With so many places to study abroad how do you know what program is the right one for you? I’ll give you a little insight on how I made my decision. I was a freshman and I attended the Education Abroad Fair where you can see and hear about amazing places to study abroad. I walked into the fair not knowing what to expect and I left with a passion to study abroad. While walking through out the fair I came across the poster for Newcastle, Australia and became intrigued. It was so beautiful and everything about it seemed so wonderful. I was sent more information on this program and set up a meeting with one of the interns in the office. We talked about Australia and I knew it was the place for me. My parents travel a lot and a few years before I came to Platteville they took a cruise to Australia and New Zealand. After returning they showed me pictures of their time and I fell in love. I knew I had to go there someday and studying abroad was the perfect chance.
I decided to study abroad in Newcastle, Australia in the fall of 2013 (1st semester of my junior year).I was so excited! My dream of going to Australia had finally come true. Leaving my friends and family for 4 and a half months was hard, but I knew that the experience I would get in return would be the time of my life! I was greeted in Newcastle by Rayna and Jason; our coordinators (also known as my Australian parents). Upon arrival I also got to meet the other 13 individuals I would be spending the semester with. Throughout my time in Australia I had the opportunity to do so many amazing things. I climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, went jet boating on the Sydney Harbour, traveled to Melbourne, Cairns, New Zealand, and Whitsundays, and most importantly I got a different view of the world. I met so many great people and I now have friends all over the world. I loved learning about new languages and cultures. My passion for travel was born in Australia and never left me even though I came back to the states. It’s the little things that make your experience a great one; like having your roommate become your best friend, spending every weekend exploring new places and meeting new people, attending classes in a new setting, and having the people that your study abroad with become your Aussie family. I left my heart in Australia and I knew that when I left I would return someday.
Upon returning from Australia I had the opportunity to be a Global Amigo, be an International Orientation Leader, and most importantly become the Marketing and Outreach Intern for the Education Abroad Office. My last year and a half on campus has been great and I am so glad that I have had the chance to be involved in so many great opportunities. During my intern position I had the opportunity to talk with heaps of students about studying abroad. Not just in Australia, but everywhere. It’s honestly one of my favorite parts of the job. I got a chance to talk with people about my amazing experience and my life changing time. Talking about my experience with students made me realize how much I missed it and how much I really wanted to go back. I graduate in May and I have decided to work/holiday in Newcastle Australia. I have decided to go back because studying abroad changed my life and I love the country.
My heart is still in Australia and I can’t wait to make more memories. You have the world in yourhands and you can do anything and go anywhere you want, why not go discover what is out there. Do it while your young because you don’t know where life to is going to take you. Studying abroad taught me to take risks and to do things that are out of my comfort zone. Moving to Australia is a big risk and is a little bit out of my comfort zone, but I see an opportunity in it and I am going to go for it. I don’t want to go through life always asking myself, what if? In the end we always regret the chances we never took. If not now, when?
Your Fellow Adventurer,
So as you can see from Brittany's time abroad she truly admired her time in Australia so much that she is moving back! It really is a beautiful experience to fall in love with a country. Once you get the travel bug it never goes away, but rather becomes a lifetime love affair. The University of Newcastle is one of UW-Platteville's main six Education Abroad Programs. Our office knows endless information about it and if it sounds like the right fit for you come into the office today to learn more! Every country, not just Australia, has so much to offer and it's own unique experiences. It doesn't matter what country you start your journey in, just as long as you do.