A great lesson in living independently Past Review


University of Tasmania: Hobart - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Above all else my study abroad experience was a great lesson in living independently. Living in a house separated from the University was a refreshing break from the ever-present feeling of supervision in most college dorms. For better or worse, I did not feel like, nor was I treated like a "study abroad student." For the most part I lived the exact life of an Australian attending University. One regret is that I did not get to see more of Australia. I liked that this program made it easy to meet locals completely unrelated to your program, but the friends I found closest and best to relate to remained other studying Americans. The program doubtlessly would have been better if more than five total were on my program, so that should be taken into account. Overall I enjoyed the program for the above reasons, but I think I would have rather lived as a tourist than a local.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month
The term and year this program took place: Spring 2008

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Classes were challenging though interesting. Most of the challenges were in meeting strict citation formats instead of answers or essay content. The Australian classes required a different format than at my home college, and I was frustrated to lose points for details in bibliographies. It became clear that the introductory level classes were focused more on teaching students organization and format than the actual material. Many of the lecture driven classes were Powerpoint presentations that the professor added very little to in class. The Powerpoints were then downloadable, eliminating a lot of the incentive to attend lectures.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

We had a program contact who we met with now and again. She was good at making herself available when needed, but for the most part let us have our experiences on our own. Whether this was due to administration or not, I found it a little odd that there was rarely recognition of my being an international student. In classes and working with the University administration, I often had to explain that I was not going to be in the country after four months. Though I didn't expect any special treatment, it would have been helpful to have some understanding at times.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My housing was a University-owned house about a ten minute walk from campus. Roommates were a mix of other study abroad students and a local Australian also going to Uni. Though I enjoyed a break from dorm life, it was very possible to live without seeing any of my roommates, and so there was a social aspect sacrificed by opting out of dorm life.

* Food:

I chose to cook for myself, without a meal plan. The house I lived in was well equipped with cooking equipment, so in my case food quality was relative to my culinary skills. I am giving myself a three since my cooking skills are limited, but I enjoyed an excuse to frequent the local markets and groceries.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

As mentioned, my housing situation limited my interaction with other students, so it was difficult to develop a good social base. Less helpful was the fact that there were only four other students on my program to share the experience with. That said, I became close with the other four, and did develop a good social routine though it took longer than expected. Joining university clubs and sports teams is a good way to meet other Americans and locals.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

We had no major health issues, so it would be difficult to rate that aspect. I did, however, feel safe throughout the program.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)


Language acquisition improvement?

The language was English, so my language skills stayed mostly the same unless some offbeat Australian slang can be considered language skill.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Tasmania is very different from mainland Australia. If you're expecting to do a lot of travelling around the continent, a mainland program would be a better choice because flights are limited from Tasmania which results in a lot of cash spent on the hour long flight to Melbourne, and then your destination. Since most don't find many excuses to go to Australia, you may as well be somewhere you can see a lot of the continent. However, if you are looking for a more rural, outdoor adventure abroad, Tasmania presents many opportunities for hiking, camping, and rock climbing. Hobart is the capitol city of Tasmania, but city is a relative term. Also note that Tasmania is a fair number of degrees south of the more tropical areas of the mainland, so don't be surprised when it starts to cool off considerably toward the middle/ end of the program.