Australia is one of those places that people often hear about, and associate with beaches and a laid back lifestyle. Well it is that, and SO much more! There is so much natural beauty, adventure, and a lot more diversity than I had originally imagined. The food is incredible, and people are absolutely warm and welcoming. CIEE Wollongong had a smooth and easy process prior to departure, upon arrival, and during the duration of stay. The advisers are beyond keen to help in any way they can, and are always trying to make the stay for students the best one possible. More than just advisers, they have become my friends and international connections, of whom I still keep in touch to date. As for the Uni and academic life, classes are run a bit differently than traditional US schools, but not in a bad way. What I loved most about the Wollongong program was the location. There are some of the most beautiful & non-crowded beaches just down the way, and hiking just down the other way on the beautiful mountain range. Everything is easily accessible via free bus or train. Speaking of train, it only takes roughly an hour to get to Sydney! I literally was there every single week, multiple times a week, because there is SO much to see and do. From new food places, to events, to nightlife and more beaches...you'll never have a boring week. I had the time of my life for a term there, that when I got back to the States, I longed to be back in Oz. So much so....that I went back for a second go! Yes, I did the CIEE program twice, and let me just say it was so worth it! I'd honestly do it again if I could. I highly recommend this program to anyone seeking adventure, a new but comforting environment, and independence in such a unique county and culture.