An Interesting Experience Past Review

By (University of South Carolina - Columbia) - abroad from 07/12/2011 to 01/04/2012 with

The University of Queensland: Brisbane - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was certainly worthwhile. I learned that I really have priorities and wish to see the world. I tried to make every moment count.

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.

Overall, the educationn in Australia is quite different than that of the USA, I am a good student in the USA and expected similar results in Australia, however, this did not occur. The structure is just completly different, I personally just didn't like it and had difficulty adjusting. All the assignments are written research essays. There is also no interaction between the teacher and students. Typically, there were multiple people who taught a class, which was just simply odd; there was no one who was really in control. Teachers didn't have office hours so that a student could talk further with them about an assignment, which was really needed when the assignments were a few sentences long yet counting for 50% of one's grade.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program


* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived on campus at the International House. As an American, it reminded me of a sorority. I felt it limited my interaction with students and supplied little choices for food. At the same time, they planned activities and such that I generally enjoyed.

* Food:

I did not eat the meat in Australia, it is very gamey and just not good. A lot of the food is Asian inspired, something I was not expecting; all I ate was curry.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Things are so expensive. In Australia, one doesn't have to tip. While this sounds good, there isn't very good service as a result. Drinking is very much a social activity. I like how the drinking age in the USA is 21, 18 is simply too young. Parenting in Australia is very relaxed.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?


* Safety:

For the most part, I felt pretty safe. WIth many young travelers, there are always people about.

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)

I was the cheapest possible. While I traveled I ate pasta and fruit, never really eatting out. Compared to America, there are not many free things. I never paid for internet, that was just anoying how everything cost something.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $5
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I hardly did laundry, only when needed. I didn't really eat out since food was provided. Besides taking some trips, I didn't have many expenses. I would recommend brining school supplies and not buying those small things abroad.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? NA
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Australians have a lot of slang, you simply just have to ask what things mean.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
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?
  • Things were provided for me, like housing and food.
* What could be improved?
  • I had few options with food or housing.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I was surrounded by many Americans, the point of the trip was not to be with Americans. While I liked Australia, I also traveled to New Zealand and felt that the people were just so much nicer.