Becca Lind, a Denison University student, studied with us at Griffith University in Fall of 2017. Becca is currently an Alumni Ambassador. Here, Becca talks about her time abroad in Australia, her experience as an Asian American studying abroad and finding an inclusive community.
As an Asian-American, the concept of race has always been a significant part of my life. It's always been something that has impacted the way I interact with people. Luckily, my experience at Denison University has been positive and accepting. The diversity on campus allowed me to feel comfortable around my peers and any situation that I am in. Going abroad to Australia, I was unsure of how my ethnicity would affect my interactions. I knew, in my limited knowledge of the country prior to going, that Australia had a racist past. (The White Australia Policy in 1901 limited immigration from non-European countries, targeting Asian countries especially.) It occurred to me that this created a sense of racism in the country that continues to hold a legacy among the Australians.
Once I arrived in Australia, I found that there was a large Asian community that had evolved over the years. Additionally, the university I attended had a significant number of students from China. This surprised me and actually brought comfort to my experience in a country known as the "western outpost". Of course, my experience growing up adopted in America gives me a privilege that I would otherwise not have. I was lucky to experience Australia and all it has to offer as an English speaking American. Yet, I am confident from my experiences and what I witnessed that Australia is just as an accepting place as my liberal arts campus.
I was fortunate enough to live in a diverse university community that allowed me to see how people from other countries experienced Australia. I met students from places like Japan, the Netherlands, and Zimbabwe. Each person that I interacted with were comfortable in the new place they called home and were grateful for the opportunity they had to study in such a beautiful place. I am lucky to have traveled with Arcadia University, as they played a significant role in preparing me for living in a new culture. The orientation that we did introduced me to Australia and gave me the courage to fully commit to experiencing the culture.
In the end, I am grateful that I was able to experience study abroad and am thankful that I was able to find a community that was inclusive and supporting. While this experience is my own, I am confident that the role Arcadia University had in it translates to all their study abroad programs.
Interested in sharing your study abroad experiences and help your fellow students understand the benefits of studying abroad through Arcadia? Learn how you can become an Alumni Ambassador