Exploring Northern Queensland January 10, 2024

By (Ecology, Evolution Biology, Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/25/2023 to 12/07/2023 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Worthwhile. My ISP gave me many research connections.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Definitely not as rigorous as a normal Middlebury course, but I really enjoyed the experiential learning incorporated into this program. I entered a classroom less than 30 times.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program was run very smoothly.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was sad that we did not get to stay in homestays, as initially stipulated by the program, but the hostels we visited were safe and comfortable.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We rarely interacted with Australians in day to day life besides at cafes and I made no Australian friends. Very frustrating but part of the cost of going as an American group.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had to go to the doctor twice and it was very easy and accessible. Program director was helpful.

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

Very European/Americanized experience. I had a fantastic independent study project which made the trip worthwhile, but otherwise I was pretty frustrated by the culture of the trip.


* 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)

We were given a stipend that covered almost everything we needed

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $30-50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save your stipend money and use it well.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?
  • coral reefs
* What could be improved?
  • So Americanized.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? At times it felt like I was traveling with an American high school group. Severely lacking independence.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Rainforest, Reef, and Cultural Ecology Seminar

Course Department:
Instruction Language:
Comments: The lectures took place in classrooms and in the field (field was much more heavily emphasized than classroom, and classroom was not that enjoyable despite being very interesting topics). All the professors were very knowledgeable and interested in our learning. We were assessed by written reports.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Environmental Field Study Seminar

Course Department:
Instruction Language:
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Independent Study Project

Course Department:
Instruction Language:
Comments: Best part of the experience.
Credit Transfer Issues: