Learning in the Country Down Under Past Review

By (University of Northern Iowa) - abroad from 02/15/2016 to 06/20/2016 with

University of Newcastle: Newcastle - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I was given the opportunity to adjust myself to a different culture and reflect on how my home country is perceived from an Australian perspective.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Unless you are exploring level one courses, the classes can be a bit more rigorous than what some are used to. However, they are engaging, fulfilling, and worthwhile for the effort that students will have to put forth.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was extremely pleased with my accommodation while abroad. I was lucky to have housing on campus, which has an amazing social network, the necessary facilities, security, and support that anyone could ever need. However, it can get pretty dirty in the common areas and elevators from evening social events. (I will note that I lived in an six-share apartment in one of the new residences, so it was a bit nicer and more up-to-date than the rest of the residences).

* Food:

I had to provide for my own food, so I had the luxury to prepare and try various dishes or stick with what I know from back home. Provided for great variety from various intersecting food cultures. Whether it be ramen, Thai, curry, schnitzels, fish and chips, or american, there's something out their for everyone.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Took a bit to settle in, but the people you meet will treat you as if you are home. There are a few similarities between Australian culture and U.S. culture, so the differences won't feel too overwhelming.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was sick once during the program, and healthcare coverage was easy and simple (I had it on an app on my phone). It seemed to cover the doctor's visit. I will have to say that the experience at the clinic itself was a bit rushed an impersonal, but that's what makes it efficient to some degree, I guess.

* Safety:

For the most part, I've never had any issues with safety while at my program. Whether I was traveling, studying on campus, or just out at night, I was without incidence and felt safe. However, I've heard of plenty of muggings and thefts happening to other people and students, so that's something to keep a look out for. The wildlife (as dangerous as people will have let you know) seems to keep its distance and leave people alone, so no problems there.

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

There was so much I didn't have a chance to do, and I was also constricted because of a tight budget. But if I had a chance to do it again, I would definitely travel more, take more of the universities amazing classes, and spend more time with the friends I made there.


* 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 may not be considering the conversion rate accurately, but I spent about $75-150 a week on grocery's and other personal expenses. I probably could have budgeted a bit more, but I was a little lenient for the sake of making what I could of the experience.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 75-150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? For public transport, get an concession opal card from the student center once you get on campus if you are an exchange student. It's easy, you just charge money to it online or at certain stations, and the concession card cuts your fees in half when using buses and trains. Also as a general note, alcohol is expensive if you like to participate in evening social events, so you will probably learn to love what they call "goon" as it is really cheap.


* 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? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The people
  • the classes
  • the amazing sights
* What could be improved?
  • Everything that could have been improved comes from not the program itself, but in my preparation for it
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I now have a more rounded idea of the costs associated with the program, and my university did portray an accurate budget sheet for the trip. However, I was still just a bit unprepared to meet the costs for the full experience when it comes to traveling. I was able to meet all my expenditures when it came to food and personal expenses.

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!