The best experience I've ever had so far in life! March 22, 2018

By (University of Kentucky) - abroad from 07/12/2017 to 11/21/2017 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
There are so many things I gained from my time abroad but the most important thing I gained from my experience was independence. It takes a lot of guts to fly across the world, not knowing a single person, for 5 months and be okay. It was definitely worthwhile.

Review Photos

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

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.

The University of New South Wales was honestly harder than I thought it would be but the way the grade things make it easier, especially if your grades transfer back as pass/fail. Depending on what university you come from you might find it harder or easier. I think it just depends on how well your home university teaches. I also believe it depends on the kind of student you are. It was a challenge but nothing I couldn't handle.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Someone from TEAN is available 24/7 no matter what. They are available to talk and someone can always get to you if you need help. One night around 9pm, my roommate blew out all the electrical sockets in our apartment and we couldn't find the electrical box to turn them back on so I texted one of our TEAN leaders and she told us exactly where it was and what to do within minutes.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

For the fist half of the semester I was in an apartment with 4 other girls and it was awesome! The apartment felt like we were living in a 5 star hotel. It was right on the beach and even had a balcony! Halfway through the semester we had to move to a different apartment on the other side of the beach basically 2 blocks from out original apartment. We liked this apartment even better becuase we felt like it was more homey. It was still just as nice as the other but it felt more lived in so everyone was more comfortable there.

* Food:

The food was basically just like American food in my opinion they just do things a little bit different in Australia. For instance, if you went to get a burger somewhere instead of just getting a regular American burger, the Australian burger would have some type of fancy cheese and sauce on it. Also grocery shopping was a little different from what I noticed. Australians seem to be way more healthy than Americans. They didn't really have a lot of processed foods. In America if you buy Kraft Mac n Cheese you get a really bright orange color when its ready, right? Well in Australia they don't have orange cheese so if you go buy Kraft Mac n Cheese it was white cheese. Also in the grocery stores it just seemed like Australia's government cared more for what its people were eating and putting in their bodies.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

From the start of my program, TEAN was making us participate in events to help get us integrated with the culture. I really enjoyed that they did this.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I was in Sydney and honestly I never once felt unsafe while I was there. Sydney is different than cities in America. There isn't really a place in downtown that you shouldn't go to or would feel unsafe in. In America if you go downtown in some cities you probably know the deeper downtown you go the rougher and more scary it can get but it was never once like that in Sydney.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I would choose TEAN again becuase I honestly don't think any other program could have given me the experiences and opportunities TEAN did.

Finances

* 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 didn't realize how expensive Sydney was. Looking back now I would have planned differently and better! I'm also not very good with money so that could have been why I felt unprepared.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Between grocery shopping, eating out, going out, go on trips, etc. I probably spent about $80 to $100 a week but it really just depends.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you're thinking about Sydney and your going for 5 months like me I would seriously recommend taking at least $1000 for every month. That doesn't mean you have to spend that every month, it would just be good to have. Especially if you plan on traveling a lot of different places like I did.

Language

* 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?
  • The week orientation before the actual program started
  • How I got to feel like an adult becuase nothing and no one was holding me back but TEAN staff were always there for support if needed.
  • How comfortable I felt with the TEAN staff from the very beginning of the program
* What could be improved?
  • I'm honestly not sure
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how I was going to feel when I got home after the program was over. Specifically, the feelings I dealt with. Obviously I was sad to leave becuase everything was so amazing. I was also nervous to get home becuase I wasn't sure what had changed, if I had changed, if my friends had, etc. But I am finally figuring it out, I just wish someone had talked to me about all of it before it happened becuase I think I would have understood everything better.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.