TEAN Resident Director:
Housing: Living with Australian hosts during the term is an integral part of the program which gives students an inside perspective on Australian society. Typically one student is placed per household. Homestays are available in the neighborhoods near the University of Sydney, or in the Eastern Suburbs, near the surfing beaches. Most of the families have been hosting Rollins students in Sydney for several years, and many deep and lasting friendships have formed between them and their students. The Office of International Programs coordinates homestays through Auzzie Families Homestay Care, and our students benefit greatly from their extensive network of homestay families, and from their vast experience matching students to host families.
Meals: Breakfasts and dinners during the week and all weekend meals are provided by the homestay family. International Programs will issue students an additional credit to cover weekday lunches.
Orientation: Students are met by TEAN at the airport. There is an extensive four-day orientation program run by TEAN, which introduces students to Australian culture and to the city of Sydney. Orientation activities may include a harbor dinner cruise, a trip to the Featherdale Wildlife Park to meet some koalas, a walk along the Eastern Beaches, the Harbor Bridge Climb, a city tour and much more! At the end of the four-day orientation, students will move into their homestays and have a free day to settle in and get to know their new families. Students will then join the University of Sydney international student orientation, during which they will learn about the campus, finalize course registration, and learn about the many opportunities to get involved at the University.
Campus Activities: Students in the program can become members of the Sydney University Union, which provides an array of dining services, recreational facilities, study areas, and a wide range of clubs that cater to every interest and activity. You can also become a member of the Sports Union, through which you can join intercollegiate teams, take fitness classes, and use the world-class athletic facilities. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of these offerings—this is one of the best ways to meet Australian and other international students.
Program Activities and Excursions: In addition to the orientation actvities, the TEAN Resident Director will coordinate group activities during the semester such as a symphony performance at the famed Sydney opera house or a cricket match. Students will also be notified of festivals and events in Sydney so that they can maximize their time in the city. TEAN will also coordinate one group excursion: the destination changes year to year but may be a visit to Melbourne, a trip to the Great Barrier Reef or a weekend in Byron Bay complete with surf lesson!
Life in Sydney: Students arrive in the middle of Sydney’s winter, when temperatures might dip into the mid 40’s, but over the course of the semester, temperatures will rise into the seventies, allowing students ample opportunity to explore Sydney’s beautiful beaches and outdoor spaces around the famous harbor and attend sporting events and outdoor performances of all kinds. During cooler weather, students will still find plenty to see and do, from museums and cultural events, to historic sites, markets, and restaurants for every taste and every budget. It’s easy to get around Sydney using the excellent public transportation system (buses, trains and ferries). Time Out Sydney is a student-favorite resource for events, reviews and things to do in Sydney. We recommend purchasing a good guidebook for Sydney (and Australia if you plan to travel) before departure—the Lonely Planet and Let’s Go series are popular with students.
Flight: TEAN offers students an optional group flight through Student Universe. This flight departs from the West Coast--typically from either Los Angeles or San Francisco. Rollins strongly recommends that students join the TEAN group flight. The credit issued to students will be based on the cost of the TEAN group flight. Students will be directly responsible for costs associated with travel to the departure airport for the group flight. Booking through TEAN/Student Universe gives students the option to change their return date once for no fee (unless there are fuel/tax changes) so students who decide to travel a bit at the end of the program will have some flexibility. TEAN will email students about the flight option in late spring.
Travel: In addition to the group excursion, students are also able to travel independently during free weekends. Australia’s diverse cities and varied eco-systems provide an array of fabulous destinations within easy reach of Sydney using buses, trains and planes. In the past, students have also chosen to travel to other countries in the region—New Zealand, Thailand and others. International Programs reminds students to check State Department and Centers for Disease Control websites, and to research visa requirements, before traveling outside of Australia.
"Studying abroad in Sydney, Australia will always be one of my favorite memories from Rollins. It was an incredible experience that taught me that there is so much to explore out in the world. While in Australia, I saw an opera at the Sydney opera house, took classes at the University of Sydney, went scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, rode in a hot air balloon, hiked through the outback, fed and petted kangaroos, and established a life-long friendship with my host family. My experiences there have instilled a thirst to explore the world and learn more about people of other cultures and also learn more about myself. I am so grateful that Rollins gave me the opportunity to study abroad in such an amazing place, and will always fondly remember my four months there."
--Tawny Najjar '11