Adelle Desutter '21

Program: Australia Spring Semester

Major: Global Business Leadership and Biology


Why did you choose to study/intern abroad and how did you decide on this program?        

My ability to study abroad was a large component of my college decision - I viewed it as the ideal opportunity to travel and fully immerse myself in a different culture. I have dreamed of studying abroad in Australia for as long as I can remember - the culture, way of life, and off-the-beaten-path nature of the program captured my attention before I even was a student at CSB.

Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your program that made a lasting impression.   

The most prominent cultural experience that I was able to takeaway was learning about the experience of Australian Aboriginal people and the disturbing parallels between this population and that of Native Americans during and since colonization periods. I was looking forward to our class trip to an Aboriginal community to learn more about both their history and contemporary way of life. I was fortunate enough to learn as much as I could about this culture remotely.

Describe your overall study/internship abroad experience.    

My study abroad experience was simultaneously the most joyful and the most devastating experience of my life. The personal growth and enhancement of independence and character that I experienced as a result of traveling to Australia are unparalleled. The people that I traveled with on this program transformed from strangers to some of the closest people in my life now - both students and program directors. I cannot say enough about how incredible the opportunity to live in Perth was which is why our premature departure was so devastating. Leaving Australia as a result of COVID-19 safety concerns was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester or short term abroad? How has studying/interning abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development? 

The benefits of spending time abroad are endless but most prominently time abroad expands personal potential in one's ability to build relationships, adapt to unfamiliar circumstances, push boundaries in unfamiliar environments, learn in new academic structure, and appreciate new ways to look at the world. These acquired skills are imperative as we prepare to leave the bubble of our undergraduate community.

What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study/intern abroad?

Go. Prioritize your own personal growth and travel preferences over which programs your friends choose. Meeting new people and building friendships over new experiences is invaluable. You will meet new, likeminded people wherever you go. Lean into the less-than-ideal times and mishaps as they are so educational and indicate what is truly important in life. Take advantage of this opportunity wherever you choose to go as this experience cannot be replicated.