Three surreal weeks! December 14, 2019

By (Northwestern University) - abroad from 06/21/2019 to 07/14/2019 with

The Education Abroad Network (TEAN): Traveling - Australian Environment, Wildlife and Conservation

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
These were some of the best weeks of my life! I arrived nervous about going to a new country without knowing anyone else on the trip, and I left wishing that we'd had more time there! I loved every moment – hiking, swimming, surfing, eating great food, seeing tourist attractions, and learning about conservation, Australia, and the local culture.

Review Photos

The Education Abroad Network (TEAN): Traveling - Australian Environment, Wildlife and Conservation Photo

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.

This course was great in its ability to engage both students who were majoring in environmental topics as well as students who had hardly studied this in school. I fell somewhere in the middle, and I was able to learn a lot without getting bored with information I already knew. Even concepts that I was familiar with took on new meaning, as we were looking at them in the context of Australia. There were a fair number of assignments, but none of them took too long, leaving us all ample time to make the most of our three weeks in Australia.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

All of the TEAN staff were incredibly friendly and helpful and worked to make us feel at home from the start! They tirelessly answered all my questions.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Over the course of the three weeks, we stayed in hostels and hotels, as well as cabins in the mountains and rainforest. The hotels were extremely nice, but I honestly enjoyed the cabins and hostel much more. The hostel provided a great social environment at the start of the trip, where students could go door-to-door and ask each other if we wanted to hang out/get dinner. The cabins provided an intimate experience with nature that a hotel can't give.

* Food:

The food in Australia is absolutely incredible and diverse. I am a vegetarian and found it surprisingly easy to find vegetarian meals. I am only ranking this 4/5 because you do have to be prepared to buy most of your meals. Some people cut costs by going to grocery stores and cooking at our residences.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

For a program so short, we were able to feel pretty integrated with local culture. In Byron Bay, some store owners began to recognize us. We had plenty of free time to explore the area in each city, which was really nice.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There were no extreme health issues during this trip that I can remember, besides a few colds. Our TA was great with handing out Vitamin C supplements or reminding everyone to take their own.

* Safety:

It seemed that we were always in safe areas, and there were no safety-related incidents that I can recall.

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

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)

It can be pretty expensive to live in these places, but there are ways to cut costs, like cooking meals or eating leftovers rather than eating in restaurants for every meal.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Outdoor experiences (hiking, surfing)
  • Learning about nature
  • Exploring local culture
* What could be improved?
  • Maybe we could get recommendations on how to spend our free time
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known more about Australia and Australian culture/politics, but the program did a good job of introducing us to that.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.