NYU Stern

University of New South Wales: Student Feedback

 

Student Profile

Name:
Nirav Patel

Highlight of my semester abroad:
Making very close friends from all over the world, and knowing that when you travel to their home country, they would more than willingly show you around and hang out with you.

How I spent my time at UNSW:
I participated in many athletic activities including an event called the Uni Games. For about a week, universities from all over Australia meet to compete in games, and it was incredibly fun.

You might be interested to know:
I am an ice cream enthusiast.

What I would say to students going on IBEX:
Enjoy literally every single minute you are abroad.  Don't focus on anything at home and don't waste a moment indoors in your room on your computer chatting with friends from home.  Meet new people and hang out with them as often as possible. Time literally flies abroad.

Contact me about IBEX UNSW:
Nirav Patel - nirav.patel@stern.nyu.edu

Student Profile

Name: Noah Sperber

Noah Sperber_UNSW

Highlight of my semester abroad:
There was always something to do, from taking surfing lessons to seeing a show at the Sydney Opera House. During breaks, I traveled to New Zealand and road-tripped along the Eastern Australian coast and saw amazing scenery and wildlife.

You might be interested to know:
I am very interested in photography, so studying abroad in such a beautiful location provided such a great opportunity to practice my craft. I also enjoy action sports like skateboarding and surfing and was able to bond with locals in Australia through these activities.

My career goal:
To one day work in network television in Los Angeles.

What I would say to students considering participating in IBEX:
Students considering IBEX should definitely apply! It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience to live in another country amongst its own citizens. You not only meet other study abroad students from NYU and around the U.S., but you also create lasting friendships with local students and gain a whole new perspective on your college experience.

Additional Feedback from Students

Banking

"I had a Citibank account that I deposited money from in Australian currency in Australia."

"Sydney is less expensive than New York City. It is similar to other major US cities like LA and Chicago. I took travelers' checks and used my home checks to open an account in Sydney at a local bank. The only problem was that the US check took 30 days to clear. I would probably have brought more in travelers' checks to initially use from my account. I did also use my ATM card from home, but I got charged for that. If I could have redone it, I think I would have put money in my Citibank account, so I could just take larger sums of cash out when I went to downtown (the only ATM) since I was there so much anyhow. I was also surprised that AMEX was not accepted very widely."

Expenses

Food: $2,500/semester
Housing: $3,200/semester
Books: $300/semester
Phone: $200, calling cards, calls are cheap
Entertainment: $40/week
Local Transportation: $450/semester
Airline ticket to/from IBEX site: $3000 (+ Taxi from airport to campus)
 

Housing

"I found short term off campus housing for a relatively cheap price. Food however was a bit more expensive than New York, but still not too bad overall. I was very satisfied with every aspect of my living and meal situation."

"Apartment or Study Abroad Housing recommended"

 

Academics

"The difference mainly came from the grade scale used at the school. However, respectively, each University was about the same, however Stern provides a more challenging curriculum."

Workload: Easier, about the same as Stern
Grading: Easier, about the same as Stern
Classroom Climate: Very much like Stern, modern facilities, same types of lecture halls
 

Course Recommendations

"My favorite class was Australia in the Global Economy with professor Barrie Dyster. The professor had an excellent amount of information about the world and Australian economy and helped students understand powerful insights and complicated ideas at an easier level. Overall, All four classes I took - Global Media, The Marine Environment, Australia in the Global Economy, and Management and Organisations - were all very good courses."

"My favorite class was Marine Environment because we had 3 field trips to places around Sydney to observe the marine environment in action."

"I would not recommend the History of Australia Since WWII since not knowing much about the pre-WWII background of Australia made the class pretty confusing."

Course Registration

"The registration process was quite simple and the staff was very helpful. All deadlines were provided and time slots were given, not picked."

Student Life

"I spent most of my time with students from the host country because I met most of them through my classes and the sports activities I did."

"Everyone was friendly and helpful. I participated in one event of the Wakeboard club and one event of the Scuba Diving club. There were a huge variety of clubs. In particular there were a lot of Asian clubs. With all my site-seeing though, I didn't really feel like I had time to commit to anything for the semester. The campus is also huge, so it is not very often that you run into someone you know. The Aussie students, I found, did not join many clubs. They were more focused on international students, hence the Asian clubs."

What You Should/Should Not Bring

"Bring: Summer clothes, Winter Coat, Swimsuit, Towel…other necessary items. If you plan to do backpacking or hiking, bring hiking boots and a hiking backpack. But, it's not really essential, these items can be easily purchased in Sydney."

"Don't Bring: Too much stuff. Qantas will charge 100 dollars for every extra bag. If I were to pack again for the trip, I would bring one full suitcase and one empty one. There is a lot to bring back."

Culture Shock

"Culture shock is minimal. It depends on whether you are living with Australians or with fellow exchange students down at Coogi beach. Living with Australians was a lot of fun and a highly recommended experience. The only real culture shock is the local vernacular and the Australian slang which is easy to pick up. It's great to ask questions too. Don't be afraid to."

Sites Not to Miss

Blue Mountains, Kiami, Gold Coast, Bondi, Oxford Street, North Sydney

"Home" at Darling Harbour, Melbourne and Brisbane. Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Botanical Gardens, Manly Beach, Bondi to Coogee beach walk, Aquarium, Surf camp, Blue Mountains

"Firefry Thai restaurant (Chinatown in Sydney), Eateries around Sydney and Randwick, Chopstick at the Randwick. Spot Wallaby Bar - Darling Harbour, Pontoon - Darling Harbour, Three Wise Monkeys - George St.and Liverpool, Scubar - Eddy & Pitt."

Travel Tips

"I would say I probably did the most budget travel because I went to the student/backpacker travel agents and got information. I did a lot of comparison and found that it is cheaper to plan your trip yourself. Virgin Blue, Jet Star, and Qantas are the major carriers. Virgin Blue and Jet Star are like the Jet Blue of America, but sometimes Qantas has cheaper flights. They have sales every now and then of incredibly cheap flights, but they are very hard to get. I'd say booking in advance saves the most on plane tickets. I wouldn't recommend renting a car b/c the distance between Sydneyand any other city is like 10 hour drive at least and my friends had some problems with car rental places charging for dents they didn't cause. Around Sydney, I just took the bus and you can buy tickets at convenience stores in 10 trip tickets for half off the normal price b/c of UNSW's discount for showing the student card. Going out to the suburbs of Sydney is probably best in a train. They're very easy to take."