Australia was a Life Changing Experience! Past Review

By (Elementary Education, Temple University) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I have learned to be more independant and more accepting of differences. I was pretty independent and accepting before I studied abroad, but this experience forced me to be so much more. You cannot just call your mom or dad every time you have a problem. You must figure it out on your own for the most part. I have learned so much about the world around me and all the different people from different countries while in Sydney Australia. It was so nice to meet people of different backgrounds and cultures and see how their lives differ from mine. I now plan to go back to Australia in the future. I never even thought I would ever be able to go to Australia in my lifetime and here I am already planning to go back a second time. I plan to teach abroad now and hopefully in Australia. I just want to see the whole world now and experience all it has to offer!

Review Photos

Education Abroad Network: Sydney - University of Sydney Photo Education Abroad Network: Sydney - University of Sydney Photo Education Abroad Network: Sydney - University of Sydney Photo Education Abroad Network: Sydney - University of Sydney Photo Education Abroad Network: Sydney - University of Sydney 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 work load abroad in Australia was quite different than at home in the States. In Australia they use the European system of education. There are not many oportunites to get grades in each class. Usually there are only one or two assignments and a final. That is how my classes were and many fellow students. The professors I had were very helpful. They recognized that I was not used to this system of education and one of my teachers even reached out to me. She told me to come to her office hours or email her if I needed help with any assignments. I did infact email her and she was more than willing to help. Studying in Australia requires more independant work than studying in the States. They are different types of education and I did not mind the Australian education. I am not sure I would always like my classes to be that way, but while studying abroad it was nice.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

We had a Resident Director while abroad in Australia. The resident director was very helpful. He helped us adjust to life in Australia easily. He gave us his cell phone number should we have any problems or questions. He would send out weekly emails checking on us or informing us on things going on in Sydney that we might be interested in checking out. He was very knowledgable about Australia having studied there himself and now living there. He was awesome to have while abroad.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in the Tiffany Meriton Serviced Apartments in Bondi Junction. Just about 12 minutes on train to the city of Sydney. The location was amazing where we lived. I lived across the street from the mall, stores, and 3 super markets. The bus and train station were right below us so it was very easy to get around. I always felt safe in Bondi Junction and Sydney day or night. Nightlife and class both took place in Sydney. So it was very easy to get to both. The apartment complex I lived in was amazing. The Education Abroad Network rents out the apartments for us to use while abroad. They are one of the only programs that does this. The aparment complex provided sheets, cookware, appliances, and furniture. All I had to do was buy food to cook with. They even provided stuff to wash my clothes and dishes with as well as toilet paper. Our apartments were cleaned once a week. It doesn't get much better than that!

* Food:

Food in Australia is more expensive than the States. They import a lot of food so it is more expensive. However, the food there is healthier for you. There is a less fatty foods. The food tastes different, even mac and cheese. It just takes some getting used to. There are many cheap places to eat, you just have to explore. If you use the book "Lonely Planet" they have many suggestions of cheap places to eat. I never had a bad dining experience while in Australia. When I got back to the States my body did need time to get used to the greasy foods we have here.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The whole experience in Australia was a memorable culture event. Some things that stick out to me are abseling (rappelling), going to a Rugby game, and going on a class excursion to the Blue Mountains. Abseling was one of my top things that I did in Australia. It was arranged by my program. It was so thrilling and I would have never done this if not given the opportunity. Going to a Rugby game was also very cool. It was my first one and it was nice to see how Australian's support their athletic teams. They are not nearly as intense as American sports fans.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Like any place you live you need to be aware of your surroundings. Act as if you know what you are doing even if you do not. Sydney is a fairly safe city. I go to school in Philadelphia so it was a nice change of pace in Sydney. The people there are so nice and I was not worried about getting mugged. I got a really bad soar throat while abroad that lasted about 2 months. I made an appointment with the healthcare facility at University of Sydney and I was in and out in 15 mintues which never happens in the States. It was nice to not have to wait an hour to see a doctor. My student visa covered the healthcare but Australia in general has pretty good healthcare for the people. I did not have to get any vaccines before going to Australia.

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)


If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If you plan to go to Australia and live in or around Sydney, be prepared to spend money. You need to make sure you have a budget. Sydney is one of the most expensive cities so do not be surprised when a bottle of coke is $3.50. It might be smart to get a job while in Australia. It will also help you meet some Aussies. This program was amazing to go through! They are so helpful and I never felt out of the loop throughout the whole process. They answer your questions right away no matter how silly you may think they may be. This program really focuses on being personable with each student. It is really nice to know a lot of the staff through email, talking on the phone, meeting at my home school, and then my resident director in Australia. This is a five star program and I reccomend it to anyone wanting to study abroad in Australia!