Student Teaching in Australia: Best Experience Ever! Past Review

By (Elementary Education, Western Washington University) for

Study Abroad Programs in Australia

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes, it was worthwhile! I learned so much about another culture, and made so many lasting connections with other people. My students were the most fantastic class of my entire experience to date. I plan to go back to Australia to teach now!

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.

There is a lot of lesson planning - from scratch - for teaching in an Australian classroom. But it's all interesting and you have a lot of control over what you want to do, and a lot of support from your mentor teacher as well. There are many little differences between primary schools in Australia vs. America, but their main philosophical goals are the same. It was very easy for me to integrate into their way of life.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Kevin, my supervisor, handled all aspects of my experience abroad, from evaluation of my performance to picking me up at the airport and taking me on tours of the local area. He was friendly and supportive and sent me information whenever I asked for something I needed. He stopped by to visit at the school as well. Kevin knew a lot about his home country and was always sharing fun tidbits. I felt like I learned a lot from him and it was easy to trust him throughout the experience.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The neighborhood and family were perfect in every way. There is no avoiding how expensive it is. I didn't have to buy any items. Everything was provided by my family; even a car! The family lived close enough to the school I was teaching at for me to walk there every day, and they also lived close to a train station for easy travel into the city. The only problem was that there were many internet connectivity problems that the family was sometimes slow to fix, and I found internet vital for my lesson planning (not to mention communicating with loved ones at home), so it was a bit frustrating at times. But what can you do?

* Food:

The family accommodated my needs and enjoyed taking me to wineries and shopping at local markets once they discovered how much I enjoyed that. There was always plenty of food any my host mother would take me shopping to pick out things I liked. Australian food doesn't use quite as much flavor as I'm used to in America (less salt, less spice, etc), so I would call it a little bland, but that's an easy thing to fix if you want to put a little time into it.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Rugby World Cup and river rafting in New Zealand; wine tasting in Yarra Valley; roadtrip on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria; attending a "hipster" concert in Northcote, a cool neighborhood in Melbourne; trivia nights at various pubs in Melbourne; getting meat pies or kebabs from street vendors; diving on the great barrier reef; petting a wallaby at Healsville Animal Sanctuary; watching the penguins and eating ice cream at St. Kilda; sailing on Phillip Bay with my host father; taking a ferry across the harbor in Sydney; having a drink at the Opera House Bar in Sydney; watching kangaroos on the Mornington Peninsula

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I got stomach cramps that wouldn't go away, and went to the doctor, and had to pay out of pocket. It was pretty expensive, and the process to get reimbursed through the health insurance is way too annoying/confusing for me to try to get any of it back.

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

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The program supervisor was incredibly supportive.
* What could be improved?
  • The sheer amount of paperwork needed to get going could be lessened.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Just jump in with both feet, and be prepared to want to stay! Buy tickets through STA, so that they are very easy to change. :)