Lots of nature outside a classroom! Past Review

By (Biology, Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/28/2015 to 12/10/2015 with

SIT Study Abroad: Australia - Rainforest, Reef, and Cultural Ecology

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a great perspective on biology outside of the classroom through my independent project and made some amazing American friends that I never would have met otherwise. It was definitely worthwhile and I learned a lot about myself and the things in life that make me happy.

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.

Classes are interesting and engaging! Very different than sitting in a classroom.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Academic director is great and really cares about your experience in country.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Staying in hostels and camping was great! The homestay experience is extremely variable and ranged from amazing to boring and isolating. Its only for 2 weeks though.

* Food:

Cooking for a large group was difficult, but there was always plenty of food and the stipend to buy food in Cairns was always plenty.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

You spend most of your time with the other Americans in the program, but the directors definitely focus on highlighting Australian culture and current event.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Healthcare was fast and easily accessible. Getting reimbursed was kind of a nuisance, but not too difficult.

* Safety:

Never felt unsafe. Just use common sense.

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)

Besides souvenirs, everything is accounted for.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $30
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't drink, if you're trying to save.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Host Family
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • being outside
  • instructors
  • opportunity for independent research
* What could be improved?
  • update the flashdrive - contradicting information
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Introduce yourself to everyone you meet.

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Rainforest, Reef, and Cultural Ecology

Course Department:
Instructor: Tony Cummings and Jack Grant
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Class was usually in the field; lots of trips and nature walks!
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Environmental Field Study Seminar

Course Department:
Instructor: Tony Cummings and Jack Grant
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Mostly in the field!
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Independent Study Project

Course Department:
Instruction Language:
Comments: Very variable. Everyone does something different. It is what you make out of it.
Credit Transfer Issues: Need to get final project approved by department head ad Middlebury to receive credit.