Incredible diversity in learning and living in Sydney Past Review

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/15/2016 to 07/04/2016 with

University of Sydney: Sydney - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a huge sense of self-confidence -- I navigated living in another city for six months totally alone! Some coordinating was stressful, but I feel like I can take on anything after studying abroad in Sydney. It was so worthwhile.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The American host for international students at USYD was extremely helpful, providing suggestions for courses through email and helping students find the resources they need. I think they could use a second person working this position so she was not spread so thin.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed in Urbanest student accommodation, which is off-campus housing very close to the University. It was great but a bit expensive relative to other off-campus options and felt a bit like dorm living.

* Food:

I had a blast trying new foods from all over Australia!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The saying 'you get what you give' rang true for my cultural integration. There were plenty of opportunities to meet locals and get to know how Sydneysiders live. At the same time, if you wanted to do your own thing and meet only other international students or sleep the day away, you could do that too.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Despite being covered by the University's health insurance I still paid a hefty copay to see a doctor. However the doctor was very helpful and listened to my concerns more than my doctors do at home.

* Safety:

Like any city, there are places to avoid going alone at night. Staying in well-lit areas is a good idea. I felt overall pretty safe traveling around Sydney even at night.

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 expensive but there are cost-effective ways to shop.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About $140/week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Set up a bank account ahead of time that easily transfers money from your American count. I racked up a lot of money in transfer fees using an ATM and physically transferring, as my banks were not compatible.


* 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

  • 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?
  • Having a very different experience from my home school, a small liberal arts college
* What could be improved?
  • More advisors to help study abroad students from the U.S. -- there were a lot of us.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? There are more cost-effective and spacious living arrangements in the city, and it would be helpful to start looking for accommodation long before you leave so you find the best fit for you before spots run out.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Performance: Process and Collaboration

Course Department: Performing Arts
Instruction Language:
Comments: This course challenged me to learn a lot of history relevant to the play we worked on, and bettered my performance skills while encouraging me to work with other students. The lectures were fascinating. I participated more in this class than I ever do in classes at my home institution. We were assessed with three papers, one of which was collaborative.
Credit Transfer Issues: None
Course Name/Rating:

Into to Anthropology

Course Department: Anthropology
Instruction Language:
Comments: Through written responses and engaging lectures I learned a lot from this course. Lecturers from Australia and America, and a tute from Spain, I got a wide taste for how culture is studied all over the world. I participated as much in this course as I do at my home institution. We were assessed with weekly written responses, two papers, and an exam.
Credit Transfer Issues: None
Course Name/Rating:

Ethics, Beauty, Reality

Course Department: Philosophy
Instruction Language:
Comments: This class was quite challenging and my tute was not so approachable, so I did much of the learning on my own. I asked less questions and participated less than I would have at Middlebury. We were assessed with a paper and an exam.
Credit Transfer Issues: None
Course Name/Rating:

Creative Writing: Theory and Practice

Course Department: English
Instruction Language:
Comments: This class challenged me to refine my creative communication abilities and learn about writing tools I had never used. The lecturer was very knowledgeable and the tute made himself very available. I did not participate much in class, largely due to the class size. We were assessed with three papers.
Credit Transfer Issues: None