studied in New Zealand and Australia through AustraLearn
I graduated from UND with a double major with a Bachelor in Accountancy and a Bachelor in business administration with a concentration in Managerial Finance & Corporate Accounting. I am currently working for PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP and my position is Assurance Associate.
Where did you go? When?
I traveled to New Zealand, Australia, and Fiji. I went to New Zealand first from early January 2009 to mid-February where I attended a traveling leadership course and traveled on my own for three weeks. Next, I went to Australia from mid-February till mid-June. Here I attended school at the University of Newcastle, in Newcastle, New South Wales. I took up International business classes and interned with the International department. Finally, I traveled Fiji for one week in late June on my return trip home.
I choose Australearn, which is the program that organized the leadership course and my studies and internship in Australia, because it was a very organized established study abroad program that helped me through everything. Passport, Visa, Health insurance, travel information, you name it they helped me with. I wanted to go somewhere warm and a place like our culture so I choose these countries and what a great place to be rather than winter in North Dakota. This program was also a great opportunity for me to maximize traveling these countries and allowed me see and learn so much about the local culture, places, and lifestyle of the local people.
Would you recommend this location to another student and why?
Of Course! I had the time of my life. If you have a chance to go, do it! There is no better time to go away for a few weeks, semester, or a year to see another part of the world and learn from it. I strongly recommend Australia and New Zealand; they are beautiful countries with so much to offer in traveling and education. There are so many students in America that do not travel outside the country, this is a great opportunity, take it!
What was your most memorable experience/day/moment?
I have so many! It is hard to pick just one. I have many beautiful things like the volcanoes and sounds in New Zealand to the Blue Mountains and Great Barrier Reef in Australia! I do not have one but the memories and experience of the whole trip would have to be it.
What was the worst experience/day?
The worst experience would have to be the chilly rainy days in May and June in Australia. That’s about it.
What are the benefits of studying abroad? (Personal/ academic)
The benefits are endless. At a personal level, it is a challenge for a person to be independent and responsible to travel on your own and do all the requirements to get to your destination and abide by all the rules and laws of that country and be able to travel at ease. It may not sound like much, but it is once you get there, trust me! You learn more about who you are, it allows a person to open up a bit once you are away from your norm and influences from home, this can really do a lot for you. It’s a challenge and not a lot of people are up for, that separates you from the rest in a lot of ways.
Academically, you learn a new style, culture, and environment from America. It helps us understand different way and to appreciate that. Most people are used to one thing and that is the norm the only way, which is not true. It our world so many things are going global, it’s important to learn new things from other cultures otherwise you are really falling behind with the times. Of course, some disciplines are better to learn abroad such as marine biology in Australia! Something to think about, this applies to any specialty for any country.
What advice would you give to somebody considering studying abroad?
Just do it! There is always a way to get financing. There are hundreds of scholarships available to get you where you might be interested in going. There is a lot of support from your international office and third party organizations to help you along the way, yes it is complex, but is doable! Use your resources! Find people that have gone ahead of you, there is a wealth of knowledge in prior travelers that can be very valuable, trust me. You can learn a lot from the good and bad mistakes people have made in the past. And finally, just ask questions; don’t be afraid to reach out. Good luck!