That is not the case here. By far the worst food i have ever had, and we had little to no choices. A lot of the americans joked they fed us "dog food" at times when we had "liver and onions" and other various dishes that we aren't used too. The chicken was usually pink and not good. Lets just say a lot of us ended up skipping meals and kept saying they needed to change it. But, the day that was ALWAYS the best at everything with chicken:]

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Personally, i spent a majority of my time with the Australians and other students from other country's. With that being said, i made a couple friends with the Americans, but they all became a lot more closer than i did with them. I found that the Australians were by far the nicest group of kids i have ever met, and are so welcoming to you and take the time and day to talk to you and i still talk to some of them on a daily basis, and i can honestly say i have made a best friend who is an Australian, from my time abroad, and i don't know what i would of done if i didn't meet her. She made my time so much more better, and even included me in various family get togethers she was having.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any health care issues while i was abroad.

* Safety:

I have honestly never been to a school that was more strict on safety than iCMS. We could not have anyone that didn't go to the school inside the school, and we were not allowed outside guests and if we got caught we instantly would get kicked out of the school.

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)

OKAY! Heres the deal with the "MONEY". I tend to like to spend "MONEY", and i knew coming into this i was going to spend more than i thought right away. My dad wouldn't give me a credit card, so i left America with 1,500. Since i went to Australia a month before everyone else for my internship, i had to pay for food, and most of my social events during that time. Lets, just say, i blew though that in a couple weeks time. Then, i lost my debit cards in the ocean. With all the crazy times, i ended up getting everything under control with the "money" once school started. My dad was giving me around $250 American every week or so, which came out to around $200 Australian depending who you ask. Now, in America that could last you a long time, but in Australia it doesn't. If you wanna get something to eat, let's say fast food, it's going to cost you a good $20 Australian. An average "cheap" meal price is around $20. Some little costs that you may have to pay for is, projects the school has you do in your outside time, and food at the store. A half gallon of milk was an average of $5 depending your location. Over, all, plan on spending around $200-300 WEEKLY, and yes that does sound like A LOT, but trust me, it goes faster than you think!

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200-300 AMERICAN
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? As for money saving tips, i would say, don't bring all your money with you at one time. A lot of the americans did that, and ended up spending a lot more than they wanted too when they went out for the night or went on a trip some place. As for me, as i said previously i was given a specific amount every week or so, and that is all i had in my account to make sure i was controlling my money properly.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Meeting the Australians
  • Feeling welcomed
  • The americans took a retreat at the great barrier reef to get to know each other and bond and i feel that was by far the best time we all had together.
* What could be improved?
  • internship options
  • transportation
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I really don't think there is anything that i didn't know before i left. I have travelled around the world ever since i was younger, so going alone like this to another country wasn't a big deal to me as it was for some of my peers.

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.