* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program?
I've thought about my experience time and time again and am still not sure what my stance is.
Tasmania is definitely different from big city life. If you're looking to party hard and have that type of study abroad experience, I would suggest looking elsewhere. Hobart's nightlife is limited to a handful of good bars and even fewer, if any, good clubs. Hobart is not where you come to go crazy. Additionally, the isolation of the place makes it difficult to travel. I would suggest buying a car with some friends if you want to travel around the island. Traveling to the mainland is a bit more difficult since you have to fly to either Melbourne or Sydney first and flights are more expensive than just traveling within the mainland. I highly highly highly recommend coming to Hobart during your spring semester. The winter here is COLD. The houses have minimal insulation and small space heaters that might as well not exist. The crummy weather makes weekend travels hard to plan and you better get used to carrying around a raincoat. My local friends told me that summer in Tassie is amazing, unfortunately I wasn't able to experience that.
With that said, Tasmania is lovely. It is peaceful and very relaxing. It is an absolutely beautiful place. I went on a weeklong road trip around the island once school ended and was amazed at the beauty of the place. I loved going on runs around the town and going to the park to read. Having an essential friend group is a must, or the place can become pretty lonely. My friends and I spent lots of time at each others houses just hanging out. Going out is expensive and going to the same places over and over again becomes dull. Living in the colleges can be worthwhile because you're surrounded by lots of other students (as opposed to living in a share house.) However, the colleges are expensive and far from town and up an enormous hill. Salamanca Market on saturdays is a great place to spend time wandering around with your friends. Overall, Tasmania is a simple life. I enjoyed my time there and made some pretty good friends. It definitely isn't for everyone though.