Uni Life Past Review

By (Industrial Engineering, University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh) for

The Education Abroad Network (TEAN): Brisbane - University of Queensland

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Traveling anywhere gives you a cultural experience, shows you how other people live, learn, and interact. Sometime you find something new you love and sometimes you just realize what you have at home. Either way you gain experience that cannot be taught in a book or a lecture. Being in a foreign country is an experience in itself, but living in another country, even if only for 5 months, is an amazing opportunity.

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.

Australia definitely has a different class style but I wouldn't believe when everyone tells you it is more difficult. Often classes don't require attendance, UQ has a program called Lectopia where most classes are video taped so if you miss class you can just watch it online to catch up! There are many tools to use if you look for them but its similar to US schooling as you need to put out a little effort to get to the right people and places.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I only had to go to the study abroad/exchange office once and they were not very helpful but if I had any issues I usually went to my Resident Director through The Education Abroad Network and she usually would have the answers!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My housing was organized through my program (TEAN) I lived in St. Lucia and with the floods it was kind of a mess when we got there. Luckily our apartment was on a hill so it didn't have any flood damage but there were multiple issues with space, appliances, and things along those lines. It wasn't a great situation and the landlord was inconsistent in repairs and coming to check things out but TEAN did a good job at trying to contact the people that needed to be made aware of the issues. The only negative of housing that was in TEAN's hand was the wireless internet and local phone line were not installed when we got there and took over a month to get established. This was a big issue especially in the beginning when we were all trying to contact home! Our apartment seemed to be a rare case however as most of the friends I made through TEAN did not have the same issues.

* Food:

I'm a picky eater but I was able to find plenty of food I liked! In an attempt to save some money I cooked most of my own food but there are plenty of locations locally that are great! Biggest things I missed from the US was hot sauce and pizza!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There are always events occurring in the city and making friends in orientation can help you get a place to stay when you go to the other cities. Traveling is key to getting the full experience so plan early and you can get good deals on flights and camping is always a cheap option! Hostels are everywhere just be sure to check for bedbugs! Only had the issue once but it's enough to freak you out!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe in Brisbane. It was a city but there were always people around and the public transportation system was great once you got used to it! I only had to deal with healthcare once to get a prescription for eye drops to clear up an eye infection but it was easy to get. The most difficult part was waiting to be seen!

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

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Do everything you can. Travel, go out, experience the food, landscapes, parks, cities, water and animals. Take everything in and don't take anything for granted. Use all the opportunities your program provides you with and keep an open mind to anything that presents itself. It's a once in a life time experience, realize that early and take full advantage of it from day 1.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Contemporary Australia

Course Department: AUST1000
Instructor: Robert Hogg
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Not the most favorable teacher but I felt this class helped me understand more about Australia, its past and how it became what it is today!
Credit Transfer Issues: