Sophie Kelly, Dec. '23
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
Australia was my dream study abroad location. We lived steps from the ocean in a small costal town. There were paths for walking and coffee on every corner. I always dreamed of learning to surf and watching sunsets over the ocean. The Australia program allowed me to live out these dreams and meet some pretty incredible people along the way!
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your program that made a lasting impression.
Australia is a unique program because you live in a residence hall with about 20 other students. There are students from all over the United States as well as students from Australia. During my semester abroad, I met Anna. She was one of the students from Australia; we very quickly became best friends. I still talk to her regularly and I know if I ever get the opportunity to go visit, she will gladly host me.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Overall, I loved Australia. The town felt safe, people were inviting, and the sun was almost always shining. Genuinely, this is a place I would consider living in the future. Admittedly, the course work is difficult, but there are lots of resources offered by UNDA to help the students succeed.
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?
Studying abroad has really opened my eyes to the world beyond St. Joe. I am obsessed with CSB and SJU; I grew up on these campuses and being here has always felt like home. However, studying abroad has fostered my passion for exploring all this beautiful planet has to offer. It has made me more empathetic, accepting, and appreciative of other cultures.
What advice can you offer for CSB+SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
Please GO!! Studying abroad is an experience you will never get again. This school makes traveling accessible to everyone so take advantage of it!