Grace Krautkremer is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Australia
Minor: Global Business
Student Athlete: Dance Team
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I decided to travel abroad because I wanted to explore the world and immerse myself in a new culture. I chose Australia because it was a place I had always wanted to travel and explore. I decided to go abroad my sophomore year because I thought it would work best with my education. The decision to go abroad was one of the best decisions I have ever made and would go again in a heartbeat.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
I have two favorite cultural experiences. The first was living at the P&O with people from all over the world like Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and even Jersey (a small island off of France). They taught us about their culture by teaching us how to make homemade dumplings and even a few words in their native tongue. We became a family and that is something special I never expected to get while abroad. The second one was our field trip to Albany, Australia. We were able to interact with Aboriginal people and hear their stories.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
I tried to find the words to describe my four and half months abroad but the only words I could think of was spectacular. It taught me more about myself than I ever expected and it flew by way too fast. I learned to take risks whether it was putting myself out their to meet new people or saying yes to countless opportunities. For example, I never thought in a million years I would be driving on the wrong side of the road or being stranded on a ranch in the outback looking up at the beautiful night sky. These were only two small adventures and I would recommend to always say yes. I found myself boogie boarding down rapids in New Zealand and swimming with elephants in Thailand. Honestly, the best part of studying abroad were the friendships I made.
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?
My study abroad experience was one of the best experiences of my life and has taught me so much about myself. I personally learned that I can survive on my own and I mean really survive. When your family lives half-way across the world in a different time zone you have to learn how to survive. I also realized that I am willing to try new things and face my fears. For one, I hated Thai food and now I love Pad Thai. I also was deathly afraid of birds which has gone away since living by the ocean for five months.
Academically, I have learned how to write several research papers that are publish worthy in order to get a good grade. I also learned that it is okay to fail and when you do how to get back up. During this stay, I made real connections and had experiences that will help in the future.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
For students who are considering going abroad or are unsure about taking the plunge to go abroad, do it! It will be the most eye-opening, breath-taking, cultural experience of your life. For students who are going abroad, I recommend taking every opportunity thrown your way and don't be afraid to try new things. I highly recommend meeting new people especially the locals because they are capable of showing you places that only locals know about.