Dialogue with: Marist Senior Kat, Study Abroad Australia
“Since I was in a foreign country and going into it knowing no one, I had to open up and get to know people.”
Meet Kat. She’s a senior at Marist College and one of my good friends. She studied abroad in Melbourne, Australia last semester and had the time of her life. Lucky for you, she told me all about her experiences abroad in an interview. Read on to hear about her Australian adventures!
1. Why did you choose this study abroad location? What are the top 5 sites to see?
I choose this study abroad location because I always wanted to go to Australia. My cousin studied abroad there and had an awesome experience so she influenced my decision to go.
The top 5 sites to see in Australia are The Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Opera House, Daintree Rainforest (oldest rainforest in the world), Sydney Harbor Bridge, and Bondi Beach.
2. Which one of these was your favorite?
My favorite was the Great Barrier Reef because it lived up to expectations as being the world’s largest coral reef and one of the 7 natural wonders of the natural world! I snorkeled there and it was so breathtaking to see everywhere with my own eyes. It was filled with bright colors and awesome animals like sharks, rainbow fish, starfish and clownfish.
3. How did you live like a local in your study abroad city?
Living like a local was easy because I lived in a house with 8 local Australians. They showed me the ways of living like how to use the public transportation and how to navigate around the city. They also taught me how to drive on the opposite side of the road, which was scary at first but an overall great experience!
3. What was the most amazing cultural experience you encountered while studying abroad?
I went to an Australian football game and it was nothing like an American football game. It was extremely fun; the crowd was so into it. At first, it was a little overwhelming but it was an amazing cultural experience. After winning the game, the super fans were rowdy creating crowd of cheering fans. I got stuck in this but came out of it meeting these well-known super fans!
4. How has this Study Abroad impacted on your personal growth?
It made me more independent because I was so far away from family and friends. It also made me a more outgoing person. Since I was in a foreign country and going into it knowing no one, I had to open up and get to know people.
5. What advice/tips would you give to yourself before you went abroad?
I would tell myself not to worry about money and try to experience everything and anything. Someday, I will pay back my parents but the chance to be living in Australia for a semester is once in a lifetime opportunity.
6. What was your most interesting story abroad?
When I traveled to New Zealand, I sky dived in Taupo! I had to book it in advance and was really nervous in the days beforehand. Once I got onto the plane, my nerves completely went away and I was excited for the free fall. It was the most interesting and amazing experience! The views were incredible of the lake and surrounding environment. I would recommend this to anyone, as long as you’re not scared of heights.
Kat wants to return to Australia one day to explore more of the country and meet up with the friends that she made while studying abroad. I admire how she went into this knowing no one but ended up opening up, becoming more outgoing and making amazing friends!