How old were you when you studied abroad?
I was 21 when I studied abroad here at Sydney University.
Which countries were you considering?
I was considering studying in either London or Sydney, primarily because the communications programs through Boston University were considered the best of the study abroad programs, but also because of the lack of a language barrier.
Why did you go with Sydney in the end?
Ultimately, I knew that I could pop over to London whenever I’d like. Sydney, on the other hand, was on the other side of the world I just decided that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to live so far away. Also, the beaches!
How did you afford the Sydney lifestyle?
I was lucky enough to have been able to save some money before I relocated here for the semester. My friends and I were able to travel on backpacker budgets for the most part by staying in hostels, booking trips early to take advantage of cheaper fares, etc. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to work while I was here, so as the end of the semester neared and my funds started to disappear, I had to solely rely on my parents for additional income.
What was life like for you when you returned home?
I was happy to have returned home with new, lifelong friends and some amazing memories. It’s hard to describe the longing I felt for Sydney after returning home.
What did your study abroad experience teach you?
Studying abroad made me more independent. I caught the travel bug. Wanted to see more of the world, learn more, meet more people, experience new things.
Do you feel it was a cultural experience studying in Australia?
I certainly think studying in Australia was a cultural experience. The Boston University study abroad program was also an internship program, so I had the opportunity to experience and learn directly from Australians in the advertising business. From a professional perspective, the worklife balance was certainly appealing; I remember my internship manager always encouraged me to take a full 30-60 minute break for lunch and drinks on Friday afternoons were the norm. There was something really attractive about the ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality in Sydney.
What are your recommendations for travel in Australia?
My top three picks are The Whitsundays, The Great Ocean Road and Fraser Island. I was lucky enough to get to travel a fair amount. I travelled to Cairns, the Daintree Rainforest, Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach and sailed through the Whitsundays on the best Spring Break trip ever; spent a weekend in Adelaide and on Kangaroo Island; and also did shorter trips to the Hunter Valley and Blue Mountains. At the end of my study abroad program, I travelled to New Zealand for two weeks and then to Fiji for a week after that. All on a bit of a backpacker budget, of course.