Studying Abroad in Sydney, Australia Past Review

By (Biology, General., New Mexico State University) for

ISEP Exchange: Sydney - Exchange Program at Macquarie University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I feel like I know more about myself now. I know that sounds cliche but I feel like I have a better understanding of what I want to do in the future and what I enjoy doing now. I now know that I can stray from my family and seize opportunities I didn't think I could take before. I have experience in my work of study due to my internship which will definitely benefit me.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Macquarie University
The term and year this program took place: Fall 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Teaching strategies are very different. Teachers leave many things unexplained assuming you know what to do and how to do it. All exams are short answer/essay questions. They don't give extra credit if you fall behind. You have to be completely self sufficient or else it will catch up with you at the end. I received many of my first grades within the last 3 weeks of classes.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I was able to be an exchange student which gave me a very generous meal stipend which was nice to have. I still am confused on how my grades or if my grades transfer back, goes back to poor communication.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

They are very moldy and rundown. The carpets are stained and the furniture is broken, but they are very close to campus!

* Food:

It is hard to buy groceries because the store is too close to take a taxi or bus, but a long walk. I strongly urge people to try the local food (kangaroo, crocodile, emu) at least once for the experience. The Australian Hotel has it all!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

A little too much partying for me. Many of the other study abroad people in my building took drinking to the extreme. I got along with my roommates very well! We did many of the tourist/sight seeing things together. Went to Melbourne, New Zealand, and the Great Ocean road together (all three are a MUST SEE!!!!)

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I feel that the parklands are a bit in the ghetto. There are creepers around at night, do not go anywhere alone. I never had healthcare issues.

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? When booking flights make sure the airline does not cost you extra to carry-on a bag. I have been fooled twice by booking a really cheap flight with a great deal and then getting to the airport and they try to charge me $120 AUD to take my bag. Be careful with good flight deals.

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Do not take core classes!! Take electives or filler classes. If you love to travel, Macquarie gives you the flexibility you need in order to work around your school schedule.