'Just do it!'


Luke Dengler with a joey -- baby kangaroo -- at the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary in Tasmania.

That’s Luke Dengler’s advice for Hajim School students who are contemplating study abroad.

Luke, a Class of ’18 chemical engineering major, knew he wanted to study abroad from the moment he heard it was possible for engineering students during freshman orientation.

“I really wanted to take the chance to go somewhere and do something unlike anything I had ever done before,” Luke says. “I also thought that I would never go to Australia if I didn't go now while I had the chance. That was not an opportunity I was willing to miss out on.

Luke made sure he didn’t by attending the University of Sydney during his 2016 fall semester.

He was able to take two engineering courses that counted towards his major and two social science courses to count as electives. “These courses fully satisfied my requirements for the semester and meant that credit-wise I did not lose anything by going abroad,” Luke says.

Instead he gained “a new perspective on traveling,” a desire to see even more of the world -- and a deep appreciation for the natural wonders of Australia.

“During a trip to Tasmania, we visited Cradle Mountain,” Luke says.  “We ended up taking a specialized bus for the last 20 minutes of the trip up to the main viewing point. When I first stepped off the bus I was amazed by the view of the mountain over Dove Lake. That was a view I will never forget,”

Luke says it was  “relatively easy” to plan his study abroad semester "considering how big of a process it really is.” Carla Gottschalk at the University’s Center for Study Aboard office and Jen Condit, undergraduate coordinator for chemical engineering, helped him arrange credit transfers and find a way to work study abroad into his schedule. Thanks to them, Luke says, the process was “simple and well worth any of the effort it took.”

He also received a Hajim School International Experience Scholarship for $500, which “did not make or break my finances but definitely made me feel like going abroad was far less financially taxing,” Luke says. ”I definitely want to thank the Hajim School for supporting such an amazing experience!”


Dove Lake from atop Cradle Mountain.