SIT Byron Bay Study Abroad -- Challenging and Inspiring Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., Middlebury College) for

SIT Study Abroad: Australia - Sustainability and Environmental Action

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes, very worthwhile

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I thought that the workload was challenging but appropriate. Workload varied dramatically over the course of the program, depending on the amount of traveling that the group was doing at any given time; work was appropriately light during backpacking and camping, and increased quite a bit when we were stationed in apartments with internet access. I enjoyed the programs teaching methods -- four teachers taught the program's seminars. I appreciated that SIT tried to offer instruction methods, as different students responded better to different teachers. I wish that teachers had rotated more frequently, however.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

SIT study abroad provided me with a life-altering experience. It caused me to reassess my morals, my priorities, and what I see for my future (in my personal life, my academics, and my career). I could not imagine more compelling and inspiring courses, field trips, professors, etc. My only complaint about the program is with the lack of support that I felt I received in preparation for my final Independent Study Project. I did not begin my study abroad experience with a clear vision of what I wanted from this project and I felt that I was arbitrarily choosing my topic in the end because I did not have enough assistance in sorting through topic ideas and study opportunities.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

While I was satisfied with my host family in Australia, I did not find the location of Home Stays to be particularly beneficial. I think that we could have stayed in a place that was richer in Australian culture and perhaps a bit more welcoming of visitors.

* Food:

Very accommodating

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My nineteen person study abroad group got along very well and the strength of our relationship certainly contributed to my personal happiness while abroad.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

There were times when I felt a bit unsafe during my independent study project, while traveling alone.

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)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Educational experience
* What could be improved?
  • Independent study program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Enter this program with a willingness to "go with the flow." Accept that conditions will not always be ideal and that the schedule is often subject to change. Accept that you may feel a bit lost and confused with regard to your independent study project at times. It all works out wonderfully in the end!