Jacquelyn Keville - 2014 Program Participant

Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb in Sydney, Australia

Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb

Why did you decide to study abroad?

Personally I wanted to see what else was out there in the world. I have lived in Massachusetts my whole life. I was ready for a change and a new experience.

Why did you choose CAPA for your international experience?

The CAPA program stood out to me with the internship aspect that it offers for students. When choosing CAPA I wanted to make sure that the internship I had would allow me to gain experience in my major (accounting), and also allow me to connect with my host city. Approaching my senior year of college I needed to make sure I had relevant work experience on my resume, and CAPA helped to provide with a great internship that suited my major.

What was your favorite part about Sydney?

The weather! During the winter/spring at home, it is summer in Australia. The weather was beautiful and I loved having the option to go from class to the beach. There are also so many awesome things to see along the coast of Sydney. I recommend doing the coastal walk from Coogee to Bondi beach, it's gorgeous.

Tourist holding a koala in Cairns, Australia

Holding koalas in Cairns

What made CAPA’s Sydney program unique?

As I mentioned earlier the internship aspect CAPA offers is truly unique and is great for students to take advantage of. Another aspect of CAPA I enjoyed were the "my education" events, which offered students an opportunity to see new sights they may not have known about and to experience different cultural events around their host city. They help you to explore the city in a fun and interactive way!

How did local staff support you throughout your program?

CAPA staff was always available when needed. We all always had access to the 24 hour phone number in case of emergencies. Also teachers and faculty were always reaching out to get us involved with different activities. A specific aspect of my classes that I enjoyed were tours to different cultural sights throughout Sydney. This way I was able to take my knowledge from the classroom and see how it relates to the lifestyle.

What's one thing you wish you would have done differently?

I possibly wish I had done more of the things I personally wanted to do, instead of going off of what my friends were doing. There is always going to be someone who would like to go somewhere new and see something different, and sometimes going alone is just easier.

Do what you want to do, not what others want you to do.

Fish along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

Underwater shot from the Great Barrier Reef

What was a typical day like as a student in Sydney?

Usually days vary between when you have classes and when you go to your internship. On class days we traveled to North Sydney where we would take classes on the campus of Australian Catholic University. Internship days I generally worked from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In both classes and in your internship they help you to make the most of your time there. Classes went on field trips occasionally, and my internship also allowed me to explore the city, which was great.

What was your favorite thing to do on your freetime?

If you do the Coogee to Bondi coastal walk in Sydney (which I highly recommend) you will find a bunch of little inlet beaches. They are so awesome to go and hang out at. The walk is also one of the most gorgeous views in Sydney. You get to see so many great views and take a ton of scenic pics!

What was your accommodation in Sydney like?

We all lived in an apartment complex in Waterloo, Sydney, called the Meriton, which many of us referred to as home. The area around it had local restaurants, coffee shops, stores, and more. Our actual apartments were very nicely furnished with a fully equipped kitchen for cooking, two bedrooms and bathrooms, and a balcony. Students can easily take advantage of the area. The bus routes to downtown Sydney, the train station, and the beaches are literally right down the street, so you can easily explore wherever your heart desires.

Now that you're home, how has studying abroad impacted your life?

I have become so much more independent since studying abroad. I now feel as though I can go anywhere and see anything. There is so much out there in this world that people have no idea about. My advice to study abroad students is to see it all. The experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am so happy I took advantage of it.

Coastline in Sydney, Australia

Coastal line of Sydney