A piece of me will forever remain in OZ Past Review

By (Graphic Design., University of Wisconsin - Stout) for

UW-Platteville Education Abroad at the University of Newcastle (UoN)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?

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.

I like everything about Uni. The teachers were all very friendly and willing to help, I also liked the system of having a tutorial and a lecture for each class. If that is the way classes were set up in America, I feel I would thrive more in my academics.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I barely heard about any of my living arrangements prior to departure, which was very nerve racking. I literally found out my address and roommates 1 HOUR before leaving my house for the airport. It would have been nice to have stronger communication with our on site study abroad advisor/coordinator before leaving. Also, finding out how we would get picked up from the airport was very disorganized. My flight arrived on time, just like the time I had told them it would, however, my airline lost one of my suitcases. As I was claiming it to be lost, it was taking quite a bit of time. In turn, the shuttle to take me from Sydney to Newcastle LEFT WITHOUT ME. I had no way of contacting anyone, except a payphone, and when I called our on site study abroad advisor/coordinator, she didn't even know how to go about getting me to Newcastle. Luckily we figured it out, but it was much more disorganized then it should have been, and to this day, I still don't understand how the bus would have miscounted the study abroad students on there, and left without me.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved the location of our flat, as it was close to the city where there was a lot to do. I also liked that it was completely furnished. Our landlord was also wonderful and very accommodating. However, my only complaint is that I lived with all Americans. I really did not want this to be the situation, because I wanted to go to Australia to meet Australians and live the Australian way of life. I wanted to immerse myself into the culture as much as possible. I didn't want to be known to be a part of the group "The Americans." I loved the Americans I lived with, but I think I would have enjoyed my experience even more if I lived with Aussies. I still made lots of international friends though!

* Food:

Get kebabs and pies!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Sydney- Opera house and bridge climb Melbourne- Great ocean road tour Crescent Head- Surf camp: Mojo Surf Newcastle (or any other city) - Go to a rugby (footy) game! Camp in the sand dunes Gold Coast- Theme parks and night life Cairns- Snorkel/SCUBA the Great Barrier Reef Port Stephens- Dolphin Cruise to watch dolphins and petting zoo to feed Kangaroos New Zealand (north island) - Great sightseeing everywhere: visit Rotorua and go to the hot springs

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I got sick 2x while studying abroad, and neither time did my program or university help at all. The first time I got sick, I was in New Zealand and got a UTI. I went to the doctor, but my universal health insurance card did NOTHING for me. I had to pay about $200 to see a doctor and get antibiotics. The second time I got sick, I broke out into a rash on my legs and arms due to an allergic reaction to some substance I used (I'm not allergic to anything, and I still don't know what made me break out) I contacted my university to see a doctor, but they were booked, and said there was nothing they could do. They said I'd have to look for another near by doctor. Again, this cost me about $200 to see another doctor, and my international health insurance did NOTHING.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I never really kept track specifically, but it evened out to be about $100 a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Traveling! Save money to travel around when you have breaks off from uni!


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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Cross Cultural Understanding

Course Department:
Instructor: Melanie Ball
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was very disorganized. We barely used the text book, or referred to anything relevant of what I thought we would learn in this course. Many students barely showed up to this class, because they didn't feel the need to. I feel this course would have been much more relevant and helpful to study abroad students if it was offered BEFORE arrival to their host country, not during.
Credit Transfer Issues: My credits won't transfer until 2 weeks from now, but the one thing I didn't like is that I had to take this course and it doesn't count towards my major or minor. It was basically a waste of 2 hours of a class on Monday afternoons.