Hey everyone! This week I would like to kickoff our 'Meet an Overseas Traveler' blog series with an interview with my sister, Molly Dunkle. Molly is a Junior at Colorado State University where she studies business, but is currently spending a semester abroad in Australia. I caught up with Molly and asked her to share some of her study abroad experiences. Enjoy!
First things first, who are you?
Molly: Heyo! My name is Molly and I am from Fort Collins, Colorado. I am studying business management at Colorado State University. An interesting fact about me is that I have been making lip balm since I was 12 years old.
What were some of the deciding factors when you chose to study abroad in Australia?
Molly: I decided to study abroad in Australia because I wanted to do something out of my comfort zone for awhile. I decided on Australia because it has warm weather, beautiful beaches, and I have some friends here.
How did you find your study abroad program?
Molly: Well I did things a little differently… Through CSU there are various study abroad programs going to Australia, but I decided to directly enroll to a university in Brisbane. I found out that some of my friends were attending Queensland University of Technology and I thought it would be fun to live right in the heart of the Brisbane city. I applied online through their website and had to mail in my official transcript.
How did your friends and family react when you told them you planned to study abroad in Australia?
Molly: My friends and family were pretty shocked to hear it, but they all thought it would be a great experience for me. Even though they said they would miss me, I had their full support to go explore on my own for awhile.
Many students feel that the time outside the classroom is the most important aspect of studying abroad. Do you feel this is true? What kind of experiences have you had that would illustrate this?
Molly: I completely agree! I have learned a lot about myself in this experience. It is an odd feeling to be in completely new surroundings, very freeing. I have discovered a love for cooking and baking which I almost never made time for back at home. My roommate and I bake cupcakes every few days! Without anything tying me down, I have been able to explore and meet tons of new people.
What have been the challenges you have faced as a study abroad student?
Molly: One afternoon after buying vegetables at the farmers market, I got on the bus to go home. Well I realized I missed my stop by 6 suburbs when the bus driver told me we had reached the end of the route. It was getting dark, I was holding bags of veggies, and I had no idea where I was. After a few minutes of freaking out, I called one of my new friends and he came to the rescue and brought me back to my place. Phew!
Is there anything you have learned studying abroad that you don't think you would have otherwise?
Molly: I have learned how important it is to make free time to just relax. Back home I am always running around town being busy. Studying abroad has forced me to slow down and take my time. It is making me appreciate what I have and realize what is important to me.
As a Business major, how do you think studying abroad will help your future goals?
Molly: Studying business in Australia has given me a fresh perspective on entrepreneurship. We had a guest speaker speak about starting a lip balm company. He stressed that innovation is important when starting a new business; his lip balm is made in an Australian sea shell. I went up to him after his lecture and he invited me to tour the business office the following week. I learned how they ship their orders, market the business, and communicate with customers. Speaking with him has inspired me to focus on innovation to grow my own cosmetics business back in Fort Collins.
Any advice to offer perspective students thinking of studying in Australia?
Molly: Go out and do it! It has been the time of my life here; I have learned things about myself that I wouldn’t have had the chance to discover back in Colorado. I have met people that will be my friends for the rest of my life. Studying abroad has forced me out of my comfort zone, and I am thankful for the opportunity to find my way again.
What are you looking forward to most when you return home?
Molly: Most importantly, I am looking forward to seeing my family and friends! I can’t wait to catch up with them. I am also looking forward to Mexican food, they don’t have it as much here in Australia. I know I am going to miss meat pies and Tim Tams though… I will have to stock up before I leave!
Thanks Molly! If anyone has any further questions for Molly feel free to leave them in the comments. Thanks for reading and be sure to check back next week for another great overseas interview!
Ready? Browse programs in Australia.