I appreciate Australia and feel equipped to make environmental change Past Review

By (Environmental studies and art, Trinity University) - abroad from 01/28/2014 to 05/15/2014 with

SIT Study Abroad: Australia - Sustainability and Environmental Action

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about Australian history and culture. The program focused on environmental action and was very personal and encouraging. Unfortunately, being an environmental studies major, I didn't feel like I was learning a lot of new information. The independent research project was challenging and empowering.

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.

The course information was a bit repetitive for Environmental Studies majors. There was a lot of time between assignments, but little time to complete each assignment

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Loved the apartment situation in Byron. We got to stay in mini houses with a pool within walking distance of the beach for the majority of our time. The camping at orientation was comfortable and fun. The homestay period was in a small town which was a nice change from the crowded, touristy Byron. I enjoyed all of the hostels we stayed in on our travels.

* Food:

Expect to pay a lot for food if you eat out. Find ways to save money by cooking for yourself and try to split the cost of food by cooking with friends. Group meals during orientation and during travels were the best. They are very accommodating.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt integrated, but the culture felt more global than local. Byron and the hostels were stayed in were filled with people from all over the world more so than Australians. The aboriginal camping trip and lecture with Mary Graham allowed us to experience aboriginal culture, but they were a brief segment of the semester.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I got sick during my homestay right before our first trip. I was able to go to a clinic and get medication. I had to pay everything out of pocket, but it was affordable.

* Safety:

We were warned about alcohol induced crimes, but we didn't come across any issues in Byron or in Tasmania. The bigger cites made me more aware of this issue.

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


* 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 an accommodating stipend throughout the program. I was very frugal and had stipend money left over at the end of the program. Be aware that the minimum wage is much higher in Australia and prices are high as well.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $20
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't eat out or buy coffee unless necessary if you want to save money. Make meals with friends and split costs. Eat oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast. Scout out farmers markets and become friends with the sellers.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
  • 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Traveling around Australia, especially Tasmania
  • The aboriginal camping trip
  • Living a short walk away from the beach
* What could be improved?
  • More interaction with locals.
  • Less stressful quizzes.
  • More time to complete assignments
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have known that I'd be learning a lot of the same information. I also wish I would have spent more effort immersing myself into the local community.

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.