John is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Australia
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I decided to study abroad because I knew that living and studying in a foreign country for an entire semester would be a once in a lifetime opportunity that would be incredibly fun and rewarding.
I decided to studying abroad in Australia for a number of reasons. My brother was apart of the same program four years prior and highly recommended that I consider the program. In addition, the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle, WA offered numerous biology course that would count towards my major.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
For my Australian history and society course and study abroad seminar course my fellow classmates and I traveled seven hours east of Perth, WA and camped in the'outback'. Our guides for this week long excursion were of Aboriginal descent(indigenous Australians). Our guides provided many insightful teachings and stories regarding their culture and way of life; in turn, they provided me with an entirely new perspective regarding indigenous cultures.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
I thoroughly enjoyed my study abroad experience. I made many lasting friendships and obtained many cherished memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?
There are many benefits to studying abroad for a semester. This semester will undeniably be the most memorable of college; and for many students their most fun semester. Living, traveling, and studying in a foreign is an experience that cannot be taught in a classroom and has great potential to provide positive personal development.
My experience of studying abroad in Australia has provided extensive personal development. The independence of living so far from home and in an entirely foreign culture and society caused me to mature greatly. I was forced to view my finances in an entirely different perspective. I learned to travel and how to respectfully conduct myself in foreign countries. I was forced to balance my studies and fun to an even greater extent in comparison to life at SJU. Finally, I feel that I have developed professionally for I now have a greater understanding of peoples from other cultures and ways of life.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
My advice for students considering to studying abroad is to do it. For students who are already planning to study abroad they are making a great decision that they will not regret. Do not worry about not knowing any other students in your study abroad program before hand, you will make numerous new friendships; everyone I have talked to has. Also, even though studying abroad can be financially worrisome and inconvenient in regards to completing all of one's requirements of classes; this should not deter you from studying abroad. The ability to study and live abroad for an entire semester is a once in a lifetime opportunity that you will not regret.