A Year Down Under Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 07/23/2012 to 07/22/2013 with

The University of Queensland: Brisbane - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned many things academically (the main reason I chose this program) and I also gained a sort of self confidence. I had never travelled this far away from home for such a long time before, and this experience has really pushed me to put myself out there and trust that I know what I am doing. It was definitely worthwhile.

Review Photos

The University of Queensland: Brisbane - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo The University of Queensland: Brisbane - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo The University of Queensland: Brisbane - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo

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.

UQ has really high academic standards and it is really hard to get a grade above an 85% (about as hard as it is to get a grade above a 95% in the States). That said, the quality of the teaching and learning was excellent and apart from some questionable post-grad tutoring, I have really appreciated and loved the academic experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone in administration was really friendly, but I kept having errors in my enrolment and acceptance.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I decided to live in one of the residential colleges (Union College) and I love it! The college is located right next to the university campus and is therefore extremely convenient. Additionally, as a study abroad student it can often be difficult to fit into the social life of a direct enrollment program. Living at a residential college makes this 100% easier by giving you an automatic social life and plenty of exposure to both domestic and international students.

* Food:

The food is pretty much what you'd expect from a college cafeteria. Decent, but not homemade. However, there are also plenty of food options on the university campus.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Australia's culture is pretty similar to the US (although closer to the UK) so I felt quite comfortable.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The Health Service is really receptive to all kinds of issues. You have to make an appointment unless there is an emergency, but they also have open hours where you can walk in and wait to be seen by a nurse. Once seen, people treat you very well and I have had many positive experiences here. There were no prevalent health issues and while the university suggests/requires you to be up to date with vaccinations, there was nothing in particular that Australia requires.

* Safety:

A city is a city and has its own inherent dangers, especially for a female. But the university does its best to make sure that students feel comfortable. They provide an after-hours shuttle bus that can take you around campus. There are many emergency call points. And the residential colleges each have their own team of security. The city itself is small and quite safe. Taxis and buses make transportation easy and as most college students went out at night together, there were always people around to help you if you get lost.

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 am living in a residential college so most of my basic needs are met. However, living in Australia in general is expensive and very tricky for student budgets. It pretty much all depends on what you are paying for (vs your parents). I survived fine with about $8,000 for the entire year (including the 3 month summer vacation).

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? less than $100 (again, most of my necessities were provided by the residential college)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save your money for what's important to you. Everything is Australia is more expensive than it is in the US and alcohol is doubly so. If you're the type to loves to drink and go out at night, then spend less on dining out and more on drinks, etc.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • the people I met (Australians are incredibly friendly)
  • the location (beautiful and widely varied landscapes)
  • what I learned (Australia's unique environment allowed me to learn much more than I am able to in the States)
* What could be improved?
  • more weekend travel/trips
  • more connectedness between tutors and professors
  • more non-alcoholic meet and greet events
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how expensive Australia is so that I could better budget and know what I should bring with me. Other than that, Australia is the type of country that is best left as a surprise. As an English-speaking country with a similar culture to Europe, there is little culture shock. Just be prepared for the sun and enjoy!!

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!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Coral Reef Processes and Management

Course Department: Environmental Management
Instructor: David Neil
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course is both challenging and fun. It is a week-long intensive course taking place on Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef. The course consists of several lecture hours before leaving for the trip and the trip itself. Assessment materials were a mid-semester exam, a project presentation, a scientific report of the project and a final exam. In the lectures students learn about coral reefs and the history of Heron Island. On the island students are divided into groups and create and execute an experiment/research project. Together, the group creates a presentation of their findings and writes up a formal report. Because this course takes place within the span of one week, it is very work-intensive (during that week). However, the amount of material that I was able to learn by doing actual research was phenomenal and the fact that it takes place on an island in the Great Barrier Reef is a huge incentive to take the course.
Credit Transfer Issues: I had no problems. However, if students run into issues because it is a short, intensive course, then I would suggest that you ask the transfers to be made according to the credit UQ awards for the course. Even though the course is short, it is worth the same number of credits as a regular semester long course.