Cairns, Australia: Amazing Beautiful! Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., St. Mary's College of Maryland) for

Study Abroad Programs in Australia

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yep, met my fiance and I wouldn't of if I didn't go.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I completely hated the grading system. As stated before I really, really, really don't like their system. It doesn't work well for me. I don't like just sitting in lecture for two hours and then going to a tutorial. I prefer the American system. I also really didn't like how they did the final exam. It was extremely confusing to me, and I also didn't like that there were no advisers. I felt lost most of the time, and seemed to always be guessing what the professors wanted. It was just really confusing, which is probably why I did not do well.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The women working in the office were very nice, but I had a lot of issues with my classes. They were very knowledgeable about Australia.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I first was living with the Cairns Sharehouse (Loeven St.), but me and my friend had issues with two girls living there. However, we eventually moved out because we felt we were being treated unfairly, there was construction going on all around the building, and the internet was terrible. We moved to an apartment which was much better. It was a better value, the internet was great, and the people we were living with were very nice. I also got an Australian boyfriend (now fiance) and I spent a lot of time at his house, so in a way almost like a host family.

* Food:

One thing I was not prepared for was how expensive everything is. Food is expensive, though you can get cheap stuff, but you have to learn to leave a lot of the American food behind. Cereal, which is the American breakfast, is extremely expensive over there. I would recommend carefully budgeting your money for food, and definitely always look for what's on sale.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Well the international student office held a lot of trips at rather cheap prices, which was really fun, plus if you had a friend who wasn't part of the program you could sign them up to. As stated before my most memorable moment was meeting my fiance and all the moments I had with him. I can't wait to graduate so I can go back.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

They say pedestrians have the right of way, but I did not experience this. The cross light never stays on long enough for you to actually cross the street. It was scary. I generally just never felt safe when crossing the street because I was always afraid some car would just hit me. Especially since they tend to ignore that the green walk sign is on.

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)


If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Other

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • It's location.
* What could be improved?
  • The student support.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Any student would benefit. For this program I would say it goes a lot faster than you think so make sure to plan out your time there.