Why did you choose this program? I chose this program because I was accepted as an exchange student. Also, the Australian National University has a wide variety of classes which better fit my degree.
Describe your favorite class(es) abroad. My favorite class abroad was Australia's Environment. It was interesting to learn about an environment and wildlife so unlike ours in the United States. Also, we were able to go on a three day field trip which was a great experience. I was able to travel to places in Australia that I wouldn't have been able to otherwise.
What was the housing like on your study abroad program? My housing was a dorm, or college as they call it in Australia, where I had a large, single room. The college was catered so they provided food as well.
What advice would you like to give to future study abroad students? I would tell future study abroad students to say yes to as many things as you can while abroad. See as many things as you can but also keep in mind your there to study. The balance is tough but definitely worthwhile.
What’s your best memory from your time abroad? My best memory from my time abroad would probably have to be when we all had a potluck in one of the residence halls. It was mostly exchange students so there were probably 15 different cuisines and cultures all in one place. It was an awesome meal!
What was your biggest surprise about the location, culture or other aspects of your program? The biggest surprise about my location was how cold it was in winter. It doesn't compare to the winter here in Indiana but it definitely wasn't shorts weather when I arrived in July. Go prepared!
What do you wish someone had told you before you left? Don't be afraid to ask questions! Ask for directions, ask about their culture, ask about language differences. Almost always someone is willing to help and answer your questions.
What was your greatest challenge? My first week was by far my greatest challenge because I did not have my luggage. I had to ask my dorm for a blanket my first night because I didn't have anything! I had to buy all new clothes, a new computer, and much more to make it that first week. Dealing with the airlines is not easy but it can be done.
What fact about your host country do you think people would be surprised to learn? I think most people would be surprised at how expensive to live it is in Australia. The minimum wage is much higher which drives the cost of living up. The food is especially expensive in Australia compared to here in the states.
How did you find scholarships for study abroad? The scholarship meeting at the Office of Overseas Study was really helpful. Also, just talking to the study abroad advisors about different scholarships and locations is a good idea.