I chose to study abroad because I had always wanted to visit Australia. I was also planning on doing an internship this summer, so taking a two-week course in Australia sounded perfect to lighten my summer load. With graduation right before my departure, I didn’t have much time to prepare. Having studied abroad in Germany for a year in 2022, I wasn’t too concerned about packing or other logistics for this trip. I packed everything in a small carry-on, just in case I encountered flight problems (which I did). I made sure to include my camera to capture the stunning landscapes and unique wildlife Australia is known for.

I didn’t know too many people going on the trip with me. I knew one person well and vaguely knew a few others. Nonetheless, I was excited to meet new people and explore a new country. While abroad, I hoped to immerse myself in Australian culture and connect with other students in the MBA program at Alabama. This trip was a unique opportunity to broaden my horizons and network with others who share academic and professional interests. Our trip included starting in Melbourne to see the city; I had heard that they are known for their coffee culture, so I was very excited for that. Then, we would travel several hundred miles north to Cairns, where we’d see the Great Barrier Reef and some of the cool wildlife (koalas, kangaroos, crocodiles), and finally, we end in Sydney, where the famous opera house is located. Before the trip, I was mostly excited, but also not sure what to expect. Once again, with my graduation right before, I didn’t have much time to think about it too much.