Natalie Lanners is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Australia.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
Our group went to Broome, Australia and stayed with the Morgans, an Aboriginal family. It was such an incredible experience that it is hard to describe. They were so insightful and so willing to share everything they know. I learned to open myself up to new people and to ask questions. They brought us to sacred places and told us about their people and their history.
Why did you choose the program in which you participated?
I wanted to study abroad to get a really great life experience under my belt. I knew that it would push me out of my comfort zone and that I would come back a stronger and more independent person. I wanted to meet new people and experience a different way of life. I chose Australia because it's far away and it was a place that many people don't get to go. One of the things that sold me on the program was going to Broome and camping in the outback!
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
It was absolutely amazing! It is really difficult to put it in words because it is different for everyone, but I would go back to Australia in a heart beat. I learned so much about myself and others and it was just so meaningful to be able to have such an incredible opportunity.
How has the trip affected you? How are you different for having completed the experience?
I was able to see a different view of Americans and all the steretypes people have for us. It was pretty eye opening and really interesting to hear. I am much more conscious of things I do and say. After living in Australia for almost 5 months, I learned so much about the people there and what is going on in their country. I still follow the Australian rugby teams and this experience has made me want to travel everywhere and see new things and experience other cultures.
What advice do you have for future Study Abroad Students?
Do your research on flights and baggage rules. Also, make a list of things you want to do while you're there and make sure you do them! Don't leave your program wishing you could have done something more or different.
Do you have questions about studying abroad in Australia? Email Natalie at email@example.com.