Fell in love with Australia! Past Review

By (Marketing, University of Miami) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Absolutely, I learned so much about myself, Australia and even America. I fell in love with Australia and definitely plan on going back. The people are so friendly and nice, everything is clean and safe. People are not as money/work-driven as they are in America, and I came to really appreciate the laid-back atmosphere. Australians really seem to celebrate and love their lives and being there really inspired me to start doing the same!

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.

My educational experience at The University of Sydney was much different from my own at The University of Miami. First of all, their grading system (unlike the usual A,B,C,D,F in America) went High Distinction, Distinction, Credit, Pass, and Fail. The point system was also different than in America. In Australia, the number grades that correspond with each category are much lower than I was used to. As a student who strives to get A's and B's, I would see "70" on my paper and think "I got a C" when in reality, it translated to about a B in America. The workload was also different. Unlike American classes, where you are assigned homework pretty regularly (on top of your readings), and have several tests and quizzes throughout the semester, I found that I really only had essays, presentations and finals for each of my classes. This was a bit unsettling for me, because I like being able to 'feel out' the tests that each professor gives in order to better prepare myself for future exams. In Australia, I only had one final in most of my classes and therefore never got the chance to familiarize myself with each professor's test-giving strategy. Though I struggled a bit with the testing part, I did however really enjoy the fact that we weren't assigned "busy work" (homework) to complete every week. It gave me more time to keep up with the readings and do other things (like explore Australia)! Lastly, the other difference between Australian and American educational systems was the way courses were designed. In America, we usually have 1-3 class periods a week for each course, ranging from 50min - 2.5 hours depending on how many times we meet. During these classes, the professor decides whether they want to lecture, go over homework, etc. In Australia, the courses are designed to have one large lecture period a week, and then a smaller classroom tutorial period in which we would do presentations or have class discussions.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

TEAN was amazing. They were friendly and always available to help us with anything. They were definitely knowledgeable about Australia and America overall, as well as regarding higher education. The program was a great size. It was large enough that students were able to partake in separate trips and orientations, but small enough that we never felt disconnected or "like a number" as some people would say about other organizations. We were all able to become friends with our program leaders as well as each other, and there were even program meet-ups at different venues where we all came together and hung out.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our housing situation was incredible. We lived in the Tiffany Meriton Serviced Apartments in Bondi Junction. The location was so convenient: all forms of transportation were readily available right underneath our building; the grocery store was across the street in the Westfield Mall (along with everything else we could ever need); we were a 30-min bus ride from school without switching, or walking; we were close to the beach and nightlife. Along with the convenience of our location, we were also provided with most of the necessities we would need, such as cookware, sheets, towels, etc. and had a weekly cleaning service. To add to the already incredible apartment, we even had a great view of the Opera House and Harbor Bridge!

* Food:

I am not allergic to anything, and am not picky about anything (pretty much) therefore I had no issues with the food. I especially love asian cuisine, which was plentiful so I thought the food was great! One thing I did miss though was a classic bacon, egg and cheese on a bagel!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

TEAN arranged an awesome orientation for us which included a visit to the Featherdale Zoo, an organized climb of the Sydney Harbor Bridge, a dinner cruise on the harbor, a walking tour around Sydney and an "Amazing Race"-based scavenger hunt. They really helped us get settled in to our new home.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Sydney felt really safe and clean overall. We were never very concerned with getting hurt or sick, but we were provided the healthcare just in case.

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

  • Hotel
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Friendly and helpful staff
  • Awesome orientation and living arrangements
* What could be improved?
  • nothing that I can think of...