Australia: An Amazing Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity that Opens Your Eyes to the World! Past Review

By (Religion & Social Work, Wartburg College) for

Wartburg College Diers Program: Adelaide - Community Service at Lutheran Community Care

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes, this study abroad experience was very worthwhile. It helped me grow personally, gain more independence and confidence, and let me see and learn from a different part of the world. This experience has increased my cultural awareness, and increased my interests significantly in Social Work and Religion. It has also affected my future plans by now wanting to work with poverty issues and homeless people, travel more, and hopefully live and work internationally, potential in Australia.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload was just right, it allowed me to reflect on my time abroad, but not was overwhelming or pointless activities/ assignment.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Some of my expectations for Lutheran Community Care were meet, but others were not. Some of the employees were kind of rude towards me and played favorites with other employees/volunteers including me. Lutheran Community Care is a large organization so I had a change to work in a variety of services and see all the various aspects of LCC. Nevertheless, it was hard to form close connections or relationships with people, when I was moving to a different office every day of the week, and only had one day a week doing the same thing, like Mondays I always helped at the Op Shop. The LCC supervisor was not very organized sometimes and had a lot of other things on her plate, so it was hard for her to organize my schedule too. She was very understanding and flexible if I wanted something changed or had concerns about someone or some activity.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a boarding house with other university students, connected to a seminary. It was great because I had my own room and space and allowed me to meet other Australians about my age, since most of the people that word for LCC are middle aged with families of their own. I also got to meet some seminary students which was neat since I am studying religion and have considered seminary. At the same time, this living location was very frustrating because most of the students that were first year university students and had never been away from home before now. Therefore, some nights got pretty crazy and out of control with alcohol, loud music, and drunk people.

* Food:

The food at the Reflectory was all right. It was not the greatest, but it wasn't horrible. It was very healthy food and typical Aussie foods. Meals also got repeated quite often. Breakfast was cereal and toast with jam and vegimite, and on Fridays there were hot breakfasts with pancakes, eggs, etc. Lunch was usually pizza, but since I was usually gone during lunch I was allow to pack at sandwich. Dinner/Tea was usually fish and chips, lamb, pork chops, or chicken with rolls. Drinks were: Milo, tea, water and milk Desserts included biscuits and ice cream often. The Reflectory staff was nice to me most of the time, except during school holidays when they wouldn't serve us lunch or tea because they were apparently not at work. I would recommend having students eat meals here if they live at Australian Lutheran College, but it is not good quality food, so I would choose/consider other options before here first.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There were a number of memorable cultural events and attractions I did while in Adelaide. I toured the South Australian Parliament House in Adelaide, the Adelaide Art Gallery, Ayer's House, the South Australian Museum, the Adelaide Central Market, specific events in Rundle Mall, the city, like the Christmas Pageant, a aboriginal dance performance at the Adelaide Festival Centre, many churches including St. Paul's Cathedral, a United Church of Christ, as well as many Lutheran Churches, I also went to Mount Lofty to see the view of Adelaide from the highest point, Adelaide Botanic Gardens, Cleveland Wildlife Park, Warrawong Sanctuary, the Adelaide zoo, and trips to nearby towns/places in SA such as Kangaroo Island.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Adelaide is a relatively safe place to be, although there are a few bad neighborhoods and streets, especially at night time. I didn't use the healthcare system while I was in Adelaide and was able to stay well the entire time. Nevertheless, I did learn that the healthcare system in Australia is easy to access and very cheap compared to the United States, because healthcare in Australia is government subsidized. No, there we no prevalent health issues in Australia, and I did not get any specific special vaccines for this program.

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? I did not spend much money on food or personal expenses each week in Adelaide. I received food at Australian Lutheran College where I was living. If I got sick of the food there occasionally I would go to a nearby place to get some food, but that was usually not too much depending on whether or not it was fancy or not. Ranging from $5-$15 Australian dollars. Nevertheless, that did not occur on a regular basis, just sometimes, if I wanted to eat something different or missed a meal because the busses were running slow. I spent $25-35 dollars a week on some food/snacks, personal shopping items, or random activities or events that came up I wanted to go to like going to Cleveland wildlife Park. I also had a week long break where I choose to go to Sydney and Melbourne which cost about $700 dollars including flights.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I thought it was very generous of this program to cover almost all of our expenses in Adelaide, even the costs of bus tickets, which I was not expecting. Nevertheless, it is important to set a budget with the items you have to or want to buy, so that you spend your money wisely. I also spent quite a bit of money on airplane tickets flying to Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane, but that was my choice and desire which I had pre planned on doing from the beginning, and was delighted it worked out.


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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

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  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

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  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

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  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Students that want to experience a different country and culture, without a language barrier would benefit from this program. Business Majors would benefit the most from this volunteer internship, based on how much paperwork and filling/computer work is involved. Social work, psychology, and to an extent religion majors only based on the fact that Lutheran Community Care works with social welfare issues, and types of people struggling in life. It is also a faith-based organization, and everything is done through God's love.