IES provided me with the experience of a lifetime! My university did not offer an abroad program in Australia that worked with my major and required classes. However, IES gave me tons of options and most importantly for me, Sydney was one of them. The application process was a decent amount of work, but the IES coordinators were a huge help for me when it came to getting all the paperwork done. For this particular program I lived with eight other college students from around the States. We came in as strangers and left as friends. I formed some of my best relationships while abroad, and was so thankful to be sharing the learning, social and foreign experience with likeminded, adventurous individuals! We lived in the outskirts of the city in a townhouse/apartment duplex which was only a block away from a main street that had a store, doctors office, pharmacy and tons of restaurants. My favorite part of studying in Sydney was by far how often we got to travel. Almost every weekend we were on a plane going to somewhere new! The best trip was when we went to Ayers Rock which is actually a required part of the program. we spent two nights sleeping under the stars in the outback of Australia. Our tour guide Rhett cooked us up diner over a campfire and sang us to sleep with his guitar. The whole trip was absolutely amazing! We learned about the aboriginal culture from our tour guides and got to hike through Kings Canyon! We even got to ride camels which is an experience i will never forget. I would highly recommend this program to anyone looking to expand their horizons and get a taste of how much our world has to offer us.