Study abroad or five month vacation? Past Review

By (University of St. Thomas - Minnesota) - abroad from 07/17/2016 to 12/03/2016 with

Macquarie University: Sydney - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about Australian culture whether it be about the aboriginal people or about how different it is to American culture, it definitely opened up my eyes. The travels and activities I've done have revealed my adventurous side and will forever be some of the best memories I have.

Review Photos

Macquarie University: Sydney - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Macquarie University: Sydney - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Macquarie University: Sydney - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Macquarie University: Sydney - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Macquarie University: Sydney - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Challenging classes but resources and professor feedback weren't up to par

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Arcadia was wonderful. So many awesome excursions to participate in and someone to contact was always just a text, call, or e-mail away. They also met up with us on campus through the semester which was so nice!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The facilities are fabulous. Love having my own bedroom and bathroom! The village is a big party scene and I'm not too into that kind of stuff. A lot of nights it was pretty loud so my ear plugs have gotten good use.

* Food:

The free food events put on by Red Frogs were good. The on campus atrium also has plenty of options that won't break a uni student's budget.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There weren't as many Australians that live on campus as I expected, but that's their culture. Most live at home and commute to uni 2-3 times a week. You get involved with the culture by joining clubs, so I'd recommend joining at least one, otherwise you feel really out of the loop.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Had an incident with my toe. Called the clinic on campus and they got me in on the same day both times I went. Pharmacy located in the same building as clinic, so my prescription was easy to pick up. Awesome that it was all covered with all three of my insurances.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe walking around campus at night or early in the morning.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Arcadia is amazing. The only thing I would choose differently is accommodation.


* 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)

If you cook your own meals, which is easy to do in the village, book flights as soon as you can when you get here, and use to search for deals on tours and activities, you can easily experience the wonderfulness of Australia on a smaller budget. If you are into partying though, alcohol's not the cheapest so that will definitely cut into your budget.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Typically $50 AUD on food (cooking all of my own meals) and $30 on other things.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Use You can save so much on tours if you book them ahead of time. Works for New Zealand too. Don't be afraid to cook at a hostel when you are traveling. Picking up a few things at the grocery store is so much cheaper than eating out for a week straight. Take advantage of free food given out at events. Budget for transportation costs, especially if you don't have to use public transportation back home; it's more than I expected to spend on just getting around.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Location-close enough to the city, but not too close to be crazy and loud
  • Variety of classes to choose from even though I was limited by my home uni
  • Number of events put on by my program, Macquarie, and the village
* What could be improved?
  • Concession transportation cards for one-semester students
  • More housing options- Arcadia limits it to two choices
  • Tutoring services, professors available more often, etc
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The weather you think Australia has (warm all the time) only applies to the north. Most places don't get below 50ish degrees Fahrenheit for daytime highs, but you will need those pants and jackets for a while, especially when the sun goes down!

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 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.