"Write a Review on your Study Abroad Experience for a chance to win a trip back overseas".
I rave about my trip abroad to almost everybody who will listen. So when I saw this opportunity on the CIS Abroad Instagram, I jumped at the idea of writing a review of my semester and how CIS abroad brilliantly accommodated me, and my friends also in this program with me. So, I guess I should start from the beginning...
Everybody always says how much studying abroad changes you. In fact, when I told my family and friends that I was going to Australia (which had been a goal two years in the making) I heard one or two things repeatedly. First one being, "Wow! It's going to have such a amazing impact on your life! Watch, you'll see", and the other set of people saying, "Meet yourself a nice Australian man!". So naturally, on the plane over I had such high expectations of things I was going to do, and the people I would meet in a few short hours. Even from when I was picked up at the airport, I knew that CIS Abroad staff in Australia and back home had my back. Jackie Chapman was one of those people. She made this group of college students really bond with each other. It was like we were all one big family.
The excursions planned for the first few days were probably one of my highlights of the whole trip. In just three short days we managed to see so much of beautiful Cairns, got to meet such amazing people, and got to be adventurous in multiple activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef (I ended up falling in love with scuba diving from this encounter) , holding Koalas, feeding kangaroos, embracing and learning about Aboriginal Australian people, and so much more!
The fun did not stop there! Throughout the semester students in the CIS Abroad program also had optional excursions such as hiking, and food meet-ups! Jackie was amazing at organizing us all and making sure that we knew that if we needed anything, that she would be there.
So, with my time coming to a close in Australia, I looked back on what all those people had said to me. Australia changed my life for the better. I found myself and watched myself grow and with all the travel that I did, grew a maturity that I did not have before. CIS Abroad assisted me with this change, and gave me the opportunity to open my eyes to the world of travel. I cannot thank CIS Abroad more, they made me realize that I love traveling, and I love living in Australia. In the next few years I plan to travel back and get back in touch with all the friends CIS abroad has helped me make.
As I got on the plane and looked behind me at Australia for the last time, I smiled and reminisced on the places I went to, the people I met, the experiences I had. My semester went better than I could ever imagine. I would 100000% recommend that others use CIS Abroad and travel the world to gain culture experiences and knowledge about other places besides the United States. If somebody I knew were to go on the exact same program I went on, my biggest piece of advice would be,
1. To take advantage of all the activities presented through CIS Abroad and Bond University, and
2. Really embrace your time in Australia- it goes by way too fast!
Thank you so much CIS Abroad for a amazing semester, and for changing my life for the better!