Why did you decide to study abroad with Globalinks?
I chose GlobaLinks mostly because of its great reputation as a study abroad provider. My brother studied abroad through Globalinks as well and his positive feedback definitely influenced me to apply for their programs. I felt supported by employees throughout the whole process – from when I was applying to after I returned. I was also very impressed with the wide array of study abroad destinations they offered and eventually decided on Australia (after much research) because of its great weather and proximity New Zealand and Southeast Asia. Griffith University, Gold Coast seemed like the perfect fit for me since I hadn’t taken a foreign language in quite a few years and felt my skills were not up to par.
What made this study abroad experience unique and special?
During my study abroad experience, I made sure to really put myself out there and try things I wouldn’t normally do. Some of those “bucket list” things that I eventually accomplished during my 6 months abroad included skydiving, bungy jumping, white water rafting, and glacier hiking and much, much more.
I was also able to go on a last-minute trip to Indonesia, where my friends and I planned things as we went! I found that that was made my trip very unique and special – I had never before been so carefree and had that “go-with-the-flow” attitude. It felt weirdly empowering to not really know where the next destination was or what hostel we would be staying at for the night. It forced us to ask the locals (who know best!) and get their recommendations about cool things that were off the beaten path.
How has this experience impacted your future?
Professionally, I feel like I am able to relate my study abroad experience to job interviews and job applications. Since I’ve been back, I’ve been asked about studying abroad in almost every job interview I’ve had. Potential employers are interested in how I’ve changed as a person and what kind of impact studying abroad has made – I love to explain how I’ve become more independent, more outgoing, and just more open-minded in general.
Academically, I had to adapt to the semester system, which I had never experienced before! At first it was a challenge, but I quickly caught on and started to really enjoy my classes. I received non-major related courses, which was a nice break from the tons of Business classes I am used to taking. I’m now very interested in liberal arts because of the classes I took and was highly considering a liberal arts minor upon my return.
Tell us about an experience you had that you could not have had at home?
Not only did I venture out of my comfort zone, but I made it a point to join my school’s volleyball team! I was one of the only Americans on the girls’ team; the boys’ team was made up of mostly Canadians! I practiced with the team once a week and often had to rely on my teammates for rides to practice since I didn’t have a car. I quickly felt very included and respected by my peers, whom I was very nervous about impressing! They were all so nice and wanted to know about my experience with volleyball in America. We all traveled to a week-long tournament together in Adelaide, which is where we really bonded and we were able to win a Silver medal. That experience is something I will never forget!