I Wouldn't Change A Thing! Past Review

By (University of Massachusetts Amherst / UMass) - abroad from 02/11/2020 to 03/18/2020 with

The Education Abroad Network (TEAN): Townsville - James Cook University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was absolutely worthwhile! Though I was only in Australia for about six weeks, I became far more independent and knowledgeable about another culture. I always knew I wanted to travel, but my study abroad experienced further deepened that goal.

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 classes at James Cook were just about as rigorous as my classes in the United States would be, so I was glad to be adequately prepared! I loved taking classes about history from an Australian perspective. I also took a marine biology course, which was great because we were so close to the Great Barrier Reef, and the professor was definitely passionate about what he was teaching, as he included many stories of his field experience. When we had to leave Australia early due to COVID, all of my professors were very understanding and flexible!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing at James Cook was extremely comfortable. I lived in “The Village” which was made up of single rooms, each with their own bathroom, fridge and air conditioner (very important in the northern Queensland heat). This was a nice upgrade from my American dorm experience! Everyone who worked with housing was very nice and helpful. The only thing I did not love was the cleaning, it was difficult to know when the cleaners were coming and they seemed to catch a lot of people off guard.

* Food:

The food was hit or miss for me. The dining hall was clean, and all of the workers were super nice, but there was usually only one option for dinner. The food itself was usually very good, well cooked and the workers were very kind about giving out second helpings, only after the first 40 minutes of dinner time so they could be sure that everyone got their first serving.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Though my time in Australia was cut short, I feel that I was well on my way to becoming more and more integrated in the local culture of Townsville. James Cook and the community in general are very welcoming and make it extremely easy for international students to get involved and meet new people. I joined a few clubs and had a number of Australian friends in no time!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any experience with the health care in Australia.

* Safety:

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

TEAN was super helpful when I had any questions, and all of the paperwork was easy to complete and streamline.


* 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 was able to budget easily in Townsville. Aside from occasionally going out to eat with friends, I would usually eat meals in the dining hall and just buy a few snacks at the store. I also felt that the weekend trips I went on were easy to do on a budget.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50-100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you can, join the student association at James Cook! There's an entry fee, but it pays off quickly because there are student association discounts at local bars, cafes, shops, and even the ferry.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* 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?
  • The TEAN resident director was so helpful and kind!
  • TEAN orientation was very fun and helpful in that it allowed us to meet others going to the same school and learn about Australian culture.
* What could be improved?
  • nothing!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that my time in Australia would be cut short the way it was due to the pandemic. I would have budgeted less and squeezed every day with way more activities.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'