I AM GOING TO AUSTRALIA!!! I am studying abroad in Melbourne, Australia, this semester and I could not be more excited. From the moment I applied to CUA’s Nursing School, I knew that I wanted to take advantage of the study abroad opportunities that they offer to nursing students. Many nursing programs do not offer study abroad because the curriculum is so structured and specific. However, CUA has a direct branch campus in Australia, so they offer an exchange program! That means Australia sends ten students to study abroad in DC and CUA sends ten students to study abroad there each semester. What is truly incredible is that because they are a branch campus, the curriculum does not change–we are able to take the same exact courses abroad that we would be able to if we remained at CUA.
There are so many things that I am excited about specifically as the time for my departure approaches. We will be living in off campus apartments, and the apartment that I will be located in is across the street from a huge and very popular market. I am SO excited to go to the market to get my groceries because since we are off campus we are going to be making our own meals. This means I have the opportunity to learn a bunch of new and fun recipes that I can bring back and recreate in the US. I am also very excited to travel while we are in Australia. Although we are going to be living and learning in Melbourne and will definitely explore all that the city has to offer, there are a few other places we plan on journeying to while we are 23 hours away from the great United States (YES! You did read that correctly. I will be flying 23 hours with only one three-hour layover.) – Some of the places I plan to adventure to are in the country like Sydney of course, as well as Cannes to see the Great Barrier Reef! Then there are a few nearby places just off the coast that we would like to also get to like New Zealand, Tasmania, and possibly Bali. OH! This is a fun one… Australia’s seasons are actually opposite from the seasons in the US, so while in America, February is the coldest month of the year, in Australia it is the hottest! So I will be flying out of Philadelphia while it is covered in snow and landing in Australia where it is a balmy 110 degrees Fahrenheit. But this means plenty of summer sun and beautiful weather!
I would be lying if I said that it’s a simple process to prepare to go abroad. There is a lot to think of and arrange. First of all I had to apply for my Australian visa. Since I will be studying nursing while I am there, I was required to get some medical exams done in order for my visa approval, and while they were not a big pain, but it is an extra step in the process! I also had to confirm my housing, another painless process, but one that may be overlooked when considering studying abroad. Since I will be gone for so long, I also had decided to apply to unlock my phone with AT&T in order to get and Australian SIM card to avoid international fees. There are plenty of other little things to think of like buying outlet converters and packing peanut butter (they only have vegemite and I LIVE off of peanut butter), but overall the excitement completely outweighs any stress and I could not be happier or feel more blessed for this opportunity. See you soon, Australia!