Review Overall Rating
Great experience if you are a self-starter...
Great experience if you are a self-starter...
The program doesn't care too much about you.
The initial trip is awesome, though.
Great experience if you are a self-starter...
Other Reviews on GlobaLinks Learning Abroad and Macquarie University
GlobaLinks Learning Abroad and Macquarie University I studied at Macquarie University in North...
Reviewed by peterdellapenna on .
I studied at Macquarie University in North Ryde, which is a suburb about 8 miles north of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I wish I had known this beforehand. I was under the impression that this university was in near downtown in a city environment when in reality in was in a leafy bushland and required a bus ride of 40 minutes to an hour to go into downtown Sydney. I had a friend who was studying at the same time at UNSW which is south of the Harbour Bridge and located just outside Randwick Racecourse, which is around the corner from the Sydney Cricket Ground and Aussie Stadium. In other words, much closer to downtown and where there is a lot of action. The campus at Macquarie is very peaceful and full of green areas to lounge around and relax, but the buildings themselves are as plain and old as can be, although they do the job.
My bigger concerns were with the AustraLearn program than the university itself though. I had specifically asked to live in international housing, meaning I wanted to get a chance to live with other kids from Australia, Korea, South Africa, Germany, Holland, Brazil, etc. Well, at an Australian university, Americans qualify as being international and was thrown into a house with four other Americans. While the other members of the house couldn't have been more thrilled, especially after bonding with each other during the program orientation in Cairns, I was crushed. I have been living with American people my whole life! The whole point of coming to Australia for me was to get a chance to immerse myself in another culture. Living in a house of Americans was not a good way to accomplish that. While I tried to go out and engage with the locals by doing things like learning to play cricket, I found my roommates only hanging out with each other, or with the other Americans next door to us in our housing complex.
AustraLearn mostly recruits at public universities. In general, I don't have anything against kids from state schools, but they typically make up a different demographic than those from private universities like myself. Of the 77 kids in the program the semester I went to Macquarie, only five were from private schools. Not surprisingly, the kids from places like University of Colorado-Boulder were the hardest partying bunch of kids in the complex and the majority of the others followed suit. Despite guidelines about being deported if caught with marijuana, etc., one of my housemates got high every day for five months.
Sydney was a wonderful city and traveling to Melbourne and Uluru were the best experiences I had in Australia. I also got to travel around New Zealand for three weeks on spring break. However, I was very unimpressed with the AustraLearn program. I filled out a very lengthy questionnaire upon return from my time abroad and listed in great detail all of my concerns about how they organized things. I never got a call or an email from someone in their administration who wanted to learn more in order to fix things for future participants. It became apparent then that their questionnaire was only a marketing resource to bring out glowing responses from participants that they could use in future brochures instead of addressing problems and assessing genuine feedback.
Once I was in Australia, they listed a 24-hour hotline that you can call if you are ever in need of help. Otherwise, you do not hear a peep from them. No calls, emails, nothing. None of their recruiters, administration, etc., seem to care once they have cashed your check.
Two years later I found out that AustraLearn was sending a representative to my university in America, Creighton, to talk to interested students. I wanted to meet whoever it was, just to say that I had a great time in Australia, but wanted to bring up a few things that AustraLearn could do to improve. I went to the table they had set up in the student center and it was unoccupied. I asked a worker in the student center if they had recognized anyone staffed at the table and they pointed to someone sleeping on one of the couches. Sure enough, when I walked over to glance at him, he had an AustraLearn pin on his shirt, though it was just that, a t-shirt with khakis. That was the level of professionalism I had come to expect though, from AustraLearn.
Australia = Awesome
AustraLearn = Awful
GlobaLinks Learning Abroad and Macquarie University I studied abroad with AustraLearn at the...
Reviewed by Melissa on .
I studied abroad with AustraLearn at the University of Waikato in 2004 for 1 year. Initially I intended to apply to a school in Australia but after some coaxing from my home university (University of Colorado - Boulder) I decided New Zealand was the right choice for me.
The University of Waikato was in a great location on the North Island of NZ and was a good jumping off point to get to a number of great attractions in the central North Island (Rotorua, Raglan, Mt. Manganui, etc). The AustraLearn orientation was AMAZING - I went caving, zorbing (look it up if you don't know what it is), I saw a live kiwi and made what are to this day some of my best friends.
Once I arrived at uni I lived in the dorms (student village) and I was the ONLY American out of 24 residents. All others were Kiwi (except for one strange guy that never came out of his room from China). Over the course of the semester I befriended these Kiwi's and was invited home to meet their families on numerous occassions.
While the quality of academics at the university may not have been as challenging as my CU I really learned a lot just listening to a different perspective and studied my major within an international context. I was able to take multiple field trips and excursions throughout the North Island while studying in my field and will never forget that hands on experience. I honestly believe I learned more in those two semesters abroad than I did in my entire college experience.
As far as the AustraLearn staff - I was always so impressed with their speed and friendly personalities. I called on numerous occassions to get information and was always relieved to hear a friendly voice on the other end of the phone who never judged me no matter how "stupid" my questions were. I attended a few alumni events and sat with them on my campus to help tell other students about my experience. I participated in their alumni program will always encourage others to study abroad through them as well.
Studying abroad was one of the most life changing experiences I've ever had and I hope that everyone has the same opportunity to grow and change while abroad.
GlobaLinks Learning Abroad and Macquarie University AustraLearn is a well thought out, well-staffed,...
Reviewed by Kristen on .
AustraLearn is a well thought out, well-staffed, well-facilitated program. I was nervous and naive about leaving home and AustraLearn staff were great at answering my questions and providing me with heaps of information from the time I inquired about studying abroad until I boarded the flight home. The AustraLearn staff was friendly, knowledgeable and professional. I felt safe that my student loan money was being put to good use as AustraLearn is a not for profit company. I loved the personal touches from AustraLearn. I got a phone call from an employee of AustraLearn letting me know my application had been accepted by my first choice university and the Webinar before I left where I could ask questions to a live employee in a peer forum setting. AustraLearn is awesome and I fully recommend it.
GlobaLinks Learning Abroad and Macquarie University The absolute best time of my life. It was...
Reviewed by Ajay G on .
The absolute best time of my life. It was beyond amazing. When I first got there I was really homesick, but I had a pretty amazing group of friends who helped me get past that. That friends you make there will become family and will stick with you forever. The only part that sucked was coming home. The australearn staff was pretty awesome, I had like a million questions which they answered no problem, they were always really nice and told me everything I need to know. The academics were good, but not as good as my home university (Ohio State), the party atmosphere in sydney is quite possibly the best in the world, it's probably better than New York, the living situation was great, my roommates were amazing and they really helped me get past my homesickness, I couldn't have done it without them, and the apartments we lived in were awesome, 5 bedroom and each bedroom had its own bathroom, good sized kitchen and living room but there was no dishwasher. The culture shock wasn't that bad, but Aussies do tend to be a bit racist, but its not bad if you are an American minority, however, most people there aren't openly racist, but it is worse than it is in America, but for the most part Aussies are really nice and laid back, and they can really drink, like A lot more than Americans. hope this helps.
GlobaLinks Learning Abroad and Macquarie University High five to peterdellapenna. I agree with...
Reviewed by Nicole W. on .
High five to peterdellapenna. I agree with most everything she said. Australearn is no good in comparison with other programs that i've heard about. I was so excited for chosing their program because I've heard about them over for a couple years before I went abroad. But really, there was no program interaction, no structure. Once you are in Australia they just leave you alone, no contact, no travels or excursions. I really don't know what I paid them for. My roomates went through another program in which they paid significantly less than I and their program sponsored numerous tour trips for free so that they could travel.
Maquarie University, is not close to the city at all or near anything. I personally did not like the classes, but the one good thing I have to say is my internship. Australearn has a co program to do an internship and Macquarie Uni helped set that up. Cheers to Fuse Music Group.
GlobaLinks Learning Abroad and Macquarie University First I must say that I met my fiancee during...
Reviewed by Candace on .
First I must say that I met my fiancee during my study abroad to Australia. Needless to say I had the time of my life! I went to Australia through Australearn to Macquarie University. I was disappointed when I got there and the university was not close to the city. The trip on the bus or train to the city was long which meant we didn't make the trip as often as we would have liked. We ended up staying around the housing complex for the most part or going to the Ranch Hotel Motel rather than the city. We also tended to be short on money a LOT because it was so expensive there!
The orientation in Cairns was a fun experience and gave us the opportunity to meet the other students before heading to the university. The great barrier reef trip they highlighted was not so good- I think I have had better snorkeling in Florida! Cairns was a blast and I have fond memories of the orientation.
I was one of the few at Macquarie with a diverse group of housemates. I lived with two other American girls who were there through Australearn but our other two roommates were male, one from Austria and one from Mexico. I got to know their international friends as well. Most of my other friends there had American roommates.
I found the courses at Macquarie to be challenging. I took classes that were a part of my major back at Virginia Tech and it wasn't easy. The classes were also in the late afternoon or evening and they only met once a week. It was very easy to blow off class to go to the Uni bar or to hang out with friends.
I agree that most of the Americans stuck with Americans. I think that's because most of the students living in the international housing are American. I am still friends with a one of my best friends from there and occasionally talk to a couple of other people. Obviously I am marrying my best friend from there so that made my trip completely worth it! I think the study abroad experience is what you make it. No matter which program you go through. There were other programs that came to the same university and their students were living in the same place as the Australearn students. They actually had less support than us because they didn't have an orientation or any staff to greet them when they got to Macquarie. I would recommend Australearn to others, just do your research on the schools you are interested in before you go, and set goals for yourself as to what you want to accomplish while you are there. No matter what Australia is AMAZING and so is New Zealand so enjoy it!
GlobaLinks Learning Abroad and Macquarie University It was a great experience. Everyone with...
Reviewed by Betsy on .
It was a great experience. Everyone with AustraLearn was very helpful and knowledgeable. Everyone was really friendly. I've recommended AustraLearn to friends.
GlobaLinks Learning Abroad and Macquarie University I loved Australearn. They had the most people...
Reviewed by SOH on .
I loved Australearn. They had the most people in it. Made a lot more friends to begin with. They were always available for questions. Everything was well organized.
GlobaLinks Learning Abroad and Macquarie University australearn
Reviewed by mary on .
The beginning trip was amazing and it was nice to get to know everyone. However, once they sent us on our way they didn't care about helping us with anything, especially for those that lived of campus and didn't know where to go. My friend and I has some real bad roommate problems with people stealing and yelling and throwing things, and the only thing AustraLearn would do was offer counseling. They wouldn't even help us find a new place to live. My friend and I moved out on our own with 2 Aussies and AustraLearn could care less, they didn't even know where we were living for the last 2months.
GlobaLinks Learning Abroad and Macquarie University Don't go through them!
Reviewed by Patrick on .
Australearn strung me along for a year promising that they were working on my packet and getting me ready to start my program. After this, they told me they actually wouldn't be able to work with me and then refused to refund my deposit!
GlobaLinks Learning Abroad and Macquarie University Had a great time!
Reviewed by Emily Yui on .
I had a great time getting to know people!
GlobaLinks Learning Abroad and Macquarie University This was a lifechanging experience.
Reviewed by Abby Beham on .
GlobaLinks makes the study abroad experience amazing. The program eases you into the new culture in an easy and successful way and the orientation week was awesome. I loved that they encouraged us to get involved in our local community. It was nice that there were on campus and off campus living options and that we were living with locals and other international students and attending an Australian university. I felt like a Newcastle native by the end of my time there.