Kate Orsi - 2015 Program Participant

Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House at sunset

The Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House

Why did you decide to study abroad?

Last summer I studied abroad in Florence, Italy and I caught the travel bug. I knew I wanted to go abroad again, and ever since a project about continents in first grade I have wanted to go to Australia!

Why did you choose CAPA International Education for your international experience?

I choose to go with CAPA because I really wanted to participate in an internship, instead of just taking classes. CAPA had really good reviews and a few girls in my sorority had been on trips abroad with them in the past. I liked they way they worked so hard to match an internship to not only my major by my interests as well.

What was your favorite part about Sydney?

The thing I loved most about being in Sydney was how diverse it was! In one day I could go from the city to the beach to the mountains. It was nice to have that variety. It also made everything easier that English is the language; I could speak to all the locals and understand everything, which isn't always the case when being abroad.

Swimming near the Great Barrier Reef

Infinity pool at a resort near the Great Barrier Reef

What characteristic of your program made it unique?

The CAPA program really worked hard on getting people involved. They would send us to activities going on in the city and had multiple events set up for all the students to do together. CAPA also had resources, like the Student Council and the Record of Achievement Award, which gave us more ways to get involved with the program and the local community we were living in.

How did local staff support you during your time in Sydney?

The administrators in Sydney were very helpful. They were all quick to respond to emails and made us all aware of any resources we might need. They also kept us up to date on any activities that we might be interested in, in Sydney, and made sure we didn't forget to do our assignments.

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

When I was about half way through the program I realized how quickly time was going by and how little I had done! I then decided to make a bucket list for the rest of my trip, this really helped me make time for the things I wanted to do. If I could go back I would have started a list from the beginning, I think I would have done a lot more that way.

Describe a day in the life of your program.

I decided to do the homestay option, so my days might have looked a little different compared to other students. I would wake up and make breakfast, then get ready to go to my internship. My homestay was close enough to the internship that I could walk; I loved that, as it was a good way to see more of the place I was staying in and was a easy way to stay active while there!

Once I got to my internship, Onsport an online sport retailer, I would work on various tasks throughout the day. Most of my tasks involved marketing through social media, blogging, and my main project, which was developing and running a modeling competition. After work I would walk home and have dinner with my homestay family around 6 p.m. Once we finished I would work on any homework I had for my class. The days were fairly simple.

Petting a kangaroo in Australia


What did you enjoy doing on your free time?

I loved to just hop on a bus and explore outside the city. My internship schedule was really flexible, so I would take some days off to go see all the amazing places Australia has to offer. One of my favorite trips I took was to Bondi beach; it was a really nice day, but other students were busy so I went on a bus by myself to the beach!

I knew there was a trails that went from Bondi to Coogee and it was about an eight kilometer walk. I decided to run the trail; it was one of the most amazing runs I have ever been on. Around ever corner was another million dollar few. It wasn't much of a run, since I kept stopping to take pictures, but wow was it worth it! At the end I stopped at a beach restaurant and had the best food, then hopped back on the bus and went home. I felt really accomplished that I did this trip by myself and it is still one of my favorite places.

What was your homestay accommodation like? What did you like best about it?

This was my second time studying abroad. My first time was a summer program in Florence, Italy; when I did that I stayed in the student housing with other ASU students. I had an amazing experience, but I didn’t feel like I really got a chance to connect with the host country’s culture.

When I found out I was going to Sydney I knew I wanted to get move involved and do a homestay. I had my own room, closet, and bathroom while staying there. There was also other homestay students coming and going while I was there; this was a really cool experience since I got to meet people from all over the world! The family was very welcoming and helpful.

It was nice to be able to have my own space, but still meet the other CAPA students. Over all I had a great experience doing a homestay and I would really recommend it to students who want to get a full experience while in another country.

Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia

A hike in the Blue Mountains

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

Now that I am back I can see how being abroad impacted me. I would say the biggest change is I have more independence than before. After navigating my way around a foreign country, working, volunteering, and just being in a place where i don't know anyone, how could I not be more independent? I think the biggest gift it gave me was more confidence. I have never really been that shy of a person, but doing this just gave me more confidence in my professional and personal skills.