Australia

Since I have been traveling around Australia, I have met quite a few people who enjoy traveling on their own. I am not one of these people, although for many reasons, I wish I was.

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There is really no right or wrong way for going about the study abroad experience. Everyone here has come on different circumstances, with different likes, dislikes, goals, and dreams. It is important that each person’s journey reflect these differences, differences that make us who we are. This has been one of the most significant lessons I have learned here, and one that not only applies to being abroad, but also life in general.

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One of the most interesting, and eye-opening, parts of the study abroad experience is being able to view the United States from the lens of a different country. Just two short months before I left for Australia, the Sydney hostage crisis bombarded all of the news. Shortly after, I received a frightening email from the United States government, advising all U.S. citizens traveling there to take extra precautions. This was the very first moment I was able to wrap my head around the fact that I was about to be living in a different country, one very far from my security blanket I had here.

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I have just gotten back from my two-week journey down the east coast of Australia. Despite the extreme lack of sleep, fast-food diet, and lighter wallet, it was truly the best experience of my life. I am a true believer that some of the greatest lessons take place outside of the classroom, and even more so on a long road trip in a foreign country. In order to accurately give some advice to young travels about to partake on a similar venture, I’m going to give my lessons some structure by ordering them as a list.

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One of the most significant aspects of studying abroad is seeing everything you possibly can, while learning and growing every step of the way. After getting settled into my new life at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia, I was quickly ready to get out there and begin seeing all the things I had spent months pinning on Pinterest. After all, my parents were beginning to wonder what exactly I was getting out of spending day after day at the beach.

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I have been at the University of Newcastle, in New South Wales, Australia for nearly three weeks already, and yet I continue to wake up most mornings in awe that this is actually my life. I prepared for this journey for quite some time; making and saving money, meeting deadlines for paperwork, and doing lots of research. To finally be here, literally on the other side of the world, can at times be hard to grasp.

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Thanks to the support of generous private donors, these UI students were able to study or conduct research abroad in the past year, gaining invaluable experiences and memories that enhanced their education and lives.

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The University of Iowa College of Education may soon offer a shorter, three-week program to education majors who would like to fulfill their student-teaching requirement abroad.

Margaret Crocco, the dean of the education school, said the standard study-abroad program offered to education majors is seven or eight weeks long — roughly half of the 15-week student-teaching period required. She has recently looked into creating a shorter program because the eight-week commitment is a long period of time and quite costly.

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Navi Bajwa took his studies to the United Kingdom because he wanted to immerse himself in the political and social atmosphere.

“The reason I went to the University of Edinburgh is because of the world-class education that institution has to offer,” the University of Iowa senior said. “I have a lot of family in the UK, and I have been there a lot during my life, so I was comfortable going there.”

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When Sarah Hemmen arrived at the airport in California after her five month stay in Australia, she was annoyed that the $3.99 magazine required more than the $4 in her pocket. The University of Iowa senior became accustomed to sales tax being included in prices while studying abroad in Sydney. Hemmen is one of more than 1,200 University of Iowa students that study abroad each year, many of whom endure reverse culture shock on their return home.

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