Katie Kump - 2013 Program Participant

Why did you choose to study abroad in Australia?

I am lucky to have done a bit of traveling before, so this time I wanted to go somewhere completely new to me. Studying abroad felt like an amazing opportunity to explore an entirely new country. Australia seemed like this far off place on the other side of the world and the idea of living in a location not everyone gets to experience really appealed to me. Besides, I really wanted to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef!

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

The view of Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

What was the most memorable experience you had while studying abroad? 

It’s hard to pick just one! One of the most memorable experiences I had while overseas was the last trip I took with a couple of friends to New Zealand. It was a perfect last hurrah to end our semester. Not to mention people aren’t lying when they say New Zealand is gorgeous!

While studying abroad, what was the biggest challenge you were confronted with?

My biggest challenge while studying abroad was learning to “go with the flow.” The Australian lifestyle is pretty laid back, which is the opposite of my usual stubborn and stressed ways. Between traveling, making new friends, and navigating a new city, I slowly learned to let things happen as they will. Not everything will go as planned, but sometimes that makes for the best experiences!

Scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef

What advice would you give to other students interested in studying abroad in Brisbane?

Brisbane is in a great location to travel to other cities, islands, and rainforests. But, don’t forget to experience the city you live in! You’ll want to get the most out of your experience abroad so traveling every weekend will be tempting, but you should get to know your host city and everything it has to offer. There were so many hidden treasures in the city I wouldn’t have discovered had I traveled every weekend. 

Why would you go back to Brisbane if you had the chance?

I’d love to meet up with the friends that I made and revisit some of my favorite place, but more importantly, I think seeing Brisbane again would be a reminder of the great memories I made and how much I learned about myself while overseas. 

What has studying abroad taught you?

One of the best things about doing something like studying abroad is that it gives you a lot of perspective on your own life. I already knew I enjoyed traveling, but studying abroad planted the idea in me that I could actually live abroad. Because of this, I am very excited to say I get to return to Australia after graduation to work for a year! Until then, I satiate my love for travel by working in my school’s study abroad office and helping other students realize their dream of seeing the world.

Would you recommend The Education Abroad Network Queensland program to others? 

Yes! The Education Abroad Network (TEAN) staff was so nice and an incredible resource all throughout my program. One of my favorite things about going through TEAN was our pre-semester orientation week in Sydney. I met everyone I would be going to uni with and immediately felt welcomed into the country.

If the opportunity to study abroad presented itself again, where would you go?     

If I had the opportunity to study abroad again I would chose somewhere in Southeast Asia. While Australia provided me with many learning experiences, I was never truly out of my cultural comfort zone. I would want to go somewhere that really forces me into a completely different culture and lifestyle! 

Kangaroos at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Australia

Getting to know the locals at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane