Adventure Awaits at SFS Past Review

By (Biology, General., Providence College) - abroad from 02/04/2013 to 05/09/2013 with

The School for Field Studies / SFS: Australia & New Zealand - Rainforest Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I am alot more willing to try new things and be adventurous than I thought I could ever be. It was worthwhile because I got to learn about subjects in the actual environment where they happened.

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 courses work was easy and what was expected of each assignment was clear, but not nearly enough time was given to complete each assignment and the professors were not understanding even though they know the program is jam packed with scheduled activities, and almost no study time.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Not clear what the rules were and then rules which were not explained were enforced. There was alot of handholding although everyone on the program are adults. Although, the safety information was useful, but a bit too harsh.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Bare bones cabin in the woods shared with 7 other individuals.

* Food:

The food was unbelievable. Even as a vegetarian I had plenty of options which were all delicious

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

All of the program time was scheduled and almost no time to interact with the locals except for a two day home stay.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I personally did not get sick but others who did were well taken care of

* Safety:

No harm from people because program was isolated in the middle of the rainforest. The snakes and other creatures were the biggest source of any possible safety issues, but we were all carrying a snake bite kit at all times.

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)

Everything was taken care of but the cost of living in Australia is just alot higher than in America if traveling on your own.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Book any activities as a group to get a better rate.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Location
  • My own directed research
  • Friends I made
* What could be improved?
  • Rules
  • Scheduling
  • Structure
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Just how little control or options you have for what you are going to do. I had read that the program was very structured and busy, but there was absolutely scheduled time from the moment you wake up at 7 a.m. till you have time to do assignments at about 9 p.m.

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.