Best decision of my life Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 07/22/2013 to 11/22/2013 with

University of Sydney: Sydney - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself and the world. I gained independence and confidence in myself. Along with many a life lessons. It was absolutely worthwhile!

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had to find my housing on my own and ended up doing it with a company called Semester In Australia. They were very nice/helpful, and I did like the house/roommates I ended up with.

* Food:

They eat much healthier in Australia and a lot of the food lacks the chemicals, preservatives, excess sugar. I was a big fan of this since I didn't have to buy everything organic anymore.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I said 2 and a half stars, because the first half of my trip I was not at all integrated. The University of Sydney does have a few clubs, but they honestly don't do much. It is majority a commuter school so not many students live close. I started really feeling integrated in October when we explored the city and found this little local bar called The Wanderer. The staff, owners, and regulars became like family to me by the time I left. If you really want to meet Australians and be part of local culture you have to make an effort. They're kind of hard to find haha. BUT it is doable, you just really have to want it.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Sydney is a very safe city so long as you use common sense!

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)

Sydney is an expensive city, but how much money spends really depends on how much you want to do. I personally spent more than some people did per week, but had I needed to I could have spent less. It is definitely doable to spend less than $100 a week.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Bring toiletries with you! I had a friend tell me this and it ended up saving me so much. Buying towels, sheets, pillows, shampoo, etc. will add up fast. Things are pricy over there.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Freedom to do most things on your own
  • Forced you to make new friends rather than stick with the group you came with like some other programs
* What could be improved?
  • Better explanation of housing options
  • More preparation for coming home (reverse culture shock)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How expensive going out at night would be. How much it costs to travel around the country and to countries nearby. That many students stay for an extra month after classes end to travel and whatnot.

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.'