Bethany W. Exchange Ambassador
What is one word to describe your study abroad experience:
"Be open to new things, these are the things that will make your trip even better"
Exchange student at Victoria University Melbourne
Studying Psychology and Criminology
- What is the best thing that happened while you were studying abroad?
Met cool, like-minded people who were always pushing me out of my comfort zones and making me a lot more independent.
- What was the biggest cultural adaptation you had to make?
Everyone is so relaxed and puts family and social life before work and stress and they use crazy slang in Australia.
- Where was the coolest place you travelled to during your exchange?
Fraser Island, I got to see a bunch of dingos and amazing sunsets.
- What is something that you know now, that you wish you knew before you studied abroad?
The transit system is a little hard to understand at first but you’ll make it work.
- What was your best learning moment?
Travelling alone, finding out what I like and what I don't. It really shaped how I act now back at home.
- Who was the hardest person to leave from home? How did you deal with that?
It may be a tie between my parents and my boyfriend. They all wrote me letters before I left which I could read when I was homesick and that helped. I was also lucky enough that they both came to visit me and we would have designated FaceTime dates because the time change made it a little difficult to coordinate.
- Who was the hardest person to leave that you met while on exchange? How did you deal with that?
My direct roommate, she was my best friend over there and leaving her was almost just as hard as when I had to leave home. We still keep in contact and I actually just went and visited her in NYC and she is planning on coming to Toronto in May.
- If you were to recommend exchange to your best friend, what would you say?
You need to do it, it changed my life and was the best decision I’ve ever made. The world is soooo big and you need to go see parts of it before its too late.
- Would it be helpful to learn another language for this exchange?
- Did you live on- or off-campus? Would you recommend it, and why?
I lived off-campus in the city, I recommend it for sure if you do not have a lot of days with classes because it was a 40 min bus ride to campus from the city, but it was completely worth it, I was able to see a lot more of Melbourne then most people who lived on campus.
- How did you finance your study abroad experience?
I commuted the first semester of my third year to save money on rent and also worked non-stop during the summer and school year. Additionally, I am grateful my parents covered my rent in Melbourne, which took a huge burden off of me.
- What interesting courses did you get to take while studying abroad? What was the title of the course(s)?
I took the psychology of adjustment and it was really interesting because it was all about how we cope with change and how we can learn more about ourselves in times of stress and it directly applied to my life.
- How are you including exchange on your resume?
I am applying to be a travel tour guide with EF tours, and this is a big thing I am emphasizing, also for any jobs I include that I am an independent and responsible and also mention that I lived across the world for 5 months alone.
- Is there any other helpful information you would like to provide to future study abroad participants?
Be open to new things, these are the things that will make your trip even better. But also learn to take care of yourself, when I felt overwhelmed or homesick I needed to go for a walk around and look at the scenery to remind myself that I am in the coolest place ever and I will eventually have to leave and go home.