Australia: University of Wollongong
All my life I loved to travel, and I wanted to explore as much of the world as I could so being in another country for several months was an opportunity I could not pass up. I knew I wanted to do a semester abroad ever since I was a freshman in high school when my cousin got back from her semester in Italy and told us all about it. Ever since I was a little kid, I had a fascination with Australia, it all seemed so exotic and different from New York and it was an easy decision to make when I was selecting a study abroad program. The tough decision was which school to apply for, Wollongong or Notre Dame? I had heard so much about the east coast of Australia and I knew I wanted to visit Sydney while I was there, so I decided to apply to the University of Wollongong. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made, I met so many interesting people and did so many interesting things. Even during the global pandemic, there so many things to experience. I went skydiving over the Pacific Ocean and landed on the beach, I went fishing off a charter boat, I went to Sydney and Melbourne, I went camping up the coast of New South Wales, and I hiked up mountains. But my favorite experience while I was in Australia was experiencing the nature and wildlife that was all around me. I went to zoos where you could pet the kangaroos and koalas and there were so many tropical birds that lived on campus. I was able to find sharks, stingrays, dolphins, and even an octopus hanging around some rocks just walking along the beach that was five minutes from campus. I was able to do so many things and I have so many more stories from my time abroad and I highly recommend that everyone studies abroad too.