The Land Down Under Past Review

By (Biology, Presbyterian College) - abroad from 03/03/2014 to 06/27/2014 with

University of the Sunshine Coast: Queensland - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained so much from my experience abroad. I made friends with people from all around the world, traveled to beautiful places I had always dreamed of going, and became so much more independent. It was such an incredible opportunity.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Despite what I had heard about classes at the Sunshine Coast being very easy, my experience was very different. I had so much work to do for my classes and it was MUCH more than I had anticipated. A very large portion of my time there was spent studying because I had so much work to do. I had to take a class required for my biology major and that was my hardest one that took most of my time studying. For my classes in general, there were just so many more reports, essays, and projects than I thought there would be. However, it definitely depends on the classes you take. I had friends there that were studying abroad and didn't have much work at all and had plenty of free time. That just didn't happen as much for me. The university offers a lot of resources and it is very easy to get help if needed from the library, professors office hours, Academic Support Office and tutors.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The university did a really good job. I felt like I just blended it with the rest of the students there. The international office seemed very organized. I even went on a trip to an island that was organized and led by the international office for international students. That was one of my favorite trips I went on while I was there.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

It was pretty expensive, but it was pretty nice and safe. It is right next to the campus and only residents can get into the gate since you have to have a key.

* Food:

The food was fine. The grocery stores look very similar to grocery stores in the US in the way that they are set up and what is offered. They don't have the same brands, but the food is pretty similar.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The university is basically surrounded by residential areas and some smaller shopping areas. it reminded me a lot of what some nice, smaller suburbs may look like in Florida with kind of an Australian twist on it. I was just really surprised how similar it seemed to the US in a lot of ways. I think if I was in a bigger city, it would have been a much different experience.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had to go to the doctor once and it was very easy. There is a doctor's office less than 10 minutes away and easy to walk to. I was able to make an appointment and be seen on the same day. The practice reminded me a lot of what doctor's offices look like in the US. there is a pharmacy right next to the doctor's office. I was really pleased with how easily accessible it was.

* Safety:

I felt very safe and comfortable walking by myself. The campus police will pick you up from the campus if you are there at night and drive you to the apartments right next to the school or to the parking lots.

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)

It is pretty expensive.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $AUD 60-90
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan ahead! Look into trips planned by the international office because they can be much cheaper. If you plan on traveling around, i found that it was cheaper and so much easier to plan it yourself instead of dealing with a travel agency. It was just so much less hassle doing it yourself. I was able to find some really good deals by looking online and reading lots of reviews.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

not an issue since English was my first language

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

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • 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?
  • The friends that I made
  • Being able to travel
* What could be improved?
  • The international office at the Sunshine Coast suggested a travel agency that I had a lot of problems with concerning reimbursement for a cancelled trip
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish i had known how much schoolwork I would have since that was a shock when i got there. (I have heard of other students studying abroad there that had very little work for their classes, so it may have just been the classes I took. However, on paper my classes didn't seem like they would be that much work) Also, planning trips takes a lot more time than you think, so its helpful to plan ahead even more than you think is necessary.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!