Why did you decide to study abroad with Globalinks?
When researching my future semester abroad I scanned and searched for a variety of options, such as direct providers and exchange/transfers. When I attending URI’s Study Abroad Fair I met with the friendliest of staff from GlobaLinks, answering several questions of mine and providing helpful advice. GlobaLinks was cost-effective, offering several scholarships and because my school was affiliated with GlobaLinks I was given an additional discount. Something myself, and my parents loved!
What did Globalinks do for you and what did you need to do on your own?
I owe it to GlobaLinks for organizing majority of the work required to study abroad. With their online website I was provided with an account that had a “to do list”, which listed every task needed to complete with a due date. Such as, selecting housing preferences, submitting your intended subject plan, applying for a visa, and more.
Studying abroad requires a substantial amount of paperwork, and I felt as through GlobaLinks helped ease my workload by keeping me on track. Pre-departure GlobaLinks provided several information sessions, both online and in person – covering topics such as creating a budget plan, how to study, healthcare options, and alumni to speak from experience. For my first week spent in Australia, GlobaLinks had all students studying at the same Uni participate in their Bridging Cultures Program. In my program, I was able to enjoy wonderful meals, experience the amazing wildlife Australia has to offer, spend a day out on the Great Barrier Reef, meet 40 students all attending the same University with me, all before the academic semester began. Having such great company along with a set schedule allowed me to ease some of my worries and anxieties about my upcoming experiences and just relax and enjoy what this experience has to offer. Meeting a large group of people, feeling quite similarly to myself also eased my transition.
What was the best place you visited outside of your study abroad city?
Besides the Gold Coast, I was able to see several parts of Australia including, Cairns, Byron Bay, Moreton Island, Sydney, and Melbourne, With so many places to see and only a few short months spent abroad it ‘s difficult to travel to every desired destination. But, I made certain that I would have the opportunity to travel to New Zealand. With GlobaLinks, I was able to make this a reality and stay a few nights in Queenstown, NZ – all costs were included in my program fee. It was here in Queenstown I took a literal leap of faith and bungee jumped the world’s first ever bungee site, the Kawarau Bridge. I believe that this particular “leap of faith” epitomized my experience abroad, it was unplanned, I was unaccompanied and it was unforgettable. This particular experience gave me a chance in a very focused way to embrace something that was frightening and in a very deliberate way I overcame it, I felt so good about that. I loved experiencing the scenery and adrenaline; I’ll never forget it. I was so proud of myself that day; I don’t think I would have been able to overcome this obstacle if it weren’t for spending time abroad.
If you could do-over one thing, what would it be?
I would have spent an entire year abroad rather than just one semester. Although I feel so fortunate to have had an incredible study abroad experience, more time to experience the local culture, and time to travel would have been ideal. I remember thinking that my time spent abroad passed so rapidly, I felt as though four months vanished before me in seconds.
Do you think your program changed you as a person?
Absolutely. GlobaLinks allowed me to study abroad and experience life in another culture, vastly different from my own. Not only did this alter my academic and professional goals, but my entire perspective on how to live my life and who I am as an individual. Studying abroad is much more than just a travel itinerary. I believe that this life-changing experience has made me develop myself into the person I have always wanted to become. Studying abroad forced me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to reshape myself as a global citizen. I was motivated to engage with the culture, to try new things, learn in an entirely different setting, meet new people and explore and immerse myself in another culture. This coming spring I am traveling to Nepal for two weeks, an experience I feel more prepared for as a result of studying abroad with GlobaLinks.