Rainforest Research: A Wild Time January 26, 2019

By (Grinnell College) - abroad from 08/27/2018 to 11/29/2018 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 gained an understanding of just how big the world is, and a sense for the different parts of biology I want to study later in life. It was worthwhile.

Review Photos

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

Whole days devoted to just lecture weren't fantastic, but nice field exposure

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Thank you to the Student Affairs Managers and the director for a well-thought-through program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

It was a cabin in the woods, so you have to be prepared to deal with it. I wish there had been a bathroom just a little bit closer-- there were three main ones and from the cabins, they were about a 2 minute hike.

* Food:

Marianne was an amazing cook, never a bad dinner

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt a lot like I was in an American bubble. There were opportunities to get into the community but they felt far between sometimes.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The Centre is INCREDIBLY safe.

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

I loved this program! SFS has been running this program for 30 years and the expertise shows. Our classes were in depth, and it felt amazing to learn so much about the country I was studying in, being able to look at a mountain and know how it came to be there. There's so much lovely wildlife like I'd never seen before. The staff are so caring. I met amazing students from everywhere in the states and we all got very close. It was difficult sometimes, of course, but you learn a lot about yourself from going so far away.


* 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)

Mid-Semester break was the biggest expense I had to deal with. I budgeted $500USD for that and spent it all. The very nice things about this program is that you rarely had to pay for meals. I had about $1000 USD total, and I got down to about $300. You don't need lots of money.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50 ish
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make budgets in advance for both Mid-Semester Break and Cairns Weekend. There are lots of amazing opportunities, but they're pricey.


* 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
  • Other
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Student Affairs Staff
  • Field Trips/Excursions
  • Directed Research
* What could be improved?
  • Staff Training for Sensitivity/Trigger Words
  • Community Integration
  • Scheduled Free Time every day
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known what I was going to miss most from home: a pair of zip-up pants, a stuffed animal, and a few extra items of clothing.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!