Spa Summer in Australia Past Review

By (Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?

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.

Everything was structured so that we had optimal exposure both to the local culture and to the local wildlife and landscape. The teachers were engaging and passionate about their topics and I felt very comfortable with the material we were being taught.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There was a little trouble with time management. We were always either late or super early for things. Otherwise, everything ran very smoothly.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was living at a research station in the middle of the jungle.

* Food:

The food is great.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

hiking with the Maori, milaa milaa falls, Peeroman pub... the great barrier reef.... i don't know. Everything was very memorable.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

it was safe. Don't be dumb, you'll be fine.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 1500 us dollars. Australia is EXPENSIVE.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Bring a lot of cash because ATMs will charge major fees.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

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  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? be prepared for a very thoreau-esque experience. Walden has nothing on Lake Barrine in the Atherton Tablelands.