Alumni Spotlight: Jessica Lodato


Jessica is currently a senior at Adelphi University on Long Island. She is a member of the Division 2 field hockey team, a member of Sigma Delta Tau, and loves to travel the word.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose IES study abroad because of the timing. I wasn't able to miss a full semester of school because of athletics and transferring schools, however, six weeks was perfect. It gave me time to travel before and after the program while on the other side of the world and I got to see so much of Australia in the six short weeks.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

IES made everything so easy. My favorite part about the program was the planned field trips throughout my time down under. IES helped us with everything except the side trips we planned for the weekends. However, even our R.A was super diverse and told us all the places we need to see. Overall anything we needed IES helped us find it, or provided us with it.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Time flies. The first week I couldn't believe how long I was going to be there. By the third week, it was hitting me that I would be leaving my friends that lived on the other side of the country soon. I didn't want to leave! Take advantage of everything, say yes to every opportunity, and eat a lot of dumplings!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

No week went on without a field trip whether it was to the Hyde Park Barracks or all the way to the outback. Classes were from late afternoon Tuesday to Friday so you had the weekends to travel/explore. Classes were little boring but you still had time to go explore the city and get a good avocado toast between classes.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was being alone on the other side of the world. It was a scary thought especially for a homebody like myself. However, all the others in my program were in the same boat! We all helped each other out at instantly became close friends doing everything together to keep company.

What is your favorite story from your time abroad?

My favorite story was when we took a field trip to the outback. A fellow bus got stuck in the sand while stopping for firewood. Our tour guide helped him get out but soon after we were stuck! It wasn't scary we were all laughing about it as we were stranded in the middle of nowhere where cars came every 20 minutes. It was so funny we laughed about it by the fire all night!