Great program for those willing to live with others and no afraid of nature

Academics: 7
Support: 10
Fun: 6
Housing: 9
Safety: 10

I absolutely loved the SFS- Australia program and would recommend it to everyone; however, you have to make sure it will be a good fit for you. You like in the rainforest in a cabin with 3-7 other students, so you have to accept that you won't have much privacy. There are also snakes and spiders to deal with and intermittent internet at times since you are in the middle of the rainforest. Even if you don't think you can deal with that, it is an incredible experience. You get to learn about the rainforest in the classroom and then walk away from the centre and directly into the habitat you just learned about. You get to interact with the locals and gain a sense of life in the Wet Tropics. One of my favorite experiences was going on a weekend homestay with another student. We stayed with an Australian family and learned all about the Australian way of life. The group takes trips to the Daintree and the Outback. I have never seen so many different ecosystems and learned so much about the environment.

You get a few free weekends in Cairns where you can have fun off of program time. The 5 day long mid-semester break was also a great chance to explore parts of Australia with some friends in a caravan (a great deal and great way to travel) on our own.

For the first 2 months of the program you take 3 courses. With awesome professors! The last month you work on a directed research project of your choosing under the guidance of one of the professors. The directed research project component allowed me to study a topic that I was very interested in and has helped guide my graduate school pursuits and career aspirations.

There is a cook that makes all of your meals, and the food is great! And she takes requests and really wants to make sure everyone is happy.

For those of you who are athletic and want to continue your sport, that can be tough. I am a 3 season athlete, so I really wanted to stay in-shape while I was there. There is a run down elliptical and some weights there. The other option is to run (when you can find time- early morning is best, when it is cool). It is a rough, uphill path.

Even with some of the annoyances, I would go again because it is a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would