... Past Review

By (Fine Arts: Painting/Drawing/Printmaking, Towson University) for

University of Tasmania: Hobart - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
ABSOLUTELY. I'm moving back there as soon as I graduate to live for the next 2-3 years. My time there was filled with many many challenges, but I

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.

Saying that the workload was intense is an understatement but I walked away a much better student because of it. Most other international students did not have the same bad luck in choosing which classes they took and Europeans tended to find their courses much easier than the ones they take back home. The quality and caliber of the professors was outstanding and everyday I was impressed by the talent, intelligence, motivation, and integrity of the other students. No one walked into class saying, "I don't want to be here." There was a healthy competitive atmosphere that drove everyone to excel. I think that there was such a notable difference in motivation between Australian students and American students for a couple reasons. Many Australians take a year or two off before going to college and travel the world. Not everyone goes to college either and instead choose to get practical experience in the field of their choosing rather than learn through a classroom environment. This means that the people who decide to go actually WANT to be there. In the U.S. most students see college as just an extension of high school and it is something they HAVE to do. This doesn't encourage them to value the education they receive. It is just a means to and end rather than a journey. The U.S. pretty much lets people buy their degrees and this is why our universities have the highest tuition in the world by a landslide. I think this is why classes at the University of Tasmania seemed so much harder than at Towson University. Many U.S. students found it much more difficult too-- which is interesting because most European students who were not even native English speakers found them easier.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They had an International Student Orientation for a week before classes started. Most of the activities were pretty juvenile but they took us on tours of the town and gave us crucial opportunities to get to know other international students who ended up becoming some of my closest friends.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

They put me up in a single dormitory that was on the ground level. It was situated right next to the main entrance between a janitor's closet and a bathroom no one ever used. Then there was a long hallway and several other bathrooms. THEN there were the rest of the student dorms. They also did not tell me that the Arts building, where every single one of my classes were held, was a 4 km hike from the dormitories... up and down extremely steep hills. After less than a month, I requested to move out. It was also way more expensive than any other non-university housing option. They were going to make me pay $1500 for a breach of contract and for moving out early but I explained me situation and they waived the fee. I then moved into a shared house in the center of the city with someone I randomly met at an art forum for half the price of the uni dormitories. After two months there, I moved in with my boyfriend who I met in Tasmania.

* Food:

The food had a nice range in variety and was reasonably priced if you lived on campus. The quality was usually hit or miss.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Tasmania is wild and beautiful. I mostly went on excursions outside of university planning. MONA (the Museum for Old and New Art) is a must-see and is free for UTAS students. The Tasman Peninsula, Freycinet, mountains near Peddler's Lake are all breath taking adventures. There are so many outdoor activities to do it will blow your mind.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I got an acute infection in my mouth while I was studying abroad that was quickly spreading over my body. It cost me $90 to be seen by a doctor but since UTAS sets their international students up with MediBank health coverage, I got $60 back. You have to go into the center of town though to get any rebate.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Between $100-$150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? You have to pay for internet usage. There is no unlimited and free wifi except at the university library


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None

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

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Because it was on exchange, I could pay my Towson tuition (instate and scholarsdhips included) and study all the way in Tasmania
  • The rewards from the challenges
* What could be improved?
  • Better preparation. Less general- more specific
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be open-minded and step outside of your comfort level at every opportunity. Make sure you make friends with locals but also with other international students that are not from the U.S. Be prepared for people to criticize America relentlessly but listen to what they say. It makes you completely reevaluate the way you view your home country. University of Tasmania has an amazing art program. I recommend this program to any and every art student at Towson University. UTAS says they have the best arts program in the entire country of Australia and it would not surprise me if this were true. It is definitely challenging but you will walk away much more motivated, open-minded, aware, and experienced than you ever thought yourself capable.