Once in a Lifetime! Past Review

By (Villanova University) - abroad from 07/10/2017 to 12/03/2017 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained so much knowledge and understanding of another culture, pushed myself past my limits, and learned the importance of

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.

I loved being at the University of Sydney because I could be surrounded by Aussie students and learn so much more about Australian culture. I took an education class, a law class, a gender class, and an Australian sport and culture class, which were all so wonderful! Some of the courses were tougher than others, but the professors are so willing to help with any questions and the school has so many great resources for abroad students.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

It was so helpful how prompt and active all of the TEAN staff was in answering any questions or worries I had before going abroad up until the day I left. Plus, throughout my entire time there, Jenn (the staff member assigned to Sydney) was such a great resource for any questions I had. She checked in with us regularly and was always available to answer any questions we had about health insurance, trips we were going on, or even restaurant recommendations. TEAN also set up lots of events throughout the semester for all of the students in the area including surfing at the famous Bondi Beach, a day at Luna Park (an amusement park), a tour of the Sydney Opera House, jet boating around the harbor, an end-of-the-semester dinner cruise, and so much more! It was a great way to spend time with the other students in the program as well as see more of the city. They also organized a fun trip to Melbourne, which is another big city in Australia, which I absolutely loved!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

TEAN arranged for me to stay at Urbanest (student apartments) along with about 20 other students in the program. It was in the perfect location right in the middle of Sydney, walking distance from the train station, school, the mall, grocery stores, and so many tourist sights. This apartment complex also had so much within it, including laundry, a patio, bbqs, and a gym.

* Food:

I lived in an apartment complex, which meant that I was in full control of my meals. I chose to grocery shop and cook most of my meals at home because it was more economical. However, the restaurants in Sydney are some of the best in the world, so we of course ate out as well! It has some of the international food in the world (try Spice Alley for great Asian food!).

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Between taking classes with Aussie students and constantly spending time around the city, I felt completely integrated within the culture. TEAN set up so many great cultural activities for us to participate in to learn more about the culture, which helped so much. I truly loved how much exposure we got to the Aussie culture, because while Australia is an easy country to move to coming from the US, they definitely have their own interesting culture as well.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Unfortunately I did get very sick while I was abroad, but Jenn (the TEAN coordinator for Sydney) helped me through the entire process of receiving health care. I had an overseas health insurance, which gave me access to a doctor at the University of Sydney. It was so convenient that the doctor was right on campus, but it also gave me access to other doctors if I had preferred.

* Safety:

I felt extremely safe throughout all of Sydney all of the time. The apartment complex we lived in was very secure, and even walking on the streets, I always felt safe.

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

This program truly gave me an experience I will never forget. Between the incredible hard work of all of the staff members and all of the amazing friends I have met, it is an experience I will always carry with me. I got to see so much of the world that I never could have even imagined, and I couldn't have done it without the support of TEAN. I would absolutely recommend this program!


* 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)

Sydney is a pretty expensive city, however if done correctly, it is possible to budget well. I gave myself a strict budget every week for food/other expenses, which worked very well.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $80 USD (not including the occasional trip)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would suggest to definitely plan a budget for yourself and do everything you can to stick to it. Also set aside some extra money for any weekend trips/break trips you may want to go on with your friends.


* 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

  • Local Students
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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 other people in the program
  • Orientation experience
  • Cultural events
* What could be improved?
  • I wish there had been more Australian students in our living accommodations, rather than just in class, but this was not controlled by TEAN.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how inviting of a culture Australia has, and how much easier the transition would be than I was expecting. Everyone I met was so helpful and the lack of a language barrier was definitely helpful. There is also much more of a true Australian culture than I ever realized, which made it so much 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.