Samuel Z. Exchange Ambassador
What is one word to describe your study abroad experience:
"Exchange is an absolute MUST! It was the greatest experience of my life "
Exchange student at RMIT, Australia
Studying Business, majoring in Real Estate
- What is the best thing that happened while you were studying abroad?
Making new lasting friendships with different students across the world.
- What was the biggest cultural adaptation you had to make?
Melbourne was very similar to Toronto, so for me personally, there were no real cultural differences that I had to adapt to.
- Where was the coolest place you travelled to during your exchange?
I went on a spring break trip called One Fish Two Fish (highly recommended) where we got to travel the east coast of Australia with other students across Australia (primarily exchange students). It was one of the most fun weeks that I had on the trip and I got to see some of the most beautiful places that would be almost inaccessible to me if not for this experience.
- What is something that you know now, that you wish you knew before you studied abroad?
I wish that I would have not been so shy at the beginning of school and met more people from my classes. I only really started to become friends with people in my classes in the last two or so months, and it is a great way to meet local Australians.
- What was your best learning moment?
My best moment was my second night in Melbourne. Our residence had an outdoor party, and that was the night that I had met my 8 best friends of the whole trip. All of them are from Toronto (funny enough) and we still hang out today.
- Who was the hardest person to leave from home? How did you deal with that?
The hardest person to leave from home was my parents. I had always gone to sleep-over summer camp for 2 months, so it was not my first time leaving home. It was not hard for me to leave, but I did enjoy Facetiming my parents whenever I needed to see a friendly face. All in all, Facetime is something that I used to stay connected with friends and family while I was gone.
- Who was the hardest person to leave that you met while on exchange? How did you deal with that?
The hardest person that I had to leave from exchange was a guy from Miami that I had met. We had become really close over the course of exchange, and I am planning a trip to go out to his school in Florida to see him. We still speak to each other to this date, but it definitely was sad to say bye to a good friend.
- If you were to recommend exchange to your best friend, what would you say?
I would say that it is an absolute MUST! It was the greatest experience of my life; I got to meet so many new people and create some of my best memories.
- Would it be helpful to learn another language for this exchange?
In Australia, it was not helpful to know another language, as everyone speaks English.
- Did you live on- or off-campus? Would you recommend it, and why?
I lived in an off-campus residence called RMIT Village. I strongly recommend living there or in a building called Atria – LaTrobe. These were both residences with a strong social presence, where there is always something going on. I also believe that both of these buildings provide the perfect opportunity for exchange students to meet new people in the same position as them.
- How did you finance your study abroad experience?
My parents fully financed my study abroad experience. Everything from travelling around, a place to stay and food.
- What interesting courses did you get to take while studying abroad? What was the title of the course(s)?
One of the best courses that I took at RMIT was Internet for business (ISYS 2061) and Astronomy and black holes (PHYS 2086). Astronomy and black holes was definitely a little harder of a course, but if you stick with it, you can learn a lot and come out with a good grade.
- How are you including exchange on your resume?
I have listed it in the education section. I believe it adds a more complete and well-rounded picture of me, as I like to explore and try out new things.
- Is there any other helpful information you would like to provide to future study abroad participants?
For future study abroad students, I would strongly recommend coming into exchange with the mindset of going with the flow. Not everything is going to go the way you think it will, but I assure you that if you are easy-going, friendly and approach situations with an open mindset, you will have one of the greatest times of your life.