CAPA Sydney: Study & Intern Abroad

Video and Photos

Kangaroo Buddy!
Hyde Park!
Best View From the Opera House
There's so much new wildlife in Australia, and many zoos to visit to see this wildlife.
One of our planned MyEducation activities was a hike at the Blue Mountains. This is world-famous and was beautiful, and a great way to get out of the city for a day.
I visited Circular Quay and the opera house on my first night in Sydney. I went there all the time and loved the view. There's many restaurants and souvenir shopping at Circular Quay. That's also where you get the ferry from if you're going to Taronga Zoo or Manly Beach.

About

A breathtakingly beautiful coastal city, Sydney is an exciting and diverse place to study abroad with 120 nationalities and the rhythm of 250 languages spoken here. That means delicious foods from around the world fill the markets and there are international celebrations like Buddha’s Birthday Multicultural Festival to join in on. It can be laid-back, with more than 100 beaches and dozens of coastal walks to enjoy, but it’s also one of the biggest business hubs in the Asia-Pacific region and has been named the “innovation and technology capital of Australia”.

The CAPA Sydney program is based in TAFE NSW Sydney Institute, in a beautiful centrally located heritage building. Our distinctive blend of academic and experiential education takes your learning style, interests, preferences and independence into consideration.

You’ll learn both inside the classroom and beyond, with field studies, excursions, My Global City events, and an (optional) internship placement.

Apply by February 15 and save $150 off of your program fee!

Scholarships

CAPA Scholarships
CAPA Scholarships and Financial Aid

Each year, we award $1.5 million in study abroad scholarships, grants and affiliate benefits!

Value
$500 - $5,000

Questions & Answers

Reviews

94%
based on 59 reviews
  • Academics 7.9
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 46 - 59 of 59
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Britney
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Sydney Internship

While I was in Sydney I completed a 140 hour internship with Bradfield Bentley Pty Ltd. I not only developed a lot in my personal life but also my professional life. I learned how to adapt to a new environment and culture and still be able to provide a practical view on the industry. My time spent in Sydney was also occupied by taking an International Business class. This was an extraordinary experience considering I was able to take what I was learning in class and apply it to my international internship.

My time abroad was the best time of my life and I wouldn't change it for anything! I only wish that everyone had the chance to experience something like that!

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I would change is being able to have some more time to set aside for traveling. It was difficult to stray too far from Sydney when I only had 2 days to work with.
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Alexa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The greatest 6 weeks of my life!

Studying abroad with CAPA was an incredible experience. CAPA arranged living situations, transportation and internship placements, which made the transition abroad much less stressful. They led multiple events to introduce students to Australian culture and staff members were always helpful. If I could do it all over again, I would in a heartbeat!

Due to my internship schedule, I had plenty of free time to wander around Sydney to check out galleries (Art Gallery of New South Wales), museums, beaches, delicious cafes, nightclubs/pubs, beautiful parks, hiking trails, and my favorite, Aussie wildlife. I would highly recommend checking out the Taronga Zoo and/or Featherdale Wildlife Park.

I was also lucky enough to be able to take a trip up to Cairns where I got to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and tour the Daintree Rainforest.

However, Australia is quite expensive and it can be really difficult to do and see all of the things you want. Especially when it comes to traveling around Australia, flights are often around $300, so you do need to budget trips in advance if that is important to you.

What would you improve about this program?
Luckily my internship placement worked out perfectly for me. However, I know that not everyone experienced such a perfect fit. If CAPA could give students multiple options for internship placements, rather than just making the decision for them, I believe that would result in much better fits with companies and provide all CAPA students with a more positive internship experience.
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Doriane
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Aussie Aussie Oi Oi! Best Experience Down under!

If I could describe my experience in Sydney in 3 words, those words would be Informative, relaxing, fun, insightful, lovely, awesome…Ok I know that was definitely more than 3 words but it’s just sooo hard to put a limit to the description of my Journey. Coming to Sydney I was more focused on gaining experience in the workplace than “exploring” the city like most students did (not that I didn’t want to enjoy the city, but my internship was my main priority). I was hoping that all the knowledge I acquired from my financial related courses taken at Purdue would transpire the tasks I performed while interning and they certainly did. After completing my internship, I have no doubts in my mind that Financial Counseling and Planning is the route I want to take as a career. I am thankful for my awesome supervisor! I will most likely never forget about her due to the fact that we went skydiving together (highlight of my trip!). Some of my best memories in Sydney also include the blue mountains trip, hunter valley, and all the attractions I got to visit. I am thankful for my coworkers for allowing me to be part of their end of financial year lunch and farewell lunch they had for me. That truly showed how much they care about their interns, which I appreciated. I am also grateful for our instructors, and all the knowledge I gained from them. I often do not come across instructors as passionate as Varina and Andrew about their job. Last but not least, I would like to thank CAPA for giving me the opportunity to be part of this program, and making my experience worthwhile, and rewarding. I am pleased to have gotten to know some of the ladies from CAPA personally ( you know who you are lol) I am definitely planning on coming back to Sydney one day, during summertime of course! I will make sure that I keep in touch with all of these awesome people!

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KateKunk
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CAPA Sydney = AWESOME

This experience taught me to get out of my comfort zone and live spontaneously! It was a blast. I became much more sociable after this trip and better at doing things on a whim. DEFINITELY stay with a host family. Mine treated me like family and allowed me to have a great time abroad - plus they made AMAZING food. :)

What would you improve about this program?
I would warn students to have patience with public transportation. Always bring a book/iPod and be ready for LOTS of waiting...and getting lost.
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maddieann
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Experiencing Oz

I don't know how to describe Australia. You have to experience it yourself. The CAPA Staff are very professional and helpful and do everything they can to make you feel at home and comfortable. I found CAPA to be encouraging and helpful. My internship placement was also wonderful, it was my favorite part of the Study Abroad because of who I worked with.

What would you improve about this program?
The price is a little high!
Default avatar
Emily
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CAPA Sydney, Australia

This was the best experience of my life. The internship placement was perfect and suited me well. I feel like I learned so much about another city, another culture and a lot about myself. The apartments that we were placed in were beyond perfect and were in a great location close to the airport, beaches, and the downtown part of the city where the Opera House and Harbor Bridge located. My day to day experiences looked like: waking up and off to the internship or class in North Sydney, spend all day out and come home to make dinner. I had three day weekends which allowed for ample beach time and traveling around Australia and even New Zealand.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have really liked to be in class with other Australian students. Our classes were held on the Australian Catholic University campus but only with Americans and I would have enjoyed meeting some local Aussies.
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racheltwedt
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Can I Go Back Now?!

Studying abroad in Sydney was the most incredible experience of my life. I was so blessed with all of the opportunities that I had while I was there! I was able to experience the beauty of the country and the Australian culture. While I was there, I took surfing lessons, climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, saw a show in the Opera House, walked along the coast, saw whales, had an internship in a school, attended Hillsong Church, and so much more! The opportunities are endless! I grew so much as a person because it opened my eyes to another culture and further developed me into an independent person. One of the greatest accomplishments was that I was able to maneuver throughout the huge city of Sydney using various modes of transportation. This greatly boosted my confidence! I loved it so much! I want to go back!!

What would you improve about this program?
It's honestly hard to find something wrong with the program. Honestly, my only suggestion would be that it would've been nice to have the meal cards distributed all at once instead of weekly. We had to go up to North Sydney at the beginning of each week to receive the cards. North Sydney was 45 minutes away from where we were living, so some weeks it was a hassle to get up there to receive my card. I know it sounds trivial, but it would've saved some travel time.
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Morgan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Australia, You Must Go!

This semester abroad with CAPA was the best decision that I have ever made. I would encourage everyone to seize this opportunity because it has changed my life and I am positive it would change your life as well. The cultural diversity that I was exposed to and the positive perspective I have left with has been one of the many valued changes I have undergone. I was able to accomplish more than I thought was imaginable. I went skydiving, attending Hillsong Church, climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and watched a performance in the Opera House. I was able to conquer public transportation and learn about the different lifestyles of the people in Sydney. Day to Day it was difficult to take public transportation from my internship to the campus because it was very time consuming and annoying but it is what most of the people in the city use. My internship was tremendously beneficial to my future career and my life. CAPA was very helpful and cooperative in any needs or accommodations. They are so very friendly and we all loved to come visit the office! This experience has benefitted me in numerous ways and I was able to develop professionally, mentally, and spiritually. Simply, the best three months of my life.

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to change one thing, I would change the meal stippends being at the CAPA office in the city. We had to arrange a specific time to stop by the office weekly to get our meal cards. If there were an easier way to do this, it would make it more convenient for the students.
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Lindsay
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

TAKE ME BACK!

CAPA changed my life. The staff made my life way too easy, from arranging our living situation to finding our internships for us, CAPA did it all. Sydney was an incredible city filled with positive people, outrageous nightlife, and plenty to do at every second. I met lifetime friends and felt completely safe, especially considering how far I was from home. Traveling with other Americans made the experience easier to adjust to, and it felt good knowing that 60 other people were going through exactly what I was going through. You have to make an effort to meet natives, but it's all part of stepping outside of your comfort zone. Having an internship made the experience what it was: unforgettable. It gave me the chance to fully integrate into the Australian culture and lifestyle. Bottom line: GO CAPA!!!!!

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to change one thing it would be to extend the program. I NEVER WANTED TO LEAVE!!
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cbi90
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The BEST experience ever!

I can't even begin to explain how much I enjoyed my time and internship in Sydney, Australia! I am so blessed that CAPA was able to line me up with an internship that was my first choice option. The CAPA Sydney staff is wonderful and was always there to help anyone if we needed something.

A typical day for me in Sydney consisted of taking the public transportation system from Waterloo to Potts Point. I worked in a real estate office in Potts Point and I was responsible for a great amount of prospecting. I was also responsible for assisting with open houses by helping set up and get contact information and comments from guests who were visiting the property. I really enjoyed my internship and know many other people who I went with that enjoyed their internships, as well. The internship is a great way to network with people in Australia and is a giant boost to your resume. I find myself still talking about my internship and my trip to Australia. It is just a great experience.

When I wasn't working, I was out and about exploring the Sydney beaches, checking out museums, different parts of the city, shopping, and hiking the trails from beach to beach. The beaches were definitely my favorite thing outside of working because they are simply amazing.

I also had the opportunity to take part in various trips to other parts of Australia, including the Great Barrier Reef! It was great to be able to get away from the city for a weekend and go exploring the reef and the Daintree Rainforest.

When it comes to difficulties that I encountered, I would say my main struggle was when I first arrived in Sydney. I was aware of the bus system but I accidentally got on the bus going the wrong way. I ended up on the other side of town but a kind bus driver was able to help me get to the proper stop to get me back home.

Another difficulty I encountered would be the different terms some Sydney-siders use that we don't use in America. However, the other employees in my internship site were able to fill me in and it really helped me out. I thought everyone in my office was extremely nice and treated me with respect and they were always willing to help me out.

Overall, this experience was simply the best experience I have ever had in my entire life. I got to open up to a new culture and a new country. However, at the same time, I was able to get some valuable work experience that will separate me from others when I find a job after graduating from college.

What would you improve about this program?
I know some students traveled very far to get to their internship sites. However, not all students had to travel far.
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Mollie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Most Incredible Experience of My Life

Through this experience, I learned to be independent. In the Sydney program, you live on your own and have to get yourself to your internship through public transportation. Learning to use public transportation and learning my way through the city was my biggest accomplishment. I was so proud of myself by the end of my time in Sydney, because I could get myself absolutely anywhere in the city. I always felt completely safe using the public transportation. Everything was clean and everyone was very friendly.

Difficulties:
I struggled to stay on a budget in Sydney. Everything is very expensive and I always wanted to go out and do things. I spent more than I had wanted to, but in the end I do not have a single regret. It was all worth it and every experience I had was incredible.

A few of the things that I got to do including: surfing, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, climbing the Harbor Bridge, and seeing a show in the opera house. And these are just the big things. My day to day life was just as exciting. We never had any down time, and the CAPA program was great about providing some activities for us to do. The staff was always very friendly and helpful, and I always felt very supported by them.

What would you improve about this program?
I would change the way the classes are set up. I wish we had classes with locals, and not just Americans. But other than that, I would not change a thing. This was an incredible journey and I am thankful for CAPA for providing it for me.
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Amanda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Adventures down under

As it goes with any study abroad trip Australia has given some of the best experiences of my life.

The day to day life in Aussie i can say is pretty much like America. The internship placement for me was spot on in providing me valuable experience in the PR field. Having an internship while abroad really emerges you into the culture and daily life of the Aussies. The night life was great and there was always something to do. Traveling to other destinations in the country was easy to do but was a bit expensive as was a lot of things. You may be a little shocked when looking at the prices but after a week or so you'll understand their standard of living is a bit higher. The living arrangements for CAPA Australia (if you're not doing a home stay) was really nice. The serviced apartments took the stress out of worrying about security and the little things so you can really enjoy yourself. Transportation was easily accessible and once you get the hang of it came to be second nature.

What would you improve about this program?
The campus were classes were conducted and the CAPA office is a bit far from where you are staying which made commuting from internship to classes to the office a bit annoying.
Default avatar
Mitch
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Living in the land down under

Sydney was a great experience. The CAPA program was very focused on the internship and I got a ton of experience in my field of study. The classes were fun and enabled us to learn through an australian viewpoint. The accommodations were only 10 minutes away from the beach, and close to the bars and clubs. The program staff was very nice and went out of their way to help us out. Not many people get to say they worked and lived in the land down under. I would highly recommend using CAPA for studying in australia.

What would you improve about this program?
The distance to class was around 40 minutes. Public transportation was not reliable and cabs were expensive.
Rachael Taft
Rachael
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Guaranteed fun, but you might have to put some effort into getting what you want out of it (professionally)

WARNING: This is going to be a long and thorough review. I just want to get all the details out there so you can make an informed decision on whether you should intern abroad with CAPA in Australia, and how you should prepare for it.

Let me start off by saying, you are paying a lot of money for this experience, so don't feel bad being a little pushy to get what you want. Australia is awesome, and I will get to all the fun stuff about living there later but the internship is supposed to be the most important part of your experience.

If you are set on a certain field, do not settle for an internship in a different one. Once you have been accepted into the program, pick up the phone and call someone at CAPA and discuss what you really want from your internship and what experience you are looking for. Maybe they will even have to direct you to someone in Australia, but I believe it is really worth doing this. As I said, you are paying a lot of money to them, they should be able to help you get what you want from the experience. Once they have assigned you to a place, ask if there have been other interns that have worked there and see if you can get in touch with them. If they tell you they were just fetching coffee all day every day, then ask to be put somewhere else.

I say this because I didn't do this. I was living in Asia for the whole semester before my program, and when I saw I was placed in a PR agency (as opposed to my requested advertising), I just accepted it because I didn't have reliable access to phone or internet at the time. I probably could or should have said something when I arrived in Australia, but I didn't want to cause problems. Well, sometimes you have to cause problems or you might regret it later! (Not that I regret my experience overall.)

The reason I say this, is because I felt CAPA got a little lazy in placements. I don't feel that they actively sought out new places for interns. In my case, I was placed in a PR firm that basically had a new intern every few months. The agency was attached (literally) to an advertising agency. They were under the same parent company and were on the same floor of the building. All CAPA really had to do was make a phone call and I probably could have been placed there. They actually shared a printer and I would sometimes sneak materials out of the recycling just to get a glimpse at how such things from a real ad agency looked! Pathetic, I know, but I didn't at the time feel I could do anything about it. Looking back, I could have brought this up to CAPA or even just asked to spend some time across the hall in the other agency just to learn a little bit.

Again, I don't necessarily regret anything. It is good to have some PR experience (though I had other friends in the program who were placed in PR agencies where they got to do much more interesting work), but the atmospheres between the PR and ad agency were like night and day. My agency was extremely high stress -- I had one co-worker that was always crying -- and the ad agency... they had a foosball machine in their common area, just to give you an idea.

This is all why I recommend trying to get in touch with a past intern from your placement. Or pushing CAPA to find you a new place. Some people in my program must have been the only intern their company had had, because I couldn't believe some of the gifts they were showered with. Very expensive free dinners, experiences like climbing the Harbor Bridge. This of course isn't what the experience is about, but it's definitely a nice bonus! I, on the other hand, being one in a string of interns, couldn't even rely on my former supervisor to give me a recommendation when I moved back to Australia a couple years later. I had emailed with him and he agreed to be a reference. When a potential employer called him, he said he couldn't remember me!

However, if you maintain a good relationship with your supervisor and coworkers after you leave, it could be hugely beneficial to you. And one last note on the internships themselves... if you have any interest in journalism and writing, this could be an amazing opportunity for you. There were a couple interns at travel magazines who got all-expenses-paid trips to write about places in Oz! Can't beat that!

CLASSES
Also, your internship is four days a week and you have class one day a week (most weeks). Sometimes the classes were helpful at giving you some perspective on your internship, what you wanted to get out of it, etc. Sometimes you learned interesting things about Australia. Sometimes the class feels a bit useless. We had to do projects on famous Australians, which seemed a little bit like we were in third grade again or something. It was interesting to learn about some people, but kind of a waste of time. I'd rather have spent time doing a worthwhile project related to my internship, or getting us involved in the community.

Ok, I know this is getting long, but moving on.

HOUSING
We had an issue where the normal student housing was canceled on us (apparently maids were stealing?) and we were moved to this other building which sadly no longer exists. At first everyone was upset - we're paying all this money for this nice housing downtown (with maids) and suddenly we're dumped in a slightly sketchy part of town in a ragged building where there most certainly are no maids. People complained for a few days, then we realized this was actually the best thing ever. We instead were in almost a hostel like place (and all had our own rooms, though shared bathrooms) with students from all over the world. There were people from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and South America. Everyone was friends - cooked dinner together in the shared kitchen, went out together, etc. This MADE my experience.
I'm assuming CAPA has probably moved back to the boring all-American housing (worth asking about), but this doesn't mean you can't make some friends outside the American-student-bubble. Befriend your coworkers. Go out to bars, footy games, coffee shops in other neighborhoods around the city and meet people. Get involved! Volunteer at the pet shelter or participate in that Guiness-Book-World-Record of most people to eat a pizza as long as a cruise ship. (Yes, this happened when I was in Oz!)This will make your experience so much better.

COST OF LIVING
Australia has gotten very expensive. From the time I interned there in 2008 to when I moved back in 2010-11, prices had skyrocketed and the AUD and USD had become even. Even though CAPA gives you gift cards for grocery shopping (which I never seemed to use all of, but that may have changed with the prices) and a metrocard each week, there are still plenty of other expenses. You're going to go out (warning: drinking is really expensive!), you're going to want to maybe do a little travel, buy some souvenirs, buy a cell phone/get a SIM for your iPhone (the minimum phone card is $29/mo. with Vodafone), etc. Make sure you have plenty of money. I'm sure CAPA can help you with this. On a high note, they do have a couple nice meals for you at the beginning and end of the program (so just cook your meals and save your money!), plus a day trip or two, included.

SUMMARY
You are guaranteed to have fun in Sydney. It is an amazing city. It's likely the other people in your program will be great - you all are there for the same reasons (hopefully). The city is full of an incredibly diverse mix of super friendly people. It's hard not to love it. There is so much to see and do in Sydney (and in Australia, if you have the time and money to do a bit of traveling). Just a few things to leave you with.

(Our) summer in Australia is actually (their) winter. It isn't going to snow, but it WILL be cold. And there will be rainy days. Bring appropriate clothing. That being said, there will be really nice days too so don't fret.

Traveling during your internship isn't impossible. You do have three day weekends, and could possibly even get a day off from your internship. Budget airlines like Tiger and Jetstar (even sometimes Virgin and Qantas) can be affordable. In the beginning of the program, STA or some similar agency presents to you a bunch of options. Most people go to the surf camp. I didn't, but in the end I found that booking everything on my own was cheaper. I was able to fly to Aerlie Beach and take a weekend sailboat cruise to the Whitsundays/Great Barrier Reef, as well as a weekend trip to Hervey Bay and the Gold Coast to visit Frasier Island and the Australia Zoo. It's possible.

Finally, my biggest recommendation: do the longest possible option. I did the two-month version of this internship. I do believe they offered a three-month version. DO THIS. You will get so much more out of your internship (many of the people who got do the coolest things at their internship were on the longer option), and you will be glad you have more time to spend in Australia. I can guarantee you will not regret it! And perhaps you will love Australia as much as I did, that you will move back after you graduate. It's easy on the Work & Holiday visa, or maybe your company will love you so much they'll sponsor you! ;)

What would you improve about this program?
I would require a more in-depth discussion (or any at all!) with an advisor at CAPA about your internship and what you want to get out of it. I would like to see them put more effort into getting you exactly the kind of internship you want in the field you want, even if they have to go find new companies. And I would like there to be more of a process in place if you come to Australia and find your internship is not fulfilling.