Studying abroad in Melbourne Australia

Group of students at the Moonlight Wildlife Sanctuary.
Posted by Katelyn Flahive on

Year: Sophomore

Major: Integrated Supply Management

Location: Melbourne Australia, Spring 2020 (Covid-19 impacted)

Subjects studied: Global Business, Organizational Behavior, Database Analysis & Design, and Indigenous Australian Experiences

Studying abroad in Melbourne Australia was one of the most unique experiences I have had. Although my semester program was cut short to only a month due to Covid-19, I was able to grow a lot both professionally and personally during my time abroad. This was my first time ever traveling alone to a country I have never been to. It took months of planning but I knew that it would be all worth it in the end, and I was right. Although American and Australian cultures are very similar, I had the opportunity to not only meet Australian students but many other international students from all over the world. Studying abroad definitely made me more globally connected. In America we live in our own little bubble and are really only concerned with what is going on in places close to home. Now that I have connections all over the world, I am more aware of the world around me and have a better understanding of different cultures.

Melbourne is a beautiful and lively city with so much to do. Some of my favorite things to do included trying out the different local food hotspots, exploring the street art in the city, or taking a boat ride down the Yarra River. Every day was a new adventure with something new to do and see. Outside of the study abroad program, I took an overnight trip down the Great Ocean Road. Although the company was not affiliated with the university, I had learned about this opportunity during welcome week. On this trip I had the opportunity to stop in different beach towns, walk through a forest and see Koala Bears in their natural habitat, and see the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge (which was absolutely beautiful!!). The highlight of this trip was our stop at Bluff Beach where we received surfing lessons. Although I wasn't able to fully stand up on the board, I know that if I went again I would be just as good as any other Australian surfer!

In my coursework I took a class called Indigenous Australian Experiences. I really enjoyed this unit because it was a very unique class and I had the opportunity to learn a lot about Australian culture and history. As an American, I am not as aware and conscious of the land I grew up on and the history that is behind it. Taking this class defiantly broadened my perspective of the world around me. Learning about how much meaning and spirituality the land holds to Indigenous Australians made me want to learn more about the history of where I have grown up in America. Studying abroad is truly an amazing experience that I think every student should take full advantage of it sometime during their educational career. Whether it be a short term or long term trip, the lessons learned are priceless and will be a major benefit in future endeavors.