Since being home I have been asked my times how my study abroad trip was, every single time I say that it was the best two months of my entire life. Visiting Australia had been number one on my bucket list ever since I was in middle school. When I had the chance to study abroad and actually live in Australia I knew that I could not pass the opportunity up. I am so happy that I chose to study abroad in Sydney Australia. I got to explore new places, make new friends, try new things, face some of my fears, and grow as a person.
When receiving the call that our study abroad program was ending early due to COVID-19 my heart was broken. My friends and I had been keeping up with the news and were hoping that we would not be sent home. This news was devastating to everyone. Although our trip was cut a little short, I am so grateful for the entire experience. Looking back on my trip the one thing I am most grateful for is the friendships I made. Before going arriving in Sydney I did not know a single person. Quickly, I met a group of ten girls that became my very best friends. A few of them go to Pitt and a few from other parts of the United States. We also became really close with other guys and girls in the program which is what made this experience so great. It surprised me how close we all became in such a short amount of time. My friends made me try new things such as Thai food and sushi, they also pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me go skydiving, climb to the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and to a music festival. They helped me become more social and outgoing. Without them, my experience would have been completely different and not as enjoyable.
Another thing that I am grateful for throughout this experience is how I developed as a young professional. One of the best things about my study abroad experience was learning how international business works and the differences in the business world between countries. In my classes I learned how to successfully market in a foreign country, distribute product to an international market, and work with partners who live in a foreign market. In addition to learning this in class, I also learned how to work with people who lived in another country. We had to complete GNL projects with individuals studying in London. This enhanced my teamwork skills and communication skills. In addition to this I had the opportunity to be an intern at TEG, Australia’s leading ticket and technology business. I learned the tasks of a digital marketer in the Australian market. This experienced helped me get my feet wet into the world of marketing and experience a work culture in an foreign country. I talked to professionals on a daily basis and had the chance to work with clients. Overall, I really developed as a young professional and am more confident in my skills.
Finally another big thing I learned throughout this experience is how to appreciate every single moment. My study abroad experience really went by in the blink of an eye and I can not believe it is already over. There are some things that I wish I would have done while abroad but did not get the chance to. I am so grateful for everything I got to see, for the people I met, for the things I did, and for everything I learned. I am so lucky to have experienced this at such a young age. This trip changed my perspective on life and helped me grow in so many different ways. Sydney was truly was the best months of my entire life and I will forever be thankful for the experience.