Mary is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Australia
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
Traveling has been the norm for me since my childhood. My mom made sure that my brother and I were able to see much of the United States and Europe to learn culture and history. It was never a question of if I would study abroad, it was which of the incredible programs would I chose. Australia intrigued me more so than any other program for many reasons. The short list is that it is so far away and seems so exotic, the weather and lifestyle are wonderful, and the history of the country and Aboriginal people is fascinating. These reasons, in addition to personal opinion and connections, greatly influenced me and helped me to decide.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
Mid-semester, we were fortunate enough to spend some time with an Aboriginal man named Capes. We spent the whole day on a beach near his home, learning about his culture, his country, and new skills. It is such a privilege to gain that kind of insight into the lives of Aboriginal people because not many people get that opportunity.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Having an opportunity to spend a semester abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to begin with. For me, it was life changing! As with anything, it's what you make it. I let myself fall completely in love with Australia, the people I met, the experiences I had, and then let that change me for the better. That's the best advice I can give anyone thinking of studying abroad.. do everything, see everything, experience everything and let it become a part of you. It'll be something you can keep with you forever!
Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?
Studying abroad provided me with the opportunity to give my professional resume something that will make me stand out more in the business field. I'd like to pursue a career in management which is such a global field that my time abroad will be even more valuable.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
My advice to those who are considering it, please go! It is worth all the time, effort, and planning because this is one of the only times in your life that you will be able to experience something like studying abroad. For those who are already planning on it, try to do everything that comes your way! Don't turn down surfing lessons because it may seem a little scary... it's worth it! Try that squid or kangaroo meat. The stories are worth it. Enjoy!!
Do you have questions about studying abroad in Australia? Email Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org.