SLU PT Study Abroad Opportunity - Goldcoast, Australia
by Kelsey Bequette, DPT Class of 2021
I chose to go to Goldcoast, Australia because I love the beach, the outdoors and adventuring. I also had always wanted to go to Australia and I cannot imagine a better time or opportunity than being able to study abroad there and stay for four months. The flight from LA to Australia took 14 hours and the whole trip took an entire day. I knew if I wanted to go to Australia, due to the amount of time it takes to get there, I would want to be able to stay for an extended period of time.
I expected the weather to be perfect, the people to be friendly and the beaches to be beautiful. All of these things came true! I arrived in Australia in the middle of summer in The States, so it was the middle of the winter in Australia. Therefore, it was not hot weather like expected but the weather on campus was 70 to 80 degrees, sunny and windy almost everyday. The people I met were all great! I was told prior to leaving that I would be surrounded by the friendliest people while I was in Australia. While not everyone was head over heels friendly, the overall experience everywhere I visited deemed that to be true. As for the beaches, they were all amazing. The waves and rips were extremely strong, so you can only swim ‘between the flags’ because that is where lifeguards are watching.
Overall, I was extremely excited to head abroad. I wanted to explore Australia and experience everything it had to offer. I love the outdoors, so I was looking forward to hiking, swimming and being able to constantly be outside.
One thing that surprised me the most was how similar Australia is to America. I was mentally prepared to be thrown into a completely different culture and pace of life, but it was very easy to get used to living in Australia. The main differences that I faced daily were that cars drive on the left side of the road, so you have to look left for cars before you cross the street instead of right, when you walk on the sidewalk you stay to the left and all of the brands are different so getting used to what the grocery stores are called and the different brand names used for different foods and items took some time to get used to.
Bond University is a campus that hosts a lot of study abroad students, so I did not get to meet tons of Australian students. Study Abroad students live on or in apartments near campus while many Australian students lived at home or in apartments. SLU students live on campus in a dorm that houses mostly other American students. While I did not meet many Australian students, I did get to meet other American students from a variety of universities. If you are looking to spend time outside, seeking adventure, love the beach and want to learn more about life in Australia then Bond University is what you want!
This is one of several posts featuring SLU PT Student study abroad experiences. Because of its unique format, the SLU PT program gives students the ability to study abroad the fall of their junior year. For more information about study abroad experiences at SLU go to: http://www.slu.edu/study-abroad.