Spotlight on Study Abroad: Why Australia?

By The Beacon | September 15, 2014 2:05pm

This commentary is part of an ongoing series where students share their study abroad experiences and why other students should pursue the same opportunity. Guest Commentary by Josilyn Vankat

For all of the planning, class rearranging and preparation that goes into studying abroad, the hardest part for many people is coming back. Even at the start of my five month stay in Australia, I knew it was going to be the experience of a lifetime.

Luckily, I got to share that experience with 20 other UP students who all became close friends as we lived and explored together. Yet we still got the benefit of being a part of the University of Notre Dame, Australia, where we had classes with Australian students and professors. They helped show us around the beautiful coastal town of Fremantle we lived two blocks from, as well as the beach and the best coffee shops, restaurants and weekend markets.

As a part of the program, we also had the opportunity to visit a wildlife reserve, spend a weekend on Rottnest island off the coast, visit the wineries and lavender farms of Southern Australia and camp for a week with an Aboriginal family in the Outback.  The Outback trip especially was an incredible way to learn about a different culture.

Although I still miss the sunsets, the lingo we used in our conversations with Aussie friends and all the adventures we had, it makes me excited to keep traveling the world to experience new places.

I look forward to someday returning to the Land Down Under!