About My Study Abroad Program
Program: University of Queensland
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Term: Spring 2019
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I chose to study abroad because it has always been in the forefront of my mind to travel since a very young age. I never really got the chance to travel due to my family's funds, so I knew that by studying abroad I would be able to really experience another country in a way that I would never have gotten to do without the help of UNC.
What did you learn about yourself?
While abroad, I learned that you can do anything you set your mind to. Travelling had always been this pipe dream for me that I never really thought I would be able to do due to my family's economic status, but I learned from my trip that if you really want to do something, you will find a way to do it. It's not always as difficult or as "cut and dry" as you think it is.
What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
My favorite memory is the moment I saw Kelingking beach in Bali, Indonesia. Ever since my freshman year of high school, I have had this place stuck in the back of my mind. It was the one place that I knew without a doubt I really wanted to get to; however, I always thought there was no way I'd ever see it in my lifetime because that kind of stuff just doesn't happen for people like me. Boy, was I wrong. While in Australia, I got together with other exchange students from UMass Amherst and Dickinson College and we planned the trip. The moment I caught a glimpse of the island, I'll admit, a few tears were shed.
What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
Make the absolute most of your experience because you will truly never experience anything like it again. Go on that spur of the moment weekend trip. Spend that little bit of extra money that you wouldn't have spent if you were at home. You won't miss that money months from now. Push yourself out of your comfort zone because that is when you truly have the most fun and grow as a person.
Would you do it again?
YES!! A MILLION TIMES YES!!
How were your classes abroad different than if you would have taken them at UNC?
The workload was extremely different. I don't want to say my abroad classes were easier than UNC, but there were definitely a lot less assignments than the typical class at UNC. A lot of the assignments were big projects due at the end of the semester, rather than many small assignments throughout the whole semester. This was actually very helpful because I was able to travel a lot throughout the semester. I just knew there were certain weeks that I needed to buckle down and get some work done.
How do you identify?
Scholarship Recipient, Rural County Resident
Could you share any experiences where your identity played a role in your time abroad?
Coming from a rural country and studying in a huge city like Brisbane, there was definitely a small culture shock. However, I loved how much it opened me up to new things and experiences.
Is there any advice you would give to other students who share your identity?
Be open to everything! Push yourself to try everything out!
If you faced any challenges abroad, where could you turn to get the support you needed?
The housing I chose while abroad was through an organization called Semester in Australia where I was living in a house with other exchange students.This was extremely helpful because all of the exchange students could count on each other throughout the semester. I highly recommend anyone to find housing through SiA if they are preparing to study in Australia!