A Semester that will Always be Remembered. Past Review

By (ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE/LETTERS., Aurora University) - abroad from 07/09/2012 to 11/14/2012 with

The Education Abroad Network (TEAN): Sydney - University of New South Wales

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained so much during my experience abroad. I learned so much about cultures (not just the Australian culture either!) along with different ways of life and views on subjects and topics. I learned how to be more responsible than I previously was and how to handle situations on my own. In one word, yes. Yes, it was totally worthwhile.

Review Photos

The Education Abroad Network: Sydney - University of New South Wales Photo The Education Abroad Network: Sydney - University of New South Wales Photo The Education Abroad Network: Sydney - University of New South Wales Photo The Education Abroad Network: Sydney - University of New South Wales Photo The Education Abroad Network: Sydney - University of New South Wales Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

University of New South Wales was an amazing experience. It was a large university (something that I wasn't used to in the slightest), but it was very worth it. The classes were quite difficult because instead of taking 'study abroad' type of classes, I took actual in-depth core courses that Australian students were taking for their degrees. I had to do this in order to graduate at my home university, but I'm so glad that I did because it put me in a situation where most of the students in my classes were Australian, not study abroad. With that, I was able to connect more with the local people and learn more about customs, traditions, etc. UNSW was definitely a great school to attend with people there to help you with anything you needed along the way!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My Australian Program Administration was Christian, who was awesome. He planned some events throughout the semester for us to attend, as well as helped me personally out a lot. While studying abroad, my roommates and I went to Fiji for break and I broke my foot while there. It was only 2 days into our trip therefore I had to fly back to Sydney, while the roommates stayed in Fiji. I was freaked out because I wasn't sure how I would get home from the airport or who could get me the hospital or anything. A few simple Facebook messages and texts to Christian though and he helped me out with everything including driving me to various doctor's appointments were we had to sit for 2-3+ hours at a time. To say the least, on-site administration through TEAN is pretty excellent.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Let's just say one thing.... I lived 40 steps away from Coogee Beach -- what's not to love. Aside from that though, the apartments were pretty nice and had the basic of everything that we needed while living there, which was a plus!

* Food:

The food in Australia is amazing! It's a little weird that they eat kangaroo, but it is quite delicious! The best thing about Aussie food is meat pies and Tim Tams - I miss them so much! Oh, and if you're a coffee lover, their coffee is delicious (mmm those flat whites!).

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I honestly felt pretty integrated with the culture. Christian took us to a few events to feel out the Aussie way of living as well as Orientation week we were put in numerous ways to adapt and connect with the Australian culture. I also made a few Australian friends, which was good because it allowed me to connect with them and their families as well as their ways of living much differently than if I hadn't made those friends.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

While you do have to wait to be seen quite a while for the healthcare, even if you have an appointment. As a study abroad student who broke their foot, I can say that they did help me out so much. I was easily assisted and aided in everything to do when it came to the healing of my foot, which was a huge plus for me.

* Safety:

I never had a problem with safety myself, but from what I could tell if there were any problems TEAN sets up students with the right tools to know how to go about a safety situation correctly.

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)

I did go through a lot of money fast! I was prepared for how much more things costs in Australia compared to the United States especially on things other than basic need items. It's not that it's bad, but if you want more variety in your food and personal items then you just have to be sure to have that extra money there.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Probably between 100-250 depending on the week and what I had planned for the week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save! Save! Save! Seriously, not only is food and things expensive, but you're abroad, don't you want to travel!? I know I did and therefore I travelled, which while it was amazing and I wouldn't trade it for the world - taking 4-6 trips does get pricey! Even if they are in Australia!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • Coogee Beach
  • Australian Friends
  • Australian Dialect
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing really, things went quite well in my experience.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't be afraid to try new things. At first I was nervous to do and try some things, but then I decided what if I don't ever have this chance again. Of course, I'm hoping to go back in the next few years, but what if I don't have the chance.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Advanced Creative Writing

Course Department: ARTS
Instructor: Anne Brewster
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The class had a positive and a negative side to it. The positive side being that I really liked the writing assignment we had to do for the class. It let me be creative and use different outlets to bring into my story, which was mostly fiction because that's what I typically write. The negative is most of the lectures didn't seem like they connected well with what we we're actually doing therefore I lost interest easily. I think the lecture portion should vary between learning different genres, but also learning about the literary/writing community itself.
Credit Transfer Issues: No.
Course Name/Rating:

Critical & Cultural Theory

Course Department: ARTS
Instructor: Elizabeth McMahon
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was definitely challenging, but in a good way because it opened up your mind a lot to think outside of the box and read between the lines of stuff. Dr. McMahon was extremely knowledgable and always had new insights of how to look at things if you weren't understanding them well. At first, I didn't participate in class much, but Dr. McMahon wasn't afraid to call people out, which in turn made me less afraid to say something or ask a question about something I wasn't completely getting. Throughout the course of the class, we wrote a few different papers as well as did a group project (that was a lot of fun!) in lieu of the final.
Credit Transfer Issues: Not at all.
Course Name/Rating:

Analysing Media Communication

Course Department: MDIA
Instructor: Peter R.R. White
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course was a bit challenging to me because I'm not a media/communication major, but rather a COMM minor. The communication curriculum is set up quite differently than the U.S., therefore at times I felt like I was struggling a bit. The teacher was well-prepared though and set out to teach certain lessons. I participated in class about the same as I would at my home university and we were assessed through various writing assignments as well as a tutorial presentation.
Credit Transfer Issues: No.
Course Name/Rating:

Film Genres

Course Department: ARTS
Instructor: Lisa Trahair
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course was challenging to me because I've never taken a film course before let a lone a film theory course. I did like the overall structure of the course though and I think the use of lecture and then showing the film was a good strategy. This course focused on the Comedian Comedy, which was interesting, but I wish that I could've explored other genres of films as well. I participated in tutorials about the same as I would have if I were to be at my home university and we were assessed through papers and a group project in our tutorials.
Credit Transfer Issues: No.