Semester Abroad (SA): University of New South Wales, Australia
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The unique aspect of my time abroad was that it abruptly ended due to COVID-19 and I was forced to quickly make arrangements to come back to the United States and complete the rest of my studies online at home. At the same time, I got to experience three amazing months abroad and attend the University of New South Wales. Ultimately, I had to pack up and leave Australia within 24 hours, leaving the life I had become used to over my time abroad. The difficult decisions I had to make and the quick actions I ultimately encountered allows me to give advice to students who have concerns about abroad. While the experience was scary and full of uncertainty, I believe that the Penn abroad team did an incredible job supporting students and giving us meaningful advice during this scary time. While abroad is a one-in-a-lifetime experience, students will often encounter experiences that require difficult and quick decisions, and I hope to be able to offer prospective students the comfort and resources given any situations they face.
My Experience Abroad:
During my time abroad, I was able to complete courses that related to my major while, and the same time, explore topics and issues of Australia. Studying abroad in a country so far away from home, I was able really expand on my globalization concentration for my major and saw how it affects Australia as much as in the United States. This was really helpful in gaining a world-view understanding of my concentration and being able to examine case-studies that were specifically applicable to Australian history. Aside from my major, I also took a course on marine environment as an elective, and I was not only able to apply what I learned in Oceanography at Penn, but I also able to see the things we studied first-hand on the field trips to beaches we took as a class. Overall, it was really interesting to take my coursework at Penn and study different perspectives at a different school in a different country.
Meeting people from other schools and the country itself. While my time abroad was cut short, I have definitely met people that will be my friends for life!
Traveling to other countries. I travelled to Asia at the beginning of abroad and my friends and I learned so much about new cultures, ate delicious food, and saw amazing places that I will never forget.
Having a break from the Penn experience. It was extremely refreshing to study at a new school. This experience not only made me appreciate Penn, but being in a new academic setting put me out of my comfort zone and forced me to be more independent.