Going to the Australian National University for a semester was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I was able to grow as a student and person because of the experience and I am incredibly happy that I was able to go.
Coming from a small liberal arts college in Maine – northeast United States, two hours north of Boston – ANU was a change but a welcomed change. I loved that with the lecture and tutorial model I was able to have both a large university experience and a small school experience all at the same time. My favorite part of the structure, however, was the availability of courses. As a government and history double major I was blown away with the number of courses I could take in a single area as well as the number of focuses each school had.
Trying to decide what course was my favorite is difficult because they each offered something I loved. I took an American 60s course that I really enjoyed because of the diversity of readings and the attention of both my professor and my tutor. I took a course that centered on the digital humanities that was out of this world. The course was great because the professor was also clearly interested in the topic. Across the board I was greeted with professors who really enjoyed what they were teaching, which made me enjoy the courses more as well. I took introduction to sociology which was completely outside of my comfort zone but the professor and tutor really worked with me to help me understand the material and I am now thinking of taking more sociology courses at my home university because I enjoyed the subject matter so much.
The Global Programs office worked really well in my opinion because they planned events where we interacted with some of the other international students who we would most likely not be able to see because ANU is a spread out campus. I made lifelong friends as a result of those gatherings. I also had instant resources when I was feeling homesick or struggling with being in a new country. They helped provide the much needed balance of meeting natives as well as other students who were in the same study abroad boat.
I had a great semester in Australia and I’m beyond happy with my choice of going to ANU.