Best Semester Ever!! August 26, 2019

By (University of New Hampshire) - abroad from 02/08/2019 to 05/19/2019 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 including cross cultural communication skills, funny stories, many memories, and more independence. It was definitely worth it!!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I really enjoyed the professors I had and the material I learned in my courses! It was a bit difficult because everyone was getting adjusted to trimesters, so the term was for less weeks than they were used to, but other than that it was great!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff in Sydney are so incredibly helpful! My flight was delayed for two days, so I missed orientation at Cairns; however, the staff was able to get me into my accommodation early with all of my sheets, kitchen equipment, etc. They were in constant communication with me during the process so I was not stressed, and one of the staff members met me at my accommodation when I arrived to help me throughout the situation. Additionally, the events the staff plan are really fun and they either led me to try something I wouldn't have done on my own (ex. surfing lessons), or planned out something I was planning to do, but didn't have to worry about logistically (ex. a tour of the Opera House).

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in Colombo House, which was one of the on campus colleges. There were always many different events going on that you had the option of joining in on such as cheap eats (free or $5 catered meals every Wednesday), sporting events, competitions with other colleges, subsidized social outings, etc. The people I met there were so friendly and eager to meet new people! Additionally, the living space is really nice at Colombo. Each person has a single room with their own bathroom (including a shower) attached. Everyone also has access to a kitchen whether it be the large kitchen next to the Common Room on the ground floor or a smaller kitchen on their floor. Additionally, Colombo was on High St., which easily led to the grocery store (15 min walk) and Coogee Beach (30 min walk).

* Food:

Colombo was not catered, so we cooked for ourselves or went out to eat most of the time. Every week there would be some free or cheaper food events happening, such as Cheap Eats mentioned above. I didn't eat much on campus; however, the city center is only a 30 min bus ride, Coogee Beach is only a 30 min walk, and Randwick is a 15 min walk. All had really good food options and were affordable at the time due to the exchange rate working well in our favor.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Everyone I met was super friendly and willing to share parts of their culture and background! The only thing that was a bit difficult was that Colombo House was an international college and those were the people I spent the most time with, so I wasn't completely integrated with Australian culture. However, there were still many Aussies that lived with me, so it was easy to learn from them about their culture, the slang, what it's like in other areas of Australia, etc.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I went to the UNSW health center a few times while I was abroad. It was super easy to make an appointment and the doctor who I saw was extremely friendly. All of my visits were covered by the plan given to us through TEAN, so I didn't have to pay for anything at the heath center. I did not need any vaccines for this program.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe when I was in Sydney or at UNSW. That being said, I took steps such as being with someone so I was never walking alone at night, or when I did, I made sure it was in an open area with many people around and such.

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

TEAN was amazing!! From before I even chose a program to after I returned home, they were constantly supporting me especially through answering questions I had. TEAN handles so much, so it was really nice that I didn't need to worry about the small details (ex. which visa to get, getting housing for less than a year, etc.) and having free activities already planned out for me that I had the option to partake in.

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)

People kept telling me before that Sydney is one of the most expensive cities, so I made sure to save as much money as possible before I left. When I arrived in Sydney though, the USD was much stronger than I was expecting it to be in comparison to the AUD. This made Sydney a lot more affordable than I was expecting. Because of this, even though I cooked a lot at the beginning, towards the end of my term, I ended up eating out a lot. If you have a kitchen, go to one of the grocery stores close to campus, and cook for yourself, I believe it definitely is doable to live on a student's budget! You might just lose out on some amazing food Sydney has to offer or fun activities.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If possible, get a part time job while you're still at your home university before you leave and start saving as much as you can! Additionally, learn to cook and use your kitchen if you have one and plan out your budget before you leave then readjust it when you get there as needed. Another possibility is to get a job while you're abroad.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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?
  • How helpful all of the staff members were
* What could be improved?
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? N/A

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 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.