Why did you decide to study abroad with AustraLearn at Bond University?
Chelsea: I chose to study abroad at Bond University first because I loved the location. My home university is located in New Hampshire and for the majority of the school year it is freezing cold and snowing so I wanted a change. I also love the beach and Bond University is minutes away from some of Australia’s most popular beaches like Surfers Paradise.
However, there were other schools in the area. What set Bond apart is their course offerings, large amount of international students, prestigious reputation and extracurricular activities. I knew that if I went to Bond I would have a great experience in and outside of the classroom.
I chose to go through AustraLearn because I heard many great things about them and I really liked their overall program. My favorite part was their orientation program, everyone who was a part of the AustraLearn Bond group met in Cairns Australia for 5 days before flying to Bond. In Cairns I was able to make friends (many of whom I still keep in touch with) and get acquainted with Australia.
The AustraLearn leaders gave us a crash course on Australia when we first arrived about their laws and customs and then in the following days we traveled to the rainforest where we got to hold a koala. Later in the week we even took a giant catamaran to the Great Barrier Reef and went snorkeling! I did a great deal of research about what program to go through and I never found anything close to the program that AustraLearn offers!
What made your study abroad experience unique and special?
Chelsea: Everything about my study abroad experience was unique and special. The experience as a whole definitely changed me; I grew up and matured while I was abroad because for the first time I was on my own 100%. I think the unique part of my abroad experience is that I was able to travel after my semester was done!
My best friend and I took a road trip through both islands of New Zealand and then went to Fiji before heading back to the United States. I feel that the extra traveling I was fortunate to take part in makes my experience unique because many students who go abroad are only able see the area that their school is in but along with going up and down the east coast of Australia I also got to experience two other countries – it was an amazing experience!
How has this experience impacted your future?
Chelsea: Going abroad has had a huge impact on me. Personally, I am more independent and confident. While abroad I did everything from making my own travel arrangements, to learning how to surf, to jumping out of a plane 14,000 feet above Byron Bay and even more. All of these events in my time abroad proved to me that I can do anything if I work hard and put my mind to it and I will definitely never forget that.
Academically, going abroad made me a better student. Bond was very different from my home university and I had to adapt to the different classroom settings and even some language barriers. The classes at Bond were also all centered on group work which is something that will definitely help me professionally. In most of my classes I was put into random groups with people from all over the world and we would have to work together to complete a project.
Those experiences helped shape me into a stronger group member. Finally, since going abroad to Australia I now want to see the rest of the world and I am hoping that my experience abroad will help me land a career where I can travel!