The University of Wollongong, Australia

The University of Wollongong

About

Being Australia’s 9th largest city and just over an hour from Sydney, Wollongong is a vibrant city that offers the perfect Australian lifestyle. It’s affordable, easy to get around and enjoys a lower cost of living than other Australian cities.

Our ambition for our graduates is that they will be agile, ethical and competitive in the global economy. And that their experience will shape their sense of self as well as their future career. Our purpose is geared to making impact at a global level. We stand for purpose and you are more than welcome to stand with us.

Website
www.uow.edu.au
Founded
1951

Reviews

Default avatar
Austin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I knew I would gain new friends while I studied abroad at Wollongong, but I was unaware that those friends would be lifelong friendships that I will always cherish. My favorite memory was travelling to Cairnes with a few of my mates that I had met my first couple of weeks at Wollongong. We adventured around the town of Cairnes, bar crawled, scuba dived, and enjoyed some good food and drinks. It was an experience I will never forget.

Default avatar
Brianna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Along with the pure excitement I had before arriving I was, understandably, extremely nervous. 22+ hours of flight time, a new country, not really knowing anyone. As soon as I got to Australia, however, I fell in love. The people (staff and just general citizens alike) are incredibly sweet and welcoming, and the atmosphere is a reflection of the scenery: calm. Wollongong is such a nice, scenic place and I'm lucky to have spent the time there that I did.

I had some expectations for my time abroad, but UOW and the whole experience fully exceeded them. The grading takes a bit to get used to since it's so different, same goes with the way classes are split into lectures and tutorials, but once you get the hang of it it's actually really easy and a nice change of pace from our American class setups. I loved the classes I took (and even managed to do well considering the grade differences), I loved the campus and I really loved the accommodation I was lucky enough to be put into, but what I loved the most were the people I met. My roommates, in classes, on campus, I really could not have asked for better people to come into contact with, and I'm now lucky enough to have found some amazing lifelong friends.

For anyone thinking about this program, do it. It's scary at first, downright terrifying even, but it's 100% worth it. Wollongong has a strange (but beautiful) way of making it feel like your second home, even after such a short period of time.

What would you improve about this program?
The library hours could be a bit earlier in the morning/later at night, especially during exams.
Read my full story
Rob
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This was honestly a great experience. I had never ever been to Australia before this and I honestly loved it down there. The people are a lot of fun, the environment is fun, the people are great, the scenery was amazing. I had the opportunity to meet with a lot of people that were international (not just American like me) not just Australians so that was a big plus. In fact some really close friends I made there are scattered around the world! As far as school goes, it was definitely different. The grading scales are extremely different from what I've experienced. The coursework had a much bigger focus on flat out memorization and repetition instead of further thinking and discussing. I personally felt like there was a lot more "busy work" than what I had normally experienced. The campus was one of the highlights of my experience. It was very big and had a lot of open, green spaces. It wasn't a huge campus which made it nice so I could get to all my classes but at the same time it wasn't so small that it felt crowded. The buildings are all in fairly good condition (and they had AC so that was a big bonus) and my classes weren't overly crowded.

What would you improve about this program?
Accommodation was horrible. The buildings were very old, the wifi was almost non-existent, no AC etc. While I did enjoy the community environment they created, the overall building and structure were very poorly designed. I know my college had a lot of group building activities the first couple days/weeks which really helped me feel welcome to this foreign country but I heard that other colleges didn't and as such many international students didn't make as many friends as quickly.
Default avatar
Erica
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was in Wollongong for one semester and absolutely loved it. Before coming I received a lot of information over email which was very helpful. Whenever I emailed to ask questions I got timely and friendly responses. I enjoyed the classes although the grading scale was difficult to get used to at first. The atmosphere on campus is really nice with a lot of areas to hangout with friends. I met a lot of friends through my campus housing and always had plenty of events to go to.

What would you improve about this program?
I would love to see wifi in the dorms as well as extended library hours.
Default avatar
Angel
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I'm glad to have studied abroad at the University of Wollongong. Academically, courses felt more focused on brute memorization than deeper comprehension compared to my home uni, but with that said, I still learned a lot from my courses. I particularly enjoyed INDS150 as I had never known about the struggle of Aboriginal peoples prior to studying abroad. What truly made my Australian experience memorable was the UOW social scene. It was easy immersing myself in Australian culture as well as to meet people of different backgrounds, both from different countries and from parts of the US, where I am from. A lot of that immersion is attributable to my dorm life in International House. I was able to get extremely close to friends from New England, Texas, Korea, Miranda, Wagga Wagga, India, Iran... the list goes on. One of my most memorable moments of culture shock was when I attended a birthday party for a dorm mate's high school friends and immediately realized I was the only American in a dorm room full of Aussies. It was the day I had my first piece of Fairy Bread, when people asked me if I could sound like Kim Kardashian, and when I learned the drinking song "True Blue." Though Australian youth culture is a bit different from American college life, I did not feel like an outsider for long. The people I met were welcoming and just as interested in my background as I was their's. I also loved the UOW Buddy program. My buddy, originally from Malaysia, helped me understand the Australian grading system and find some of the best Asian restaurants between Wollongong and Sydney. Overall, I am so grateful for the people I met during this trip as they helped me navigate through Uni and the surrounding cities, and made my study abroad experience indubitably memorable.

What would you improve about this program?
Wifi in all dorms and earlier library hours on the Saturday and Sunday during exam period

Programs

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Alumni Interviews

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

Brianna Caprio

Brianna is a senior at Arcadia University, majoring in Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology. She is a member of the honor society Phi Kappa Phi and has plans to continue on to get her masters in Social Work.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program for a number of reasons. Australia has always been number one on my list of places I'd love to visit, and actually being able to check that off was a huge factor. Wollongong is close enough to Sydney to get a feel for the city, but you're able to reel it back and experience a smaller, less hectic atmosphere as well. And, of course, UoW is excellent academically, so that played a large role.

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

My program provider assisted with a lot of the hard work, from helping me get my classes settled (because the system is so very different from home) to working to make the transition as easy as possible. Once on campus most of what I dealt with was organized by me, with the exception of program-related things, so it was a healthy balance of receiving help and doing it on my own.

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

I would tell anyone going on this program, or any program, to make the most of it.

It's truly a beautiful place, and university, so make every minute count. Don't waste any of your time there, because you'll miss it the second you get back home!

Take every opportunity you can and put yourself out there, make friends, explore.

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

The day to day depends on the class schedule you have, but I'd say each week is a mix of getting your work done, going out with your new friends, heading into Sydney on a weekend, and going to one of the many stunning beaches you're offered. Some days/weeks will be slower or more busy than others, but there's definitely not a dull moment.

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 going abroad, without a doubt, was being away from home for such an extended period of time. Before this I'd never spent longer than a month or so away, so to jump to five, especially all the way in a new country, was huge. I wouldn't say I overcame the homesickness, but rather I made such incredible friends straight away that I didn't have to worry about it becoming a problem. They made it feel like a second home, like I'd known them my whole life, and so it was easy to forget I was so far away.

Do you have a favorite story you'd like to share?

I was fortunate enough to experience a bunch of incredible things during my time abroad, but my favorite would have to be snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef.

A few friends and I flew up to Cairns during the semester break (getting no sleep and taking a 5am flight has never been more worth it) to do one of the boat tours. The anticipation on the boat ride to first diving site is nothing like I've ever experienced, but in the best way.

Once we got out there, we were able to look out at the water, and you realize just how blue it is. I'm not sure I can even describe how amazing it is when you first get the hang of snorkeling and you see all of it right in front of you: the fish, the coral, the reef sharks, and if you're lucky, Nemo and some sea turtles, too.

There's nothing quite like the realization that you're in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by nothing but water and sea-life, and it's truly beautiful. If anyone has the opportunity to do so, I'd say to 100% take it!