Experience of a Lifetime

Alexis Schwartz James Cook University, Australia


June 29, 2016

Well, I’m done. I left home last year in July and now here I am, back, this year in June. Eleven months, two weeks, and a day gone and passed. In a completely different world. But not really.

This experience has just... I don’t even know how to explain it in words because they're so limiting. It’s just something you have to experience yourself. I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to experience it first hand. Studying abroad was terrifying and wonderful and eye-opening and view-changing. Global perspective is really not something you can accomplish until you engage in, and witness, another country and culture. And studying that culture while living in it helps to widen that perspective so much. My experience widened my view and my mind so tremendously and I can’t thank Australia, and every single person I met while there, enough.

Studying abroad gave me a second home, a second family, and even more friends. It expanded my horizons and adventurous spirit and helped me conquer a lot of my fears. It helped me to reinforce my beliefs and to find new ones to have faith in. My experience abroad just helped me grow so much as an individual. Before I left I didn’t think that I really needed my eyes opened because I thought they were pretty wide already, but going away helped me realize that they were still half shut. It’s humbling and truthfully an awakening.

And I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing or that I was a bad person before, but I’m different. In a good way. I can recognize the difference in the person I was last year versus the person I am now. My experience changed me and that is such a powerful feeling. Everything I learned every adventure and fun thing I went out to do, every interesting fact I learned and every difference I had to deal with, helped me even though I didn’t really need it.

I’ve been able to record, document, feel, experience, and share so much. I’m a better person because of it and I will continue to grow and become an even greater person beyond this experience because of what I’ve learned while doing it. It is something I will always remember and always look back to reflect on and help push me forward in my hardest and best of time. And I am truly elated with and because of my study abroad experience.

Cheers, mate.