- Study Abroad
- Volunteer Abroad
- Teach Abroad
- Intern Abroad
- High School
- Gap Year
Education Abroad Network: Study in Sydney, Australia
Maya Moskowitz is originally from Westchester, New York. She is 21 years old and is a current senior at the University of Michigan. She had the opportunity to study abroad from February 2013 to July 2013 in Australia with Teen Education Abroad Network.
What did TEAN do for you and what did you need to do on your own?
Maya: TEAN was absolutely amazing. They did so much for us and were always available by phone, email or in person to help with whatever needs we had. The TEAN program organized our housing for us, giving us explicit details of each living accommodation: the location, the amenities, the benefits and of course the price. From there we got to choose where we wanted to live and could request roommates and from there the TEAN program took control and placed us where we wanted to live with and with who, they made this process extremely simple. They also provided a lot of assistance in registering for classes.
Even though we had to go through the Course Guide and choose the classes we wanted, the TEAN program would send over the syllabi we wanted in order to get a better sense of the class and also explained the exact steps of how to register. There was also an orientation for when we arrived in Sydney where we learned all about the city, the culture, and then the things we would need to know about transportation, academics and so on. TEAN gave us all the tools we needed to succeed in Sydney and have the most amazing experience, however, once we were there, it was up to us to live it to the fullest.
What is one piece of advice you'd give future TEAN students?
Maya: The one piece of advice I'd give to future TEAN students is TAKE ADVANTAGE. There are so many great things to see and do and your biggest regret will be failing to do everything you want. Plan accordingly and take risks and do everything you possibly can. My biggest regret is not traveling to all the places I wanted to or not experiencing cultural events and not trying all the possible restaurants. I didn't plan my time accordingly and got so used to living in Sydney that I forgot about all the amazing opportunities and activities that the city and the country has to offer. Do not waste your time sitting around and being comfortable, plan trips and step out of your comfort zone and you will be rewarded with the greatest experiences.
Describe your program socially and academically.
Maya: My program was filled with students from Universities all over the United States. For the most part, we all got along extremely well and I have made friends with people I would never have been friends with before and who will definitely be my friends for many many years. Everyone was very friendly and there was always a familiar face when walking around campus or roaming the hallways of our apartment building. We all went out to bars and clubs together, but the thing I loved most was that there was never any pressure to go out and there was always someone or many people who were willing to take the night off and just relax with you.
I made a ton of friends not only with the other American students on my program, but I also was fortunate enough to meet many Australians who enjoy sharing their city and their culture with young Americans. The academics through my program were not very rigorous. I had classes a few times a week that I had to attend and some work outside of class, but overall I was not inhibited from exploring the city and doing other fun things because of my academics. It all depends on the classes you take as some people had very hard classes and some people had very easy classes. However, many of the teachers are accommodating to study abroad students and understand that you are there to do other things than just study.
Tell us about any interesting cultural tidbits you noticed about your country.
Maya: The Aboriginal culture in Australia is extremely interesting and their history is a very long one. They are the people whose ancestors were indigenous to the Australian continent and have a very interesting culture. Living in Australia you will be able to be witness to their eccentric dress, their songs that tell stories and the dances that accompany those songs. Australians also have a lot of fun words that they use that Americans do not and it takes time to understand these words and incorporate them into your vocabulary. Such words include: "arvo" (afternoon), "bloke" (a guy), "mate" (buddy), "keen" (eagerness), and many other words that you'll need to go to Australia to learn!
Julie Gitman is a Marketing and Management double major at Drake University located in Des Moines, Iowa. Currently she is entering her Junior year. On her University campus, she is involved in a Social Fraternity, and she is also part of Collegiate DECA. She knew that she wanted to study abroad after taking a two week trip to Israel in the summer of 2012. That trip was quite the culture shock for her, so she decided that her next traveling experience would be in a location where English is the first language. She figured she would have an easier time adapting, and would be able to enjoy her chosen location more.
Why did you decide to study abroad with TEAN?
Julie: My decision to go to Sydney, Australia with TEAN was guided by multiple influences. The first time I heard about TEAN was from one of my sorority sisters. She had studied abroad in New Zealand with TEAN and had the time of her life. Upon her arrival back to Drake University, she shared some highlights from her experience abroad with us, her sorority sisters, which really intrigued and interested me. The next time I heard about TEAN was from my study abroad counselor. She told me that TEAN was a top choice for Drake students, and that it was the best value for your buck. I mean lets be real, studying abroad is expensive!
Once I decided, with my advisors assistance, that TEAN was the best program for me I got in touch with the TEAN staff. I was that one student who had A LOT of questions. Luckily, all of the TEAN staff was more than willing to answer every single question for me. They constantly followed up, kept me up to date, and fully answered any questions that I had (even if it was multiple times a day).
Did you have any concerns traveling abroad?
Julie: Maybe I was a bit over concerned, but being the first person in my family to study abroad, I think I had a right to be nervous. My biggest concern was probably the cost. I was worried about putting in so much money for this experience, having never been through anything like it before. I continued to have this concern until my arrival to Australia, and even through the first couple of weeks. It was mostly fully alleviated during the TEAN orientation period where the TEAN staff took us all around Sydney. We did touristy things, as well as non touristy things, and learned a lot about where we would be living for the next few months. After the few days of orientation, I was already feeling like I was adapting. Thanks to the TEAN staff, I knew how to use buses, trains, and ferries. I knew which restaurants and cafes I HAD to check out for delicious coffee. I was given advice about cool museum events, and scenic landmarks to check out. My excitement was really through the roof.
My financial concern completely vanished once I started my classes at Macquarie University. I realized that I really was the luckiest person in the world to be studying at such a recognized and leading university in Australia. My classes were fun, slightly out of the ordinary, and just what I needed! I took a Dance History course, and Australian Media course, a Culture Studies course, and an Internship class. My professors were extremely passionate and innovative in lecture, and my tutors were interesting and informative during tutorials. I couldn't have asked for anything more.
What was the best part of your program?
Julie: I really enjoyed were the cultural events that were provided for us. About once a month, we would have a coffee break with a staff member at a fun and unique coffee shop. We had cultural events at the Sydney Opera House, at Bondi Beach we were given a surfing lesson, and at Hunter Valley a Wine and Cheese tour was available to take. It was great to have these activities planned out for us, and they were already included in our payment.
Something that I noticed which made TEAN stand out from other programs were their housing options. I chose to live by Central station right by the CBD. This was such an amazing and convenient location for me. I lived across from the train station which allowed me to easily get to class, work, and my weekly hiking trips to the Blue Mountains. I also found myself walking a lot. Not only was the train station close, but many places I found myself going to were within walking distance. I was able to walk to Darling Harbour, The Rocks (which is where the Opera House is located), Surry Hills (a fun a unique area with awesome cafes), Darlington, Newton (an awesome hipster area with cool boutiques), upon many other places as well.
Additionally, University of Sydney was within walking distance, all three of my roommates who lived in my apartment with me attended U of Sydney. More reason why our location in Haymarket was most convenient. TEAN has other housing options as well. Many students lived near Bondi Beach, or Coogee Beach.
What is one piece of advice you'd give future TEAN students on this program?
Julie: My word of advice for students traveling to Sydney, Australia would be to TRY to learn to budget. Sydney is an expensive city, but their are loop holes to save money. For one, I mostly bought all of my groceries at farmers markets. Not only were they extremely fresh, a weeks worth of fruits and veggies cost me under $20. Another tip would be to look out for daily specials in restaurants. Many restaurants have deals for lunch and dinner that can save money!
One of my favorite, and unique, places to visit was Cronulla. The little shopping strip, with fun cafes and coffee shops, a cool beach, and lots of students wondering around was a go to place for me. My actual favorite place to go to though, was the Blue Mountains. I fell in love with hiking. The Blue Mountains region had countless bushwalks and paths to hike on for beginners and also for intermediate hikers. Hiking along the scenic and beautiful paths is something I miss everyday!
Ashley is from Foxboro, Massachusetts and is currently attending Umass Amherst. She is graduating in May of 2013, and majoring in Art (digital media). She enjoys photography, cooking/baking, shopping, and seeing the world!
Why did you decide to study abroad with TEAN?
Ashley: I chose to study abroad with TEAN because after I did my research on what abroad program had everything I was looking for, it was clear TEAN was what I wanted! There is a close knit community within the groups of students that share a week of orientation together in the city, and the staff members can answer any questions and are super helpful. I liked the program because rather than just being an exchange program where you are kind of own your own to figure things out, there is someone there to help you and show you what to do and where to go every step of the way until you are comfortable enough to do things on your own!
What made this study abroad experience unique and special?
Ashley: My abroad experience in Australia through the TEAN program was special because I feel that I was able to pack in so many amazing experiences into such a short period of time. One semester is not a long time, but I was able to attend various events sponsored by TEAN as a way to see the country and further experience the culture all the way through the end of my trip. I had always wanted to go to Australia, and TEAN gave me that fabulous opportunity and the extremely knowledgeable TEAN staff provided me with information about the culture, country, history, and people that I will never forget!
How has this experience impacted your future?
Ashley: Studying abroad has definitely impacted my future in a positive way. In addition to Australia, I have also been to Spain, London, and Mexico. Experiencing other countries and learning how other cultures work is definitely something that will give you a new outlook on your own life. I feel like a more educated person, and I have an appreciation for culture, language, and all different kinds of people! In a professional sense, I feel that it is a huge asset that I have been to foreign countries, and have a certain international awareness that other people who have not been abroad may not have. I have been able to take academic courses in every country that I have been to, and upon coming back to my home University I can see how some of the global history and other countries affect the United Sates and the way we run our country.
Kyle Goldhoff is from Cincinnati, Ohio. She attends the Univeristy of Texas at Austin where she will receive a degree in May 2013 in Radio-Television-Film. In the spring of 2012 she studied at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia through The Education Abroad Network. She loves traveling, photography, and dancing.
Why did you decide to study abroad with TEAN?
Kyle: I chose to go to Australia through TEAN because my older sister had done this program two years before me and I had heard nothing but great things. I was originally going to do a direct exchange through my University and just do the housing only program with TEAN. However, I decided I wanted all of the perks TEAN had to offer so I opted to do the full program.
What made this study abroad experience unique and special?
Kyle: What makes TEAN so unique is all of the extra things they offer beyond school and housing. They provide pre-semester and spring break trips that are absolutely amazing. I went on both their Cairns pre-trip and the spring break trip to Thailand. It helped me get to know the people on my program so much better and a set group of people to travel with. The trips were also planned so well and showed me these places in the best and most fun way possible.
Describe an example when TEAN went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure you had a great experience abroad.
Kyle: First off their staff is exceptional and are there every step of the way to make sure everything is set before you get there and goes smoothly the entire time you are over there. The staff that traveled with us on the trips was also very fun and always looking out for our best interests. Another thing TEAN did was have other little things for us to do throughout the semester. A new addition in my semester, that I know they will continue, is provide us with tickets to three different cultural events. My events were the ANZAC day rugby league game, a symphony at the Opera House, and a show put on by the Cate Blanchett Theater Company. All we had to do in order to receive these tickets was write a 200-word blog post about it after we went. They were really great and it was such a nice bonus to the program.
How has this experience professionally impacted your future?
Kyle: This experience has opened my eyes to how a different culture works and really caused me to be more laid back like the Australians I was surrounded by. It ignited my passion for travel and I know this is something that I will carry with me the rest of my life. As someone who wants to get into the TV and Film industry it showed me these industries in other parts of the world and made me want to integrate travel into this career (maybe work for the Travel Channel?!).
Highlights: Even though this was study abroad I would not say academics were the highlight of my trip at all. The two highlights for me were all of the traveling I got to do and the close connections I made with a few Australia girl friends. I met them early on and hung out with them at least once a week from then on. We got so close and still keep in contact today almost five months after I left and know we will in the future. They took me to parties and showed me their favorite spots which really enhanced my overall experience there.
Morning: To say any two days during my time in Australia were the same or that there was a typical routine would just not be true. I tried to make each and every day different and do something new each day. During the week I had class 4 days at various times. Some days class was not until the afternoon and on those days I liked to meet up with friends for breakfast or go shopping somewhere near the my building in Bondi Junction or in Bondi. I really tried to take full advantage of living only about a 7-10 minute bus ride from the beach, something I had never experienced in my life. The Tiffany Tower where I lived, and is TEAN's premiere housing option, sits directly above the Bondi Junction train and bus station. So even though UNSW's campus was 20 minutes away we could just jump on a bus right downstairs and there was always someone from the program going to class at the same time.
Afternoon: Sometime in the afternoon every day but Friday and the weekends was spent on campus. I typically ate lunch on campus two of those days. I loved the food they had, including an amazing salad place in the upper campus food court and a noodle bar in the Quad one. After class on Wednesday's the Uni Bar had happy hour and tons of students gathered there for an after class drink. This was always a good time. We always took the bus home and sometimes before heading home we would go explore a new area of Sydney or shop a bit. By shopping I usually mean just looking since everything was pretty expensive there. The Tiffany was also right next door to one of the largest malls in Sydney, it's a Westfield. It had everything you could possibly need, not only clothing and typical mall stores but two groceries, a Target, a pet store, and so so much more!
Evening: We were lucky to have a great kitchen in our apartments so we took advantage of this and cooked a lot of evenings while others we would go out and try new restaurants. We went out a majority of the nights during our time abroad and most nights had a specific bar that were good on that night. Monday nights we went into the bars near central, known for being backpackers and study abroad bars. Tuesdays we would go to the cross to my favorite bar, World Bar. Wednesdays it was basically American night at a bar near Bondi Junction, which was convenient. The only Australians that were there were looking to meet Americans. Thursdays were not a big night so we typically did wine and a more low key bar. The weekend nights were definitely the most fun and we would go to clubs in the city. These were definitely my favorite. I will say one thing, I never turned down the chance to go out!
Taylor O'Donnell is from Wakefield, MA, a suburb just outside of Boston, and is currently a Senior at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH, majoring in Natural Science with a minor in Chemistry. She is a 21 year old female, who studied abroad in Australia from February 13 to June 24, 2012.
When: Spring 2012
Why choose TEAN?
Taylor: I chose to study abroad with TEAN because I heard so many incredible things about its program from friends who previously chose TEAN. TEAN had everything I was looking for in a study abroad program: group flights, group excursions, an orientation, housing options, and so many resources to help along the way while still making my study abroad experience as independent as I wanted it to be. Compared to what I have learned about different programs, I would say that TEAN includes much more in their program. TEAN made studying abroad so easy. One thing that I would say really differentiates TEAN is that they really want you to become familiar with the country and to make friends aside from the other Americans studying with you.
How would you describe your abroad experience?
Taylor: I would describe my study abroad experience as everything I wanted it to be. It was scary, exciting, fun beyond belief, and all around incredible. Study abroad was a life-changing experience for me, and I feel so privileged to have had this experience. It was a ton of work applying and preparing, but it was the most rewarding and satisfying decision I have ever made. I have made lifelong friends, unbelievable memories, and gained experience through problem solving in a foreign country all on my own, which will make me more marketable when I eventually start looking for jobs. Studying abroad changed me, in the most incredible way imaginable. I am so grateful that I took advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity. Never again will an opportunity such as this present itself in the same way as it did for me in college.
Highlights: The highlight of my trip was scuba diving and snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. Seeing one of the natural wonders of the world up close and personal instead of in a documentary on television was the most surreal experience I've ever been so lucky to have. Cairns, where our boat docked from, was a gorgeous place right on the ocean, and the coral reef and animal life along its shores was breathtaking. As I was swimming amongst the clown fish and giant clams, I thought to myself, "This is a once in a lifetime experience that not many people get to enjoy."
Morning: A typical morning on the Gold Coast usually consisted of waking up with no alarm, eating breakfast on the balcony with my roommates, and then walking across the street to spend a few hours at the beach. Mon-Wed I would wake up to catch the bus for class, which I also enjoyed, but every other day was laid back and care-free.
Afternoon: When we didn't have class, we would explore as much of our new home as we could. We would hike, shop, and visit nearby towns. There was always something going on. There were markets with food and crafts every Sunday, and the entire RipCurl surfing team came to the nearby mall to sign posters of themselves one afternoon.
Evening: At night, my roommates and I would try to eat dinner together as much as we could. We would relax by the TV, watching our favorite American shows, like Friends and Ellen, do some homework if we had it, and then meet up with some friends at a bar, casino, or club. There was never a day I spent abroad that was not memorable!
About Education Abroad Network
The Education Abroad Network is a relatively small and innovative organization that thrives on giving each and every student deserved personal attention, extensive program preparation, and quick answers to every question under the sun. Creating partnerships with many of the best universities in the Asia Pacific has allowed The Education Abroad Network to become experts at planning and delivering programs in the region. Dedicated and experienced staff provide unparalleled individual service every step of the way. Online applications, extensive pre-departure consultations, in-country orientations, on-site resident directors, cultural excursions, and high quality accommodations provide for the ultimate experience abroad. Check out one of the many awesome programs below, and visit The Education Abroad Network's website to make your study abroad dream a reality!