Alumni Spotlight: Laura Scaduto

Why did you decide to study abroad with AustraLearn at Macquarie University?

Laura: When I decided that I wanted to study abroad in Australia, I worked with my college’s study abroad office in finding the right program for me. Unfortunately my University did not have any programs set up in Sydney, so I was given information about a company named AustraLearn who had an established program at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. After doing a bit of research on the Internet, I was already taken with the location, beauty of the campus, and great courses I could take. Macquarie has a strong study abroad program, meaning it caters well to students like myself who will be adjusting and studying in a new environment, and I had a lot of help and support from my teachers there. AustraLearn was fantastic to say the least. They helped me from beginning to end and made the whole trip smooth.

What made your study abroad experience unique and special?

Laura: Having traveled a good amount before I studied abroad I did not expect this trip to impact me as much as it did. I reminisce frequently about my trip, but I guess you can say it’s the friends I made that made it so special to me. It sounds cliché, but I truly believe it. My group of friends were eclectic. There was one from Colorado, Vermont, Ireland, New York, and myself, from Pennsylvania. And of course we socialized with Aussies! We took many trips to the beautiful beaches surrounding Sydney, and other trips such as New Zealand. If it wasn’t for them, my time abroad would have been very different.

Laura with some friends in Australia!

How has this experience impacted your future?

Laura: I have loved to travel long before I went on this trip, but it only cemented my passion of traveling more for me. The social grace and cultural understanding you get from traveling is irreplaceable. I am definitely more open to different beliefs and views, and believe it has made me a well -rounded individual. Academically it has also opened my eyes to how cultures see topics differently. For example, I took an economics class while I was at Macquarie, and heard what Australian students though of our government. Instead of defending, I took an observational approach, and learned a lot.

I feel very blessed to have had this opportunity and encourage other college student’s to work with their study abroad programs and find one that fulfills your dreams. And don’t forget to pack a journal, you’ll want to remember your trip forever!