Amazing rainforest adventure Past Review

By (Environmental Studies, International Global Studies, Brandeis University) - abroad from 02/02/2015 to 05/07/2015 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 learned that I want to pursue a career that allows me to work in a hands on manner and maximize my time outside! I also gained valuable ecological skills. Lastly, my love for travel was deepened profoundly.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The learning was extremely engaging and hands-on. While SFS has very different educational methods from a typical university, it is definitely still challenging.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Students live in cabins in the middle of the rainforest. If this is the type of experience someone is looking for, it is absolutely incredible!

* Food:

The food was very good and special food needs were accommodated for.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very integrated with the local environmental activist community, for which I am very grateful. I would have also liked to meet more people from the broader community, but as the program is only three months, I felt extremely fortunate to be so welcomed into this specific one.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)

Australia is expensive and it was sometimes a bit difficult to do all of the things I wanted to, but by sticking to the basics I was definitely able to make it work. At the center itself there was no need to spend money.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? It depended on whether or not we had free weekends. Without a free weekend, I spent no money. With a free weekend, I could spend about $100-$300 on a hostel, food, pub, and perhaps a day activity such as snorkeling.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? My extended hiking trips were my best experiences and also the cheapest! You do not have to pay for a place to stay and you make all of your own food!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
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?
  • Living in the rainforest
  • The people (in the local community and on the program)
  • Being outside everyday
* What could be improved?
  • While there is limited time in the program, I would have really loved to look more in depth at the social issues facing the country as a whole and how these issues affect the overall environment and native species.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That whenever the opportunity arises to get up and travel, you should take it!