Alumni Spotlight: Emma Garland

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A data protection professional based in the UK currently studying a Masters in Public Administration through the University of York.

Why did you choose this program?

Ever wanted the perfect blend of travel and study? I did, and I found it here with Edumadic. This was the chance to work on anything you wanted and to be productive, but to be able to share the experience with a group of like-minded travelers too! It was so good to have the chance to explore beaches, temples, and waterfalls and learn new things as well. I wanted to write a draft of my dissertation, and pass the cybersecurity exam and I achieved both.

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

Edumadic sets you up with everything you need from the moment you get off your flight. Transfers to accommodation, the best local knowledge, a local SIM, somewhere nice to stay, and they organize small group trips throughout. Doing things as a group is generally cheaper and more straightforward, but the program gives so much flexibility you don't make the compromises you usually end up with when you travel in a group.

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

Be ambitious in every way! Edumadic has just the perfect balance of flexibility. They make it clear what they expect from you and the rest is up to you! Go with big dreams for study and what you want to see/do when you explore. There is time to factor in everyone's interest and try anything you feel like, so don't be shy to try that yoga class, surf lesson or any other random thing you think of. You'll meet a great group of people and this trip is really what you make it.

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

So, I studied hard! This meant for me, personally, I would get up and head to a coffee shop fairly early to crack on with work. Early in the afternoon I would either go back to the homestay for a swim in the pool or go to a yoga class. Around sunset, we would usually go to the beach or go for drinks at a local bar. The local food is really cheap for an evening meal and is delicious too! Around once a week we went on trips where we would do some exploring together. The time on the bus is totally and utterly worth it for the fantastic things you see.

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 meeting the group and whether I would get on with them. It felt like a long time to spend with a group of people I had just met. My worries instantly disappeared as soon as I spoke to them. Edumadic interview applicants and look for people who will suit the program. They are a group of people who want to study and explore, just the same as you. I will forever appreciate that I got to meet such a good group of people with a mixture of ages from different places - I learned something from all of them. It's the people we meet and the places we go that enhance our perspectives on life.

What was your favorite traveling experience?

We climbed an active volcano at sunrise! The Mount Batur hike was one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen. Everything looked so clear as the day began to break. It was a challenging climb and it felt like we had all achieved something together as we stood and admired the view.

My second favorite experience was watching a local (Kacek) fire dance. I felt more connected to Bali the more I experienced its culture. It's such a unique place and to understand it a little more felt enriching. I couldn't be more grateful for the experience I had!