Hello everyone! It’s official- my study abroad program has officially ended and I am back in the United States. I have about two weeks to settle in before my summer internship starts. Thinking about the past four months, I marvel at how fast the time went. It almost seems strange to be back home. I often catch myself saying Australian lingo (such as asking for a “takeaway” box instead of a “to-go” box) and am surprised by the lack of Australian accents around me. Additionally, I’ve had a bit of a difficult time adjusting to the time zone in California. While I did not experience any jet lag once I arrived in Australia, now it seems my body doesn’t understand when it should be sleeping and when it’s time to wake up. I think the best thing for me to do is to just force myself to remain awake during the day and force myself to go to bed at the appropriate time.
This past study abroad experience has been the most incredible four months of my life. I have grown so much both personally and professionally. I feel so much more confident in myself as a result of having to navigate living and working in a foreign country. I know that I can handle any challenge or obstacle thrown my way. I’ve also gained a new outlook on life as the Aussie lifestyle is so different than what I am accustomed to. It has allowed me to become more open-minded and think about things in a new perspective. I also developed my interpersonal and communication skills from interacting with a culturally diverse group of people at my work site. Lastly, I’ve learned that it is okay to ask others for help when you need it. In Australia, I grew used to stopping someone on the street for directions or asking a co-worker if I didn’t understand something, but I have come to realize this philosophy can be applied to life in general. Asking for help when you need it does not mean you are weak- in fact, just the opposite. It means you are mature enough to realize when you need help with the overall goal or mission in mind. Sometimes, you don’t have to do everything yourself. It’s okay to consult other group members or coworkers and work together towards a common goal.
Overall, I would highly recommend studying abroad to other college students around the world. This experience has opened my eyes to the world. The people that I have met and the lessons that I have learned I will take with me for the rest of my life.
Thank you to everyone who has followed my blog thus far and kept up with my journey. While my adventure in Australia has come to an end, I’m looking forward to starting another exciting chapter in my life: interning at Intel this summer in California!