Amazing Australian Adventures! Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 02/20/2017 to 06/23/2017 with

University of Melbourne: Melbourne - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
As I previously mentioned, I made some wonderful new friends abroad and had amazing experiences travelling Australia. Melbourne is also a great city filled with delicious food, interesting artwork, and vibrant culture. Participating in the study abroad program at University of Melbourne is absolutely worthwhile.

Review Photos

University of Melbourne: Melbourne - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo University of Melbourne: Melbourne - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo University of Melbourne: Melbourne - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo University of Melbourne: Melbourne - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Although University of Melbourne is one of the best universities in Australia, I did not find it as academically rigorous as Wellesley. However, the courses I took there were very interesting, and all my professors were very knowledgable.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I stayed at a residential college near University of Melbourne named Saint Hilda's College. If you have the opportunity to stay at a residential college, I would highly recommend it! My college provided extra tutorial sessions for classes, on site advising, food, housing, and many other helpful and necessary resources that made my transition to Australia much easier.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

As I previously mentioned, at stayed at Saint Hilda's College (a residential college), and I cannot recommend it highly enough! I had a large single room, and the facilities within the college (library, cafeteria, common spaces, etc.) were also great. Living in a residential college really allowed me to live outside the "study abroad bubble" because the majority of students living there are Australian. In fact, out of the 250 students living at the college, only 4 of us were American. This direct immersion into Australian culture allowed me to make mostly Australian friends and have a very immersive study abroad experience. If you can live at a residential college, I would highly recommend it! Not only will you make life-long friends through the living community, but the food and resources provided make living in at a residential college much easier than living in an apartment in the city.

* Food:

Although the food was provided by my residential college, it was not of the highest quality. They made a lot of mass-produced food that was often very bland. However, the food in restaurants around Melbourne is fantastic! Although it can be expensive, I would definitely recommend indulging in some of Melbourne's amazing cuisine off campus every once in a while.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

As I mentioned, I was only one of four American students at my residential college (housing 250 people in total) and almost all of the other students were Australian. Although I had two American friends, the rest of my friends were Australian. I felt incredibly integrated with the local culture, and my Australian friends were happy to introduce me to traditionally Australian things such as Footie games, Handball, meat pies, Australian slang, etc.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

University of Melbourne requires that students have health insurance while they study abroad (OSHC insurance via Bupa), and Wellesley paid for my health insurance. I only went to the doctor once when I got sick, but it was very nice to have health insurance to cover the visit. Even though the chances of needing health insurance while abroad are slim, it's nice to know that you have health insurance if you ever needed it.

* Safety:

University of Melbourne is definitely in the city, and the campus is known to be a bit unsafe at night. I personally never had any issues regarding personal safety, and I made sure I was with other people whenever I was walking through campus at night. I personally never felt unsafe.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I could not imagine a better study abroad experience. I made amazing new friends, had adventures traveling Australia, and had interesting classes at University of Melbourne which introduced me to other aspects of Australian life and culture (such as an Aboriginal Arts and Cultures class).


* 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)

Melbourne is a very expensive city. Although the exchange rate from Australian to American dollars is very good, food and housing in the city can be very expensive. As I previously described, I received financial help from Wellesley to live in my residential college which provided my food and housing. Because of this aid, I found living in Melbourne affordable, although I imagine it would be quite expensive to try to live in an apartment in the city.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Because my food and housing were covered in my tuition to the residential college, I only spent personal money on events I wanted to go to. This could range from $25 USD for a dinner out to $400 USD for a weekend trip.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Definitely travel when you can because it can be surprisingly affordable! Hostels can be very cheap, and splitting expenses with friends (such as renting a car) significantly cuts down on cost. Try to plan weekend trips with a large group of friends! Jet Star Airlines also has some amazing deals, although they are definitely a budget airline. I was once able to buy a ticket to Tasmania for only $65 USD.


* 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

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* 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?
  • Location: Melbourne is very liveable city filled with fun things to do!
  • People: In general, all of the Australians I met were extremely friendly, and I made amazing friends.
  • Ease of living: my residential college made living in the city quite easy.
* What could be improved?
  • Food provided by the college: the food provided by my residential college was often not very good.
  • More time to travel: although I completed many weekend trips, there was only one long break in the middle of the semester to travel.
  • Start and end dates to the program: the start and end dates to the program did not match up with Wellesley's dates, making travel a but difficult.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Honestly, I wish I'd known how quickly it was going to go by! I had a truly amazing time in Australia, and I wish I had known how quickly the time was going to fly by. Also, the travel time to Australia is REALLY long, so stopping along the way for a few days (Hawaii, South-East Asia, etc.) to break up the travel is a good idea.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'