A mixed review of a University of Queensland study abroad exerience Past Review

By (Industrial And Operations Engineering, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor) - abroad from 02/10/2011 to 06/06/2011 with

The University of Queensland: Brisbane - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I need to say that whoever does this program, MUST plan a trip to New Zealand. It was awesome. I will upload some pictures in this review. My week throughout the entire south island of New Zealand completely eclipses the rest of my experience abroad. It's also expensive (paid for a planned tour that included transportation around the island and lodging), but worth every penny. I learned that I need to not lose focus on my future. In Australia, it's easy to live in the now too much. Which is not good for your finances or your work ethic when you return home to a US university.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Urbanest Apartments in downtown Brisbane. GREAT location, but really expensive, and ammenities are new but poor. No dishwasher, communal laundry (not covered in rent).

* Food:

Food in Brisbane is great. You have options all the way from Western style to any type of ethnic foods, middle eastern influence in Brisbane makes for some great food. Be sure to eat TimTam's, Australia's best cookie. For some reason, the coffee in Australia is great!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I met my best friend while abroad in Brisbane.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I am a hemophiliac, and due to a surfing accident, I spent a month of my program on 75% bedrest at my apartment and in and out of the hospital in Brisbane. Treatments for my condition are NOT CHEAP, about $5000-$10000 USD a treatment. I was not able to stay overnight at the hospital ever, which was fine, but every appointment I had was kept off the books, and due to the lack of oversight by the Australian Government with their healthcare, I was able to get all of my medicine FOR FREE. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in medicine, given to me for free. Couldn't be any more thankful for the care I received.

* Safety:

Little to know crime to speak of.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

In Australia, you get nickeled and dimed for everything. Nothing is included in rent or tuition, which is already high. Ended up calling daddy for funds on more than one occasion.

* Was housing included in your program cost? No
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $500 USD
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Do your best to cook at home. Eating out adds up a lot more than you may realize during each individual transaction. Grocery stores are few hard to get to, and it's a pain to do it all by bus, but that's all you can do really. Just budget a few hours every week for a grocery run, and it will pay dividends.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • 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?
  • Met some great people
  • Traveled to some amazing places outside of Brisbane
  • School was not so overwhelming that I didnt' have time to enjoy myself
* What could be improved?
  • Reverse culture shock (after coming home) was devastating for me
  • Financially, going to Australia is not a wise decision
  • Housing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I could have been more prepared for the financial issues I experienced abroad. Luckily, my family kept me out of debt, but without that resource, I would have come back with about $5000 USD in debt that I was not prepared for. I also wish I was more prepared for the reverse culture shock coming back to the US. My work ethic tanked after Australia, and that DOES NOT FLY coming back to the University of Michigan, and my GPA suffered greatly in my first semester back.