St. Cloud State University Education Abroad

Program Reviews

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Ericka
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying at Southern Cross University in Lismore was a dream come true! I have always been so interested in Australia and the lifestyle. This little town gave me a perfect understanding of how living as an Australian is. As we are a little further from the tourist areas, we were able to see the ordinary life of the Aussie's. Being on the other side of the world gave me the perfect excuse to travel to places I otherwise would not have been able to! I was able to visit Thailand, Bali, and many places in Australia that changed my outlook on life. To see different cultures and how people live in other parts of the world was incredibly eye-opening. I was able to create amazing relationships with people from all over the world throughout my traveling and have added a large number of countries to my list of places to visit. This program has motivated me to save up some money after I graduate in order to move back to Australia and spend the rest of my life here.
I was surprised to find out that Australia does, in fact, get pretty cold!! I came over believing it was always hot and sunny but was surprised when it started getting near freezing over night. One blanket was definitely not enough! To anyone who plans on visiting here in the future, try your best to travel to different countries! My time in Thailand could possibly be the best experience I have ever had. Being able to visit an ethical and responsible elephant sanctuary was a dream come true and something you really can't do anywhere else. However, even if you just stay around Lismore throughout your study abroad experience, you will have the time of your life!

What would you improve about this program?
This program was absolutely amazing. I only wish our apartments would have been cleaned a little better before we moved in! Other than that, I could not imagine this program getting any better.
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Alexis
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I recommend studying at Southern Cross University, lismore Campus to anyone who can afford it. It is a real eye opening experience to meet a bunch of new people from all over the world. I can say I have some long life friends from places like California, Germany, Japan, Australia and more. Australia really gave up the opportunity to travel and see some amazing places such as Bali, the Great Barrier Reef, sydeny opera house etc. The list goes on and on. If trying to decide a place to study aboard I 100 percent would choose Australia.

What would you improve about this program?
I would if you can warn students of costs without a car. Buses,taxis,trains are more expensive that they might seem. Also hidden cost like paying for WiFi data. But overall this program is amazing.
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Claire
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This past semester has been the best 3 months of my life. I not only was able to travel to 8 different countries because of England's prime location, but I made lifelong friends. Yes, I know that sounds cliche but it's true! The unique thing about this program is that you literally eat, sleep, and go to school in a castle. Nothing makes you feel better than walking through the gated entrance of the castle you get to call your home as security unlocks the old wooden doors, making you feel like royalty. The only downside was that I never saw the Duke and Duchess who lived there with us! Although, we did get a private tour of their living quarters before the castle was open to the public...
The best thing this unique program has to offer is the fact that a St. Cloud State faculty member lives at the castle year-round, making your transition easier. He was always available for questions, travel advice, or just a friendly face who forced you into doing events within the community. My biggest fear about studying abroad was being thrown into a different country with no one there to help me. Having a faculty member there with us throughout the semester eased any worry I had and was a great resource.
The education piece of my study abroad experience was unique as well. Half of the classes offered were taught by British professors and the other half were taught by St. Cloud State professors who traveled to Alnwick with us. The British professors taught "British related'" classes whereas the SCSU teachers taught their own classes from back home. It was amazing to be able to intertwine both the British culture and the American culture in an educational experience. All of the teachers worked together to try and get different parts of their classes to correlate. We also only had class Monday through Thursday. Every Friday we took field trips to different parts of the country. We went as far north as Edinburgh, Scotland and as far south as York, England. Each field trip was its own unique experience, no two trips were ever the same. An extra day without class wasn't so bad either...
My favorite experience from studying abroad in Alnwick, England was going out to the local pubs and hanging out with the other students. Because Alnwick is a smaller town, every time we went out we were able to meet up with people we had previously met and made relationships that lasted long into the semester. Every time we went out we met someone new and someone old which made for a great experience. It made making friends really easy and really comfortable.
I am so glad I was able to study abroad as a freshman in college. I think it is something everyone should have the opportunity to do! This past semester gave me new experiences and submerged me in new cultures I never thought I would encounter. Alnwick will definitely see my face again one day!

What would you improve about this program?
I think the biggest improvement for this program is in regards to communication. We got our flight information and itinerary only a few weeks before we were scheduled to leave. There was also a change in our departure date which we were not notified of. There were also multiple occasions where field trips or extra activities were scheduled with little to no time in advance so some students had to miss what was being planned. Overall, I think the program was very well run and I would definitely recommend to other students. Even with a program needing improvements, it is hard to complain about it seeing as we had the privilege of living in a castle and traveling the world.
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Julia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I absolutely fell in love with England and the freedom of traveling on this trip! We were given the opportunity to go on a field trip every Friday, where natives of the area helped us explore all of the beauty the United Kingdom has to offer. But what really stands out to me about this experience was how studying abroad changed me personally; I never before had realized how much was truly out there. I grew up in a very secluded, rural Mid-Western community, that handed me all of the comforts small town USA has to offer. I was always rather content with my safe, little town, hidden in a corner away from the rest of the world. I spent every night at the hometown football game, rooting on our boys and every Sunday at church with all of my next door neighbors. I was both blessed and cursed with the love and close-mindedness of a small town. But after I decided to study abroad on a whim, I discovered how much of the world I was really missing, and how different people from different cultures really make this world quite lovely. I suppose traveling and leaving my comfort zone in hopes of finding something a little more set a fire off inside of me; I am no longer content to sit back and watch the world pass before me: I want to be part of that world. I want to continue to discover, create, imagine, dream, and fall in love with the new places I go and the unique people I'll meet. If I attempted summarize my experience briefly I would say this: I finally learned how it feels to go with the wind, to disregard any previous inhibitions and just free fall, and I fell in love with England. If that in't the world's purest beauty, what is?

What would you improve about this program?
This program could be giving students more notice in regards to changes in the program field trips, because it sometimes prohibited independent travel. However, this is such a unique program because it offers so much structured travel, so I'm still very grateful for the opportunity for these guided field trips.
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Jennifer
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

21 years after living in Alnwick Castle, some of my closest friends today are the people I lived with then. I changed my major as a result of living in the castle and am so happy that I did. I've been an Anglophile my whole life, so having this chance to live in an English castle was kind of like a fairy tale. And that was BEFORE Harry Potter and Downtown Abbey were filmed there and it's popularity exploded! Now it is even more of a destination to visit, and to say I lived there is priceless. A college study abroad program is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I think everyone should take advantage of if they can. I'm forever grateful for the friends and the memories I made during my time there.

What would you improve about this program?
It's been 21 years since I lived there, so much has already been improved upon, like electric heat in the sleeping rooms. :-)
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Anna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Before I graduated, I wanted to squeeze in one more study abroad opportunity (albeit short term!). I signed up for a upper-level ethnic studies course which included an (optional) trip to South Africa to experience what we were learning about in the classroom in real life. The ethnic studies course was taught by an excellent SCSU faculty member who had personal insight into the political dynamics, struggles and progress in South Africa.

To prepare for the trip, we did a series of essays, required readings and lectures. Notably, we were assigned to complete Nelson Mandela's autobiography, "A Long Walk to Freedom". This was a perfect read to prepare us to experience historical sites including: Robben Island, Soweto, the Voting Line sculpture and more.

We started in Johannesburg and flew to Port Elizabeth where we spent the bulk of our visit. From there, we wrapped up in Cape Town. This trip was a lovely mix of fun, learning, structured and free time. I learned a lot about South African culture, was able to experience it a bit first hand and earned university credit necessary for my undergrad degrees -- a perfect combination!

One of my favorite days on the trip was one where we had a panel discussion / open forum with the student government undergrads at NMMU (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University). It was a unique experience to be able to converse with them about their experiences growing up in South Africa and their perspective on the Rainbow nation.

Overall, I highly recommend this program to St. Cloud State University and non-SCSU students alike!

What would you improve about this program?
This program ran very smoothly. We packed a lot in and learned / experienced a lot of unique things in South Africa. I wish we had more time to spend with the South African students in Port Elizabeth as I took so much away from the great discussions we had with them. I really appreciated their perspectives.
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Ella
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My time in Australia was beyond amazing! It has always been on my bucket list and I was finally able to cross it off! I literally fell in love with it the minute I landed! The weather was gorgeous, the people were the best family I have had and all the opportunities available while being there were outstanding! I would definitely recommend this program, no questions asked!

It was great to be able to be submerged into the Australian culture. Everything about it was memorable. I wish I could go back right now!

What would you improve about this program?
To go longer!!
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Aaron
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

If you want to go to a country where the whole country looks like a page out of a "National Geographic" book. Go to Australia. Within the first week I fell completely in love with this amazing country. Coming from central Minnesota, there is not too many hills or mountains of any sort in the area. Within an hour or so of being in the country I saw bigger hills and mountains than I have ever seen in my life.
Another great thing about Australia that Minnesota doesn't have, the beach. The ocean is incredible! My first time ever going to the ocean, at the age of 20, was at Byron Bay in Australia. Only a quick 45 minute drive away from the beloved Lismore, and easily one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire country.
The only thing that might be better than the scenery in Australia is the people you meet there. Minnesotans are known for being "Minnesota nice", Minnesota nice is nothing compared to the niceness that Australians treat people with. Hands down some of the nicest and most generous people on earth. Besides meeting and befriending heaps of Australians, my fellow SCSU students and myself met so many people from around the world and around America, which just opens up more, and more opportunities to travel in the future! In the few months of being in America, I have already had the pleasure to get to travel to New Jersey and visit some of the absolutely incredible friends that I met while studying at SCU.
Australia gives you the opportunity to do some of the most amazing things you'll ever do in your life. I can hands down say that scuba diving in the great barrier reef is the most incredible experience of my life, and its dying real fast, so you better get there soon! I also got to Climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge, share a drink with some mates at the Sydney Opera house, learn to surf, spend my 21st birthday in the Gold Coast with my favorite people on the planet, and run with wild kangaroos, while also falling in love with camping.
Oh and did I even mention New Zealand?!? New Zealand is only a short plane ride away from Australia and in a definitely a "must go" country. The majority of the country is mountains, especially the Southern Island. It is also the location where the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed, which is a big plus when travelling to New Zeal are someone that is trying to grow as a person, see new things, meet new people, and completely change who you are as a person: the greatest decision of your life to go to Australia should be "Too Easy".

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Justin
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Going to Australia was by far the best decision I have made in my young life. While I was there I was able to connect with people across the country like New York, New Jersey, California and North Carolina. I also met people from other countries and am good friends with a guy that lives in London. The people there were very friendly and encouraging to get us involved in activities. I was able to go to Sydney for 5 days during my birthday weekend where I did the Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb, I went to Cairns where I went scuba diving and snorkeling in The Great Barrier Reef and I also went skydiving. At the end of my trip I was able to fit in an 8 day trip from North Island New Zealand to South Island. I will never forget the things I got to experience and Australia will always have a special place in my heart.

What would you improve about this program?
If the trip to the outback was included in the tuition price like it was for a couple of other schools from the states.
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Jacob
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

To say that this program is fantastic is an understatement. There are many programs out there that you can have the experience of studying in another country but where can you study and live in a castle? The price is also reasonable when it comes to studying abroad. Flights, Course Credits, Meals (Monday through Friday), Field Trips every Friday, Room and Board for all around $12,000! It is hard to find a program for that.

All of the people involved in this program in Alnwick are phenomenal. Wade, the resident coordinator, is always available to help the students and to make sure that everyone is enjoying their experience. Also the British Faculty are amazing. Christine is a walking history book and David really makes you think about your place in this world.

I think the best part about this program is that it is offered to any university student regardless if they go to St. Cloud State.

What would you improve about this program?
More courses offered.