Past Review

By (Environmental Studies., Wellesley College) for

SIT Study Abroad: Australia - Sustainability and Environmental Action

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The academic content covered in the program was not quite what I was expecting or hoping for but what I learned from our outings and from talking to people made the trip worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months
The term and year this program took place: Spring 2010

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The program was not as academically rigorous as I am use to. We were graded mainly on our ability to follow precise assignment directions rather than the actual content of our work which was frustrating. However, the Independent Study Project portion of the program was extremely valuable and was where I learned the most (this was all done on my own though). I got much more out of the experiences I had and the things we did and saw in the field than from the readings or assignments.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration did a great job of dealing with the logistics of all our travels, finding opportunities for us and people to speak to us. A few of the short term lecturers were not as good. The administration were obviously passionate about what they were teaching and the program itself.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We stayed in a range of accommodations: Hostels, apartments, tents, home stays (2 weeks), and then whatever housing you found for yourself during the ISP (I stayed in a boarding house). <br /><br /> We stayed in a range of accommodations: Hostels, apartments, tents, home stays (2 weeks), and then whatever housing you found for yourself during the ISP (I stayed in a boarding house). When I was at the boarding house I was living with international workers and locals. There was a lot of camping though and we carried all of our belongings with us so light packing is essential.

* Food:

When we were together as a group, we would cook group meals with food provided by the program. They fed us really well! The program is very willing to adjust for people with allergies and there were always vegetarian options. Most of the time however, we were on our own for food and cooked for ourselves with the money we were given as part of our living stipend.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I had a great time because everyone on the program (25 of us) got along really well. We were almost always together because of the nature of the program but people still managed to wander off and do their own thing if they wanted to. If we were in a town, there were usually bars or music venues to go to. If we were camping, we would just hang out and have a campfire and play music. A lot of our class time was spent hiking which was excellent! There was a ton of cool stuff to do if we had free time (I went to a Koala rescue center, markets, and I went to the beach almost every day.)

* Safety:

I was not aware of any student health issues during the program. The only time I felt remotely unsafe was when I traveled to my living accommodations for the ISP period. I had to arrange the boarding house by myself and had no way of knowing if it was a safe environment before arriving. Luckily, everyone on the program ended up finding relatively good accommodations. The cities were pretty friendly and safe.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? We were given a stipend for food for any meals not provided by the program. We got about $25 a day for food which was more than enough if you bought groceries. If you bought prepared food on the street it was barely enough (food is expensive!!). For the month of our ISPs we were given around $1200 for housing and food. I did not have to spent any of my own money on living costs or essentials but if you plan on going out in any of the cities it is fairly expensive and be prepared to spend a lot if you're going to do any traveling after or before the program.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you buy things, you have to carry them around on your back for the rest of the program. Farmer's markets are really common and a great place to find fresh, tasty cheap produce and other cool things.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You really need to be self motivated- you'll only get as much out of it as you put in.