Jillian M. Exchange Ambassador
What is one word to describe your study abroad experience:
"It can be scary and it can be tough to be away from home. However, through this discomfort, you will learn amazing things about what you are capable of and what values you want to hold."
Exchange student at La Trobe University, Australia
- What is the best thing that happened while you were studying abroad?
I think the number one thing I will take away from this exchange is the people I met, the friends I made, and the connections I’ve made with people from all around the world.
- Where was the coolest place you travelled to during your study abroad experience?
I had the opportunity to travel for over a month in South East Asia before starting school which was absolutely sensational. In Australia, one of my favourite places would be the Great Ocean Road (anywhere with the Ocean is great for me!!).
- What was the biggest cultural adaptation you had to make?
Australia is very Westernized, and therefore there was not a great need for cultural adaptation. However, I did try to immerse myself in the culture, particularly regarding their Aboriginal history.
- Who was the hardest person to leave from home? How did you deal with that?
My mom was probably that person from me. I have spent months away from home before, but a great thing is how easy it is to stay connected with people back home. Also sending/receiving mail is always very special and heart-warming.
- Who was the hardest person to leave that you met while on exchange? How did you deal with that?
My two best friends that I made on exchange were Australian, so leaving them was absolutely heartbreaking. But I continued to remind myself that I will be back to visit my second home.
- What is something that you know now, that you wish you knew before you studied abroad?
Don’t stress too much about each and every thing on your to-do list for going away! Everything will fall into place!
- What was your best learning moment?
Always check what airport you buy your plane ticket to/from.
- If you were to recommend exchange to your best friend, what would you say?
It can be scary and it can be tough to be away from home. However, through this discomfort, you will learn amazing things about what you are capable of and what values you want to hold.
- Would it be helpful to learn another language for this exchange?
Not in Australia, no!
- Did you live on-campus or off-campus? Would you recommend it, and why?
On-campus, would 100% recommend. I felt instantly at home and met a lot of Australians as well as exchange students. It made it easier to engage in the community and really feel like this is my second home.
- How did you finance your study abroad experience?
I had been saving up for years and years. Summer jobs and picking up shifts here and there.
- What interesting courses did you get to take while studying abroad? What was the title of the course(s)?
My favourite course was Australian Fauna and Ecology. This is very applicable to my field but interesting to learn about the animals from the country I was living in.
- How are you including exchange on your resume?
I will add it in my experiences as well as use it to talk about the personal growth I experienced and how I overcame some big obstacles.
- Is there any other helpful information that you would like to share with future study abroad participants?
I had always wanted to go on an exchange but in the months leading up to the deadline I was unsure. I would’ve deeply regretted not applying, so always do just in case, even if you are feeling doubtful!