One of the most adventurous periods of my life. March 20, 2018

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 03/06/2017 to 07/02/2017 with

University of Sydney: Sydney - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a tremendous love for a place which I now consider to be a second home of sorts. The most impactful moments for me were those spent outside of the classroom where I got to explore some of the most amazing urban and natural spaces on the planet. Sydney is just such a stunningly beautiful place it's hard to not fall in love with it.

Review Photos

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

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

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?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

I was partly limited in terms of what classes I was able to take as I had to fulfill certain major requirements. In an ideal world I would've had more ability to explore classes which cover topics that are not offered at Middlebury, but I certainly don't regret studying in Sydney.


* 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 definitely not CHEAP as far as Australia goes, but the favorable exchange rate between USD and AUD makes it bearable. Costs can definitely be minimized if you're willing and able to cook at home.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100


* 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

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Location
  • The fact that I didn't know any other Middlebury students there
* What could be improved?
  • I wish that I had been able to create better connections with locals which could be improved by helping facilitate homestay accommodations (rather than apartment living).
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? There's nothing in particular that I wish I had known before going on the program. I enjoyed being independent of Middlebury for a bit and having to figure things out on my own so any road bumps were a welcome challenge. I do wish that I had known how crazy the academic schedule would get though. I suppose it depends on what course you take but my academic experience certainly wasn't a cakewalk and seriously limited the time I had to explore the city during the middle of the semester.

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.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Global Energy and Resources

Course Department: Geosciences
Instructor: Derek Wyman, Dietmar Müller
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course itself was quite challenging and provided material that was very relevant and practical to fieldwork in the profession but the information was not always presented in a way that was easily followed and understandable.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Europe: Energy and the Environment

Course Department: European Studies
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course was fairly loosely structured as it was a senior seminar type class, but it gave me plenty of room to explore topics interesting to me as an individual. For example, my final project was a 20-page term paper comparing the effectiveness of flood policy and energy policy in The Netherlands.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

City Form and Development

Course Department: Urban and Regional Planning and Policy
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was a rather large class and could sometimes be a bit noisy during the lectures when people weren't paying attention but the material covered in the course was very practical and gave good insight into what urban planners in Sydney are responsible for and how they go about their work. Most of the larger assignments were related to assessing real infrastructure projects ourselves using the criteria and laws which practitioners in the field use. My group, for example, was tasked with assessing the benefits and inefficiencies related to the WestConnex highway project, a massive road infrastructure project aimed at improving traffic flows from the outer regions of Sydney to the CBD.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Urban Citizenship and Sustainability

Course Department: Geosciences
Instructor: Kurt Iveson
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Overall the course was useful and touched on many important environmental topics. I feel that the greatest benefit of this course was understanding some of the environmental issues that Australia specifically faces. Much of the content was similar to things that I had already studied at The School of the Environment and in my general coursework at Middlebury, but the specific examples from Australia helped me see certain issues, such as solar energy, in a new light.
Credit Transfer Issues: