Rachael is currently studying at Regis University, for 2 semesters. She will return to ACU in Semester 2, 2013.
Surprisingly enough, being 14, 778 miles or 23, 782 kms from home does not feel as far as it really is. That’s 488 hours by car, 1210 hours by bike and 4, 691 hours if I was to walk!
Since my time studying abroad, the absolute farthest place I have been from home is Toronto, Canada. I was there in December 2012 for my Uncle’s wedding. That’s the most wonderful thing I have found about studying and living out of Australia: the fact that I am now so much closer to the rest of the world! Everything is so much more accessible!
My time in Toronto was fantastic! I was only able to stay there for 6 days as the wedding happened to fall around my finals week. It is very important to remember that studying abroad means that school comes first, travel and exploration are second. Canadians are just as friendly as you would imagine, I did not have one bad experience over there, even the customs people at the airport were lovely!
Probably the best part about getting to Toronto was seeing some of my family. Although I had not really gotten very home sick at all last semester but the moment I saw my Aunt and 2 of my Uncles I totally lost it! After 5 months of not seeing anyone familiar from home I realised that all I needed was a friendly face and that was quite a relief.
The worst part is always having to say goodbye to loved ones. I hate the idea that they get to go home and I can’t go with them. I am sad for a couple days after anyone from home leaves me to return to Australia, but then I remember just how much I love Denver, Regis University, and all the amazing people I have met. The time spent abroad goes far too quickly and before you know it you are plane going home.
Studying abroad is difficult in the sense that you are taken out of your comfortable Australian uni life and thrown into another situation with brand new routines and procedures that (most of the time) you have to learn on your own. I definitely have felt that I am generally working harder than the regular students in my classes here so that my different experiences will not disadvantage me in the classroom.
I had originally only planned on staying 1 semester at Regis University but December came around far too quickly, and I still had not done half of the things on my American bucket list, so I extended my exchange for another semester. Studying abroad is no holiday; it involves so much hard work and a lot of self- discipline. Managing my time between school work and exploring was tough at first, but now I honestly feel like a better student because of it.
Tokyo, New York, New Zealand, Adelaide? Where is the farthest place YOU have been from home?