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Student Profiles

Kangaroos and wallabies ate straight out of our hands during this trip to a wildlife center.

Overseas Study Program

Adelaide,  Australia

Make friends with local students, not just other international students!”

Jessie Chen

Major: Biology

Year/term abroad: Fall 2014

Why did you choose this program? Because I am a biology major and premed student, I wanted to study in an English-speaking country that would offer courses that count towards my major. I also wanted to be an exchange student at a university rather than  part of a study abroad program that would have me spending all of my time with other international students. The University of Adelaide was perfect for these needs.

Describe your favorite class(es) abroad. I took two science classes and two humanities classes while abroad, all of which counted towards my majors and minors. My favorite classes were probably the humanities classes. One was a film course called Life on Screen: Social Issues through Film, and it focused on different topics each week such as femininity, masculinity, and sexuality found in various Australian films. My other humanities class, Popular Culture, took a similar approach in reference to popular culture topics like shopping, fandoms, internet, and street art.

What was the housing like on your study abroad program? I lived in a residential college called Lincoln College, which is not university-affiliated but is kind of similar to a dorm or frat. It is a 15-minute walk from campus and had between 100 and 200 residents, all of whom are university students. I liked it a lot because I got to interact with a lot of Australian students, meals were provided, and there were lots of sports, pub nights, and other activities to get involved in. I felt like I definitely got the true Australian student experience.

What advice would you like to give to future study abroad students? Make friends with local Australian students, not just other international students!

What’s your best memory from your time abroad? Petting and feeding kangaroos and wallabies!

What was your biggest surprise about the location, culture or other aspects of your program? The final exam testing was kind of intimidating, because they run things very differently from IU. The testing facility is a huge room with over 1500 desks and chairs, and exams for a huge number of different classes occur all at the same time in that one room. It was pretty nerve-wracking going into that room, but I survived!

Describe your experience with culture shock or reverse culture shock. I've been abroad many times before, so I didn't experience too much culture shock. One thing that caught me off guard was the fact that not only do Australians drive on the left side of the road, but they also walk on the left side of sidewalks. I had to make that adjustment quickly when I got to Australia, and then adjust back when I came back to America.

How did you find scholarships for study abroad? I received an exchange student scholarship through the Office of Overseas Studies. In addition, one of my preexisting scholarships had a study abroad stipend that I was able to use, and I was also offered a scholarship by the Australian government.