Alumni Spotlight: Nicole Foster


She is a junior at Florida Gulf Coast University that has always loved traveling and always wanted to leave North America. She chose Australia based on the so called "laid back" culture and never once regretted her decision.

Why did you choose this program?

After searching for hours for the perfect program for me, I found this program. It allowed me to travel throughout Australia and see multiple cities while also teaching me about the various aspects of Australia's healthcare system. It was so much fun to travel the East coast and to take part in parts of their healthcare system such as touring the Royal Flying Doctors and the Aboriginal Unit of St Vincents Hospital.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

TEAN assisted us with flights and travel inside of Australia as well as some of our meals and other various activities in each city. Some of these activities included Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, a tour of the Sydney Opera House, and a Sydney Harbor dinner cruise. We had to organize many more activities on our own, such as holding koalas at the sanctuary, various days of shopping, and going to the beach in our free time.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I would highly recommend doing your research on food and restaurants. It can quickly knock your budget out of the park if you are not careful. I found it easy and cheap to find places with deals for some of my meals so that I could have leftovers and it was still cheaper. An example would be a pizza place with 2 for 1 pizzas. I ate pizza for 4 days straight, but I had extra money to go to Bondi Beach and shopping.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

An average day consisted of waking up for lectures from 9-12. Then we usually had a site visit in the afternoon somewhere like the Royal Flying Doctors or the Byron Bay Health Lodge.

After the site visits, we generally had the rest of the afternoon/evening to ourselves with the exception of a few group dinners. We usually had 4-5 lectures per week and we had an entire free day in each city.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear about studying abroad was making friends with the people in my group and what they would be interested in doing while abroad. I was nervous that I would be the only one who didn't want to go out and party every night. I overcame this fear simply by meeting the people on my trip - they were AMAZING. They may have gone out a few times, but my view of the nightlife situation changed. I was excited to have some free time to myself.

Why should I study abroad in Australia?

I chose Australia because I didn't have to learn a new language and I had always heard about how relaxing and chill Australia is. I was happily surprised when we got to Byron Bay, a town I describe as a laid back surf town. I loved Byron Bay and each city that came after it.

Australians have a more relaxed viewpoint on life and that meshes so well with who I am.