I would have easily stayed another year! Past Review

By (Marketing., Ohio State University - Columbus) - abroad from 02/08/2010 to 06/26/2010 with

ISA Study Abroad in Sydney, Australia

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This was the best experience of my life. It changed what I wanted out of life. It was my first time truly being away from my safety net of family and friends. I had to fend for myself and I loved it. Sydney is easy to learn your way around and there are endless things to do both within and outside of the city. I also recommend traveling as much as possible!

Review Photos

GlobaLinks Learning Abroad: Sydney - University of Sydney Photo GlobaLinks Learning Abroad: Sydney - University of Sydney Photo GlobaLinks Learning Abroad: Sydney - University of Sydney Photo GlobaLinks Learning Abroad: Sydney - University of Sydney Photo GlobaLinks Learning Abroad: Sydney - University of Sydney Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I found it very challenging to get the grades I was used to getting in the U.S. However, there were lots of resources I should have utilized that could have helped me in that aspect.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I never needed to contact Globalinks once I got to Sydney. But the staff in Cairns for my orientation was great. Young and fun and full of information for all our crazy questions. I got injured white water rafting and a staff member took me to a local urgent care type of center and helped me through my first international medical experience.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived at Sydney University Village and it was the perfect location next to campus. I really wish the units came with air conditioning! Summer lasted forever when I was there. I also with there had been more international students or Aussie students living there because it was at least 75% American.

* Food:

I was able to find everything I liked at the grocery store and fell in love with Aussie specific brands like white chocolate Tim Tams and Shapes. A few things tasted different, like Kraft Mac and Cheese. There are restaurants from all over the world, lots of Thai. I missed getting complimentary bread at Italian restaurants or chips and salsa at Mexican restaurants. You had to pay for those separately.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Because I got involved I felt well integrated in the culture. I joined the Sydney Uni Waterski and Wakeboard Club and went on a couple trips with them to the Hawksbury River (an hour from Sydney). I met both Aussies and other international students. I also did an internship for academic credit through the University so I got a firsthand look at the culture inside the workplace.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Luckily I did not get sick during my time abroad. I was only allowed to take 3 months worth of my prescription meds with me so halfway through my 5 month stay I needed to refill my scrips. I thought the process would be complicated but the pharmacy staff didn't have a problem filling them for me.

* Safety:

I felt completely safe during my entire stay.

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)

Sydney was crazy expensive compared to the mid-west Ohio living I was used to. I spent money like it was water. My savings didn't last very long. Luckily my parents were able to help me out. Other than traveling I tried very hard to stay on a budget but without much luck. You will spend more than you are used to.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Every week was different but maybe $250??
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save as much as you can before you go.


* 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
  • 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?
  • Orientation week in Cairns
  • Getting set up with student housing before arrival
  • Helping us get cell phones
* What could be improved?
  • My Globalinks advisor changed mid-semester
  • Preparing money conscious students such as myself for the price differences
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I would have liked to know how much more expensive everything was going to be. Also that the grading system and classes are quite different than in the U.S. They definitely mentioned these things but I would have liked them emphasized.

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.