Macquarie University


Located in the heart of Sydney’s high-technology business precinct, Macquarie University has been ranked in the global 1% of universities world wide. It is renowned for its excellence in interdisciplinary teaching and research, real-world approach to learning, highly skilled graduates and first-class facilities.

Sydney is a destination like no other. From the iconic Sydney Harbour and more than 100 beaches, to picturesque mountains and arts and cultural festivals, Sydney has something for everyone. Ranked as the 4th best student city in the world – and home to the regional headquarters of around 500 multinational companies – Sydney is the ultimate place to live and study.


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Yes, I recommend this program


I loved studying at Macquarie! The University is so beautiful and well taken care of! The professors were all nice and seemed to care that I learn. There are a ton of great food options on and around campus. The location being so close to the shopping centre is a major plus seeing as how study abroad students don't have cars. It is a little farther away from "main" Sydney where there's hustle and bustle all the time, but the suburb of Macquarie actually stayed rather quiet, which was nice for students. Having a train station on campus was the best thing because I know most Uni's around don't have that. I would definitely suggest getting involved with the Macquarie University Buddies because they take lots of cool trips and help you see a lot you may not have otherwise. Overall, Macquarie was great and I really miss it!

What would you improve about this program?
I would have just liked a little more support before and during my stay. There was one webinar that I watched that helped a lot, but there was a lot of information that I didn't know. And while there, I would have just liked a little more support during my stay to help me succeed and make the most of my time there.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Study Abroad at Macquarie University

Going on study abroad was an AMAZING experience, and I am so glad I took up the opportunity to study abroad.
Macquarie was a lovely uni to study at, and was so different to what I was used to at my home university - but that was part of the charm! Being able to wear flip flops and shorts to go into uni everyday was a novelty, and is something that cant be done in rainy Wales!
The academic facilities at the university were great - from all the study spaces, and the library and to the services offered by the university to new students and those from abroad.
The location of the university, and of the accommodation that I was in (Macquarie University Village) was so handy for both the station to go into the city, and to go into uni and to the facilities such as the pool and the gym, and also to go the Macquarie Centre. Having the gym and pool so close was great, and meant that I could go either before or after lectures.
The Macquarie Centre was very handy and so close by, and there didn't really seem to be anything that you couldn't get there! And along side restaurants, a cinema, a bowling alley and an ice rink, what more could you want!
With the university having a train station, you were able to get into the city in 45 mins - meaning that doing a bit of sightseeing around lectures was possible! And having a student OPAL card is a must - as it allows you travel on all forms of transport, buses, trains, ferries etc.
All in all, the experience of attending Macquarie University was AMAZING, and an experience that I shall never forget!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Sydney and Macquarie University experience

Macquarie University's recordings of lectures have helped me a lot in my studies. It was a challenging study in Macquarie University with faculty who helped me a lot in my improvement. I love how the blue ocean of Bondi is. As an Indonesian I recommend the restaurant Ayam Tulang Lunak near Mascot. The iced mocha in Macquarie University libray cafe is a must to try. You can customize the percentage of coffee and chocolate you want. I really love it. Macquarie Center also got a lot of good foods. Vogue cafe got a nice burger, some noodles restaurant got nice laksa, and Motto Motto got nice matcha ice cream and ramen. Yumcha Kitchen got nice dimsums. Living in Robert Menzies was convenient and lovely. The food served there were amazing (ok to excellent). They even got many events to join if you can manage your time well. As for me, as I am not that clever, I spent most of my time studying.

Yes, I recommend this program

A must-have experience for any student with a global outlook

Going on a foreign exchange program had always been one of those dreams I'd had but never saw myself doing. As a rather reticent and studious person who'd rarely travelled without parents or friends, the prospect of flying solo half-way across the world to a foreign country by myself and living for 5 months without the usual support systems and social circles was daunting. I have my college St. Xavier's College and the support of Macquarie University to thank for giving me that final push.

This experience was absolutely amazing. As an undergraduate student who held ambitions of studying abroad, this was an extremely crucial preparatory stage in my academic career and personal development. I'm a Master's student in Canada now, and I can say the experiences I had in Australia and the confidence it gave me as a person has helped me settle in so much easier in what is another foreign country.

Academically the program was not excessively demanding. The education environment and teacher-student relationship is very different from India of course, but with some guidance it is easy to figure out what needs to be done. It can be difficult and daunting for some, but you come out a better person ultimately. The support from Macquarie's International team was phenomenal. In particular, I'd like to shout-out Ms. Yoko Kaitani, who was the most helpful and informative lady I had the good luck of interacting with. She and her team were lovely and made the entire process so much smoother especially during the initial settling down phases.

There were plenty of good opportunities to explore the city (it did rain during the city tour day but that can;t be helped) and other places like Taronga Zoo and taking cruises along the Sydney Harbour (which was awesome!). The campus was lovely and the Australian people are quite friendly and easy to get along with. The weather was rainy at first but soon enough cleared up and made for some lovely days of walking along the harbour.

I made amazing friends from across the world, lived with people from Japan, Malaysia, Korea, India, Laos, Oman, Hungary, UAE and so many other places, got exposed to a different form of education than the one I'm used to and came back a more confident person who finally pushed some boundaries and explored new horizons.

What would you improve about this program?
Having a solution to the housing dilemma might make things much smoother for exchange students. During the application process I found most on-campus housing options already booked and the available ones were very (VERY) expensive. While I was really lucky in finding a great off-campus location, others might not be so lucky. It might be useful if the University could either reserve some affordable on-campus residence options for exchange students, or partner with a reputable homestay or private accommodation company to provide some options to students or at the very least direct them to reliable sources/companies.

Also, having some more info. seminars/webinars (the one I attended was super useful, but after returning I can say there';s a bunch of other stuff I'd wished I'd known) like the Opal card for international exchange students which allows really cheap fare etc. (I did figure it out on my own when I got there, but not everyone does the research).
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Yes, I recommend this program

Overall a Great Experience at Macquarie

I think the best thing about Macquarie is it's location. It is close to a train station, and it was around half an hour to the city centre. It is located in a lush suburb with a world class mall close by. Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at Mac. However there are some changes to the campus and to Macquarie station I will get into below, that you should keep in mind.

Academics were very challenging compared to back home in Canada. If you are choosing to do hard classes on your exchange I would not recommend it, instead try to pick easier ones. Professors were generally fairly good. The fact that most of the classes can be found online is very helpful, and means you do not have to show up for class.

I stayed in Dunmore Lang college. It's great if you want to stay on campus and be close to your classes. There are opportunities to party and make friends, and food is provided. However it is really expensive. I would say try to find off campus accommodation if you can. If you are really interested in socializing, Robert Menzies, Dunmore Lang, or the Village are the three options. The Village is cheaper, but it is further away and you are basically left to your own devices. I would suggest finding an off campus place close to the city, or close to one of the beaches. Since everything is online, you rarely have to come to class.

In terms of socializing, I found International students to be the most friendly and eager to make friends. The Aussie's, while nice, were a bit cliquey and hard to get to know if you do not fit their super friendly and outgoing stereotype.

However, I have heard that since I left in 2017, the campus has undergone some major changes. Trees have been uprooted at the central hub building demolished, to make room for student housing. There is also major work going on with the train station. I would look into these issues before deciding to come here, as the transit could be a major pain, and I have heard from other students that the campus is a lot worse with the renovations going on. I have no idea of the current status of these in 2019, so please look into them.

Sydney itself is a world class city and that's the main reason I suggest that you come here. There are famous landmarks such as the Opera house and Harbour Bridge, you can see every weekend. There are amazing beaches such as Bondi and Manly. The ferry rides are simply stunning and affordable. There are tons of amazing walks that you can do along the coast. The weather and water and amazing. Take easy classes, because you want to be out seeing all that Sydney has to offer. Keep in mind though it is very expensive here, and the nightlife in the actual downtown core is poor due to various laws and restrictions.

What would you improve about this program?
I would say that there needs to be a bit more support for study abroad students to find housing. As well, it might be good to have more programs to get them settled in, make some friends, and offer help with academic challenges such as signing up for classes.
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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I wanted to go somewhere where people spoke English, so it was between England and Australia. Honestly, I chose to go to Macquarie because it was based in Sydney, and Macquarie was the only university my university had an exchange program with. I had heard so much about Sydney being a world class city, and it did not disappoint. From the Opera House, to the stunning beaches, it was a great choice.

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

My university provided me with the very basics of applying, and had some basic resources. For the rest of the stuff, I was on my own. I reached out to some Macquarie advisors for help with classes, and they were generally quite good. For housing, I had to do that on my own as well. I decided to live on campus at Dunmore Lang. It was good, but very expensive. I would suggest looking into cheaper accommodation off campus, perhaps near the city or near a beach. Housing is probably the biggest thing that someone has to take into account when planning.

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

Just go, you'll have the best time of your degree, and probably the best time of your life. The people you meet, the places you see, the freedom that you'll have is impossible to describe. I still miss it weekly. Put aside all your insecurities and doubts and just go. Also, make sure you bring a good camera. There will be so many fantastic things you will want to capture. When you are there, take full advantage of everything your university and city have to offer. Make friends. Say yes to everything. Travel outside of your city.

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

I was taking 4 fairly easy classes. I took 2 options and 2 cores, and this is a reasonable balance. I recommend taking more options and easier classes, so you can enjoy yourself. I did not go to class much, if at all, as all the courses were posted online. I did a lot of exploring the city, going on hikes, or going to beaches during the week. Not a lot of time was spent studying, and I think this is how you're supposed to do exchanges. I was also on a pass/fail, so it made it easier. Honestly take easy classes and do not worry about school too much. You're there to have fun.

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

I think my biggest fear was just living on my own for 5 months. I combatted this a bit by going with Dunmore Lang, who had high quality rooms and also provided full meal service. This eliminated the need for me to cook. I think everyone is nervous before heading on exchange. This is normal. The important thing to know is that this passes fairly quickly, and soon you will be completely engaged in the program. As soon as the jet-lag wears off, all your fears will be gone.

What were the best and worst parts of exchange?

The best part was definitely living in a gorgeous city on your own, with minimal responsibilities. It was amazing to go for hikes in the middle of the week. To see the Opera House weekly. To take the ferry to Manly. The freedom is amazing, you will have so much fun.

The worst part was probably the loneliness at times. You don't have your family, or any friends from home. It's important to combat this by making and keeping connections that you can hang out with regularly. Also know that this is normal and lots of people go through it.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Lea-Anne Allen

Job Title
Regional Director (North America)
Lea-Anne Allen

Lea-Anne has studied in five countries (Australia, Japan, Sweden, Netherlands and Switzerland) and truly believes in the transformative power of studying abroad and travel whether for your full degree, a semester or the summer. Lea-Anne has worked in international education for 8 years and now resides in the United States, working with US and Canadian students, preparing them for the life-changing experience of studying at Macquarie University in Sydney.

What is your favorite travel memory?

I will be travelling to my 42nd country next week (New Zealand!) and find it very hard to pinpoint a favorite travel memory as they are so vast and varying, and each country teaches you something different about the world and yourself. Nothing beats one of your first experiences abroad, though, and for me that was a year living and studying in Japan. The emotional whirlwind that you go on as the weeks become days before you depart, and you realize what a huge adventure you have in front of you (for better and worse!) stays with you for a longtime. Time goes so quickly, though, and you need to ensure that you make every moment count.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I have been lucky enough to work in many corners of the world with my current institution and counsel students on the merits of Australian education, which I believe is one of the best in the world. International experiences and the relationships that you can build from them are so important. If more people travelled and met citizens with diverse world views and different stories, the world would be a much better place for each one of us.

There is a great saying in German: 'Erasmus nicht Krieg machen', which essentially translates to "make Erasmum [exchange program] not war". Macquarie is one of the international institutions I have worked for and I am reminded every day of the importance of diversity.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I worked with a Study Abroad student from the east coast of the United States who had never left her city or been in a taxi, never mind on an airplane that would take her across the world! The student was obviously very nervous about the entire experience, but upon landing in Sydney, she decided that she would give it absolutely everything that she has. There were of course challenging days, but by the end of it, she had joined the rugby team (a sport she had never heard of before) and made life-long friends.

After finishing her degree, she started a graduate degree in Europe - something she never thought would be possible.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

We understand that studying overseas is a huge leap of faith for many students and it is likely to be the first time outside of your comfort zones. The university has an incredible support system for students, which includes 24-hour support services and much of the team have had very similar experiences, so you always have someone to speak to!

It's also nice to know that Macquarie is home to 12,000 international students, so there are many students in the exact same situation, which leads to a vibrant and welcoming community.