- What was your biggest fear about studying abroad that turned out to be no big deal?
My biggest fear was that I would be completely lost with logistical school things, such as signing up for classes abroad and transferring them over. It all ended up being really easy!
- What do you wish you had done to better prepare before going abroad?
I wish I had packed better! Melbourne specifically is known to have four seasons in a day, so make sure you look ahead at the general climate of the place you’re going and try and pack accordingly. That being said, I also wish I packed a little lighter. I ended up buying a bunch of things while I was there, which made it harder to fit everything in my suitcase on the way home.
- What were your favorite classes abroad? How did they compare to UCSB?
My favorite classes were Mind, Brain, and Behaviour (MBB) and Going Places: Traveling Smarter. The MBB class was really great because the weekly sections were very involved. For example, we got to conduct a small scale social experiment on campus and discuss the results together. It definitely felt more interactive than UCSB, especially since most psychology classes here don’t have sections. The Going Places class was awesome because I got to meet a lot of other exchange students. The classes were much smaller so I had the opportunity to get close with some of my classmates.
- What is one of your best memories from abroad?
One of my best memories abroad would probably be planning trips with the people who became my best friends. I remember planning local and overseas trips with my abroad friends and making some amazing memories I’ll never forget.
- What was your biggest challenge abroad?
My biggest challenge abroad was keeping my friends updated. I got really caught up in life abroad that it was hard to find time to FaceTime, and when I did have the time to make calls I would usually reach out to my parents.
- What is your favorite aspect of your host culture?
My favorite aspect of Melbourne culture is their art scene. They are well known for their unique street art and you can find beautiful murals pretty much on any street. Hosier Lane is a famous street there where people are constantly making new art on the walls. Each week, Hosier Lane looks entirely different from the last because of the constantly changing art.
- Did you intern, volunteer, or conduct fieldwork or research abroad? If so, tell us about your experience.
I was lucky enough to partake in research at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience. I shadowed a PhD student in her research on optogenetics and got to do a lot of practical work such as PCR gel amplification. My favorite part was that I got to hold a rat brain!
- What local food or drink do you miss most now that you are back?
Melbourne coffee is unlike any other. They take a lot of pride in perfecting their coffee, and it made me realize how different it can taste from place to place. I also miss Tim Tams, of course!
- How have you changed since your time abroad?
Going abroad has made me realize how much more there is to life than school and work. Since I’ve come back I have really tried to enjoy every day to the fullest and try new things. Life is too short!
- What is your advice to prospective UCSB EAP students?
My advice is to be okay with the idea of getting out of your comfort zone. This is when you’ll grow the most and have the greatest experiences. Say hi to a stranger, explore a side of the city you’re unfamiliar with, try a new food! Also, journal as often as you can! You’ll thank yourself later when you’re reading and remembering all the little things that happened on your journey.