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Study Abroad Journey featuring ACU

PARIS CORE CURRICULUM PROGRAM – Vinston

Exactly Vinston 1two and a half years ago today I was 18 years old, standing in the gate of the airport, waving my hardest good bye to my family as I left to study abroad in Australia.

I was both terrified and excited at the same time. I could not get over the fact that I will be away from home and live abroad for three years. I guessed I wanted to get away from my tiny hometown and school and meet new people and collect memories and stories to tell when I get back. So far, I got just exactly that, and this winter I am extremely grateful to have completed a study abroad experience through ACU’s core curriculum UNCC300 – it opened up a new understanding to me in regards to the injustices both in a Parisian context and the world. The whole subject is such an eye opener on the rareness of human dignity in many parts of the world.

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Our lovely host campus

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Excursion day 1 with the fam-bam!

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More excursions!

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Welcome dinner

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Got a free pass to the Louvre because we are EU students – (technically)

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Leaving Vaneau – closest train station to St John’s University

Vinston 8In any culture, a lot of us are so fixated on feeling good all of the time, it seems we sometimes forget that there are more important things in the world than being happy or entertained. Traveling has shown me that there are things that are more important than pleasure and it’s made me far more conscious of a lot of the injustices and cruelties that go on not just around the world, but also sometimes in our own backyard, without us necessarily taking much notice. The program definitely made me aware of how far I am able to stretch myself out and change the way I think about the world, and myself or that I would learn another language, become a better student, involve my family in the program and find a second family.  ACU placed me with amazing hosts and friends, allowing me to forge countless friendships with people from all over the world.

Following the studies in Paris, I also get the opportunity to travel the world and create some meaningful memories with my sister.

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Germany

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Zaandam, The Netherlands

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Reykjavik, Iceland

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Paris, of course

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Rome, Italy

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Venice, Italy

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Mont Blanc, Chamonix, Switzerland

These are just a few ways that being an international student studying abroad changed my life. The experiences I have and the bonds I form while living away from familiarity and far out of my comfort zone in a foreign country are unlike anything else I have ever experienced. Having experienced study abroad gave me the opportunity to travel, and traveling has allowed me to form some of the best friendships in my life. It is safe to say that I am still reminiscing the times I spent walking home from the Eiffel tower at night, the museum excursions, the park chills, the studying together before the exam and all the bits and pieces up until today and how I would come back to do this again 1000 times.

My message to those who are contemplating whether to pursue with the program or not: just do it!