Escape To The Land Down Under: La Trobe vs Susquehanna

As many have already suspected, there are some major differences between life at Susquehanna University versus La Trobe University. Here’s a short list of the major differences I’ve notice in the first week of subjects.

Campus Size

Let’s talk about the obvious, Susquehanna is a small liberal arts school, with a little over 2,000 students, in central Pennsylvania. La Trobe is a university with over 35,000 students right outside of the city centre of Melbourne.

(La Trobe Bundoora Campus)

(Susquehanna Campus)

Again Susquehanna is a pretty small school, so we don’t need a very large campus. La Trobe, however, has the largest physical campus in Australia, or so I’ve been told. We even have our own wildlife sanctuary on campus, which actually houses kangaroos.

Club and Organization and Facilities

Let’s just say I will be forever grateful for SU after this trip. You have to pay for everything at La Trobe, club memberships, student union memberships, library memberships, on-campus gym memberships. And on top of that most of the memberships only have year long programs, so even if you are here for one semester you still pay full year price.


Susquehanna is a predominately white university. However, there is a small black community on campus, including staff and students, we are not hard to find or bond with. La Trobe is very diverse,  I am pretty sure that almost half the student population are international students.  However, it is still hard to find people on campus who look like to me, which has been the downside of coming to Australia because often one feels most comfortable around those who are similar to them.

Lectures and Tutorials

Susquehanna does not have major lecture halls. Our classes are usually in a MWF or TH schedule. If you are enrolled in a course, you will have a specific professor who will teach that course for you for the rest of the year. At La Trobe you have lecture, generally a medium class size, which are taught by one professor who gives a general overview of the course. And then you have tutorials, or "tutes" because Australians shorten everything, which have a separate professor and are suppose to expand on what you learned in lecture. Now in theory this method would work out, however in reality the tutorials have absolutely nothing to do with the lectures, you are essentially taught 2 different topics in the course. Personally I don’t really like this method of learning, although you have professors and tutes it is very much a learn on your own type of academic culture. Also grades are based on only 2 or 3 assignments at La Trobe, so there is pretty much no room for slacking off on papers.

I can guarantee that I will notice even more difference between La Trobe and Susquehanna in the coming weeks and will probably be writing about them soon. I attach a couple of photos from the first weeks of classes, enjoy!