Alumni Spotlight: Megan Donnelly

Megan Donnelly is from Warwick, Rhode Island and studied exercise science and Spanish in Gold Coast, Australia. She enjoys staying active, the outdoors, sightseeing and learning other languages. She aspires to continue her travels by next visiting Europe.

Why did you decide to study abroad with Globalinks in Australia?

Megan Donnelly now loves koalas

Megan: GlobaLinks had a lot to offer by choosing their program. When I was first deciding between programs, I noted that the price of this program was a little more costly than others. However when you weigh what this programs gives you, the cost becomes a less significant offer. The staff help me every step of the way and answered all my parents’ and my questions. This was especially helpful because my university did not help with any with much of the process prior to leaving. In addition to being incredibly helpful and genuinely caring about all their students, they offered amazing opportunities in Australia.

At the start of the trip, all students going to my university from GlobaLinks spent 5 days on the Great Barrier Reef. I got to snorkel in the reef, pet kangaroos and hold a koala for the first time. It would have been much more difficult to do all of that if I had to plan it myself. GlobaLinks also set up our housing, which would have been really stressful if I had to do it.

What do you think made this experience unique and special?

Megan: I grew up quite a bit from this experience. Prior to this trip, I had never traveled outside the US, much less the east coast, so I was a very inexperienced traveler. I planned many trips own my own which was a totally new experience. Also it was the first time I lived alone and had to make meals for myself which was definitely a learning experience. It was also an opportunity to learn cooking technique and bond some of the other residents/students.

Beautiful photo of the Sydney Harbour

Studying abroad is a unique opportunity that allows you to immerse yourself in a new culture and allow yourself to be vulnerable and open to trying new things. The people I met abroad are truly some of the most amazing people, and will always be in my life. The people you surround yourself really influence your experience and add to it.

How has this experience professionally impacted your future?

This experience has made me a well-rounded individual and I have become much more culturally aware and culturally sensitive. I took my first upper level Spanish class and I gain knowledge that not only applied to future Spanish classes I would take, but that I could apply to future classes and the real world. The major assignment in that class was to create a company and hold mock interview, as well as being mock interview by a company. I learned how to create a good resume, what a cover letter should contain and how to conduct and prepare myself for an interview.

Describe an example when GlobaLinks went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure you had a great experience abroad.

Megan: An example of how GlobaLinks went above and beyond was the fact that they were always available no matter where we were. Whether it was before we left and were in the United States or when we were in Australia during school or traveling around. There was always someone in Australia, from GlobaLinks to take care of any issue we may have come across.