The Land Down Under, A New Home

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

My Study Abroad Experience for the Spring semester in 2014 still seems unbelievable. As someone who lives in New York and who has never left the country before, going to Australia was the largest first step I could have possibly have chosen for a trip abroad. I was definitely nervous but my high level of excitement drowned out all of the superficial negative feelings I had. Luckily, IES made my preparation for housing, meal plans, transportation, and documentation easy to complete and get straightened out. I know a lot of people that studied at UNSW who did not go through a "middle-man" company, but I am very glad I did.
Even on day one, IES and UNSW both started to make my transition process smooth and manageable with orientation programs and information sessions. I felt immediately included by all the staff, faculty, and other Australian students. I really did feel like I made a second home.
The academics I would not say were easier, but because I had a lot more free time since I wasn't working part time or involved in as much like I am back at my home university, I felt less stressed and had much more time for my studies when I needed it. It was also a much less competitive culture in Australia academically. In America, grades are either hidden or bragged about amongst peers, but I did not find that sort of elitist mentality here. Everyone was willing to help each other and were genuinely interested in how their friends were doing.
I also took the opportunity while abroad to do as much networking as possible, and long story short I made a lot of connections within the Sydney Business School. I toured it, met with faculty, and still keep in touch with them should I ever decide to apply for their MBA program. I like keeping my options open with what and where I want to go in my life, and studying abroad gives you an opportunity to literally broaden your horizons with possibilities of where you will end up one day.
Of course I had to take advantage of being all the away across the world so I traveled as much as I could. Apart from exploring Sydney, I visited Melbourne, Cairns, Brisbane, The Great Barrier Reef, The Outback, the Daintree Rainforest, and the rural areas of Australia. Travelling is relatively cheap in Australia so it was very feasible to do a lot of it throughout my semester there.
I still miss the days where I would wake up, take the 20 minute walk to the beach, come back in the afternoon for class, go out to dinner with new friends, explore the night life later, and then do it all over again the next day. I really find this experience the most valuable of my whole life, and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed