Spring 2020: Sydney Tomlinson

Following the spring 2020 semester, we reached out to students whose semesters were cut short due to the pandemic. We asked them what they miss about study abroad. While their study abroad programs were and forever will be unique, they were still able to get a lot out of their experiences.


  1. Why did you choose your specific program?

I chose to study abroad with IES Abroad Sydney at the University of New South Wales because it gave me the opportunity to attend a world-class university in the beautiful city of Sydney, Australia. Plus, I got to live close to the beach.

  1. What is something that you got out of the program academically?

I knew that I wanted to attend a university, rather than taking courses at a study abroad center, and IES Abroad Sydney gave me that opportunity. UNSW is one of the top universities in Australia and I was able to choose from hundreds of courses to fit my major and interests. I was able to fulfill major requirements, which isn't possible in all study abroad programs, as well as take all of my classes with Sydneysiders and other international students, giving me an authentic Australian uni experience.

  1. What is something you got out of the program personally?

Australia was always at the top of my travel bucket list, and although I didn't get the chance to see everything I planned because my program was cut short, I'll always be grateful for the few months I had. Living within walking distance of the beach, learning to surf, and making lifelong friends on the other side of the world were some of the best parts of my experience. I also solo-travelled to Thailand for two weeks during a break from classes and loved every minute of it - I'm already planning to go back.

  1. What would you say to someone who is considering study abroad during their time at IU?

If you're at all interested in studying abroad, absolutely do it. I was terrified when my parents dropped me off at the airport in January, but my time abroad was without a doubt one of the best experiences of my life (so far). I don't know anyone who's taken the plunge and studied abroad who regrets it. I know it's a cliche to say it changes your life, but it really does.

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