Study in Sunny Brissy Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., Wellesley College) - abroad from 03/03/2014 to 06/28/2014 with

The University of Queensland: Brisbane - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself, and I learned a lot about the rest of the world. I didn't realize there would be so many international students form all over the world. I barely spent any time with Americans.

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.

I had one truly terrible professor who really colored my academic experience in a negative light. He barely prepared anything for lectures, and when he did, it was usually just taken from other university courses. The majority of lectures consisted of watching YouTube videos while he gave us some commentary. My other professors were much more competent, and I found they cared about helping their students understand the information and succeed. All were happy to meet out of class to clarify information or provide extra guidance. Tutorials were okay, not so useful, but it really depends on the class and on the tutor. The level of work expected was much lower-- really sub-par work could earn quite decent marks.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There was no official program, it was just direct enrollment. But the university did a good job of making sure exchange students were up to date on everything they needed to know.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Yes, but I had to find housing on my own. The university has a website (UQ Rentals) where you can look for housing, but you have to find the housing yourself. It is helpful to go to the Housing info session during O-Week (orientation week).

* Food:

N/A, no food was provided.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Australian culture isn't so different from American culture, and it was pretty easy to adapt. They do have a really strong drinking culture, and I found Australian society to be a bit sexist. But it's also very laid back and people are generally quite friendly.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Health care was fine, I had OSHC which is required for international students. I had two incidents requiring health care: I fell off my bike and got pretty cut up. I went to health services at UQ and they cleaned me up and made a follow up appointment to check that everything was healing okay. They were very helpful and it was no problem to use my OSHC coverage. I also had to get a tetanus shot, which was covered by OSHC. I also got a stress fracture in my toe. It was a huge pain to find out whether a podiatrist appointment would be covered by OSHC, and in the end it was not. I had to save my receipts from all the appointments and send them to my health care provider at home to be reimbursed.

* Safety:

Almost always felt safe. There were a few murders at the beginning of the semester, but that was quite out of the ordinary. General common sense applies-- don't walk around alone at night-- but the area around the university is really safe. Legally, you need to wear a helmet if you are biking, as well as have a white light on the front of your bike, and a red light on the back. Police will pull you over if they see you without these.

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)

Australia is very very expensive. There were lots of farmers markets though, which had much cheaper produce.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Not sure. I have extra dietary restrictions, so my experience is not so relevant here.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Go to the farmers markets. Cook meals (and share food/cooking supplies) with your roommates rather than alone.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

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

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • QUEST-- a student org that planned trips and events for international students
  • UQBVC-- Social beach volleyball club where I met many international students as well as Australians.
  • Weather and location of Brisbane-- easy access to many fun weekend trips
* What could be improved?
  • The academics
  • More opportunities to meet Australians
  • Brisbane itself isn't so exciting
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Your focus will NOT be on the academics, even if you think it will be. It's not worth choosing the school based on what courses are offered.

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.