Major: Optical Engineering
Location: Sydney, Australia
Duration: 1 semester
Why did you choose to study abroad? What factors (your major, other commitments, Take Five) did you weigh as you were making the decision to study abroad?
I chose to study abroad because I wanted to get a “well rounded” education that I felt other students, typically outside of engineering, were getting. I also needed a break from the rigorous academics here at Rochester. I weighed the study abroad experience with potentially missing internship opportunities and not being able to take certain classes until last semester senior year. I did inquire that it was possible to go abroad as an optics major before I made my decision to be one.
Beyond the academic work, how did you engage with your new “community” and culture while you were away from Rochester?
Tried to meet as many people as possible. Through travels and staying in hostels I learned a lot about other cultures and about perceptions of Americans.
How has your experience studying abroad impacted you?
Made me understand more global knowledge and made me feel less oblivious and ignorant. I wanted to meet people from all over the world and Australia is a great place to do that.
What skills, tools, knowledge gained from studying abroad will you draw on now that you are back at Rochester?
I became more independent, more experienced, and more mature from traveling abroad. I don’t think there was a specific thing that I learned that now I can say I can apply here. Going abroad is the thing to do in order to learn about yourself and others- something that is often hard to do while at school- but very important.
What advice do you have for current students contemplating studying abroad?
Spend some time and talk to recent students that have been to the location (and preferably from your major) that you are contemplating to go. People that travel abroad love talking about their experiences so they will be very willing to talk to you. Learn about the place you are going: how expensive is living there? Where should you live (dorms or more independent living)? Where are key places should you travel while you are there? What classes can you get approved?
Sum up your study abroad experience in six words:
Experience yourself by learning about others.