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Nathan Schaeffer '12
Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador at Santa Clara University?
My experience abroad was highly positive, I enjoyed the place I lived, people I met and experiences I had. I want to be an International Ambassador to share my experiences with future students studying in Sydney and Australia. There were many things I wish I knew before going to Australia so I will hopefully be able to share those with next year s abroad students.
What were the deciding factors in choosing your study abroad program-location?
There were multiple factors that went into my decision to choose Sydney. Firstly, I wanted to gain valuable work experience while abroad. The Arcadia Internship program gave me the chance to work in a field similar to my major where I gain necessary experience. Secondly, I wanted an opportunity to live in a big city and attend a large public University. Sydney gave me the chance to have an experience unlike any I have had before while at the same time not creating too much of a culture shock. The language and many of the customs of Australia are similar to those of the U.S.
Describe a defining moment in your abroad experiences and how that experience(s) has affected you personally, intellectually, vocational, spiritually, or academically.
Traveling around Australia was my most positive experience. I traveled to Cairns/Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, Melbourne area, Jervis Bay, and the Blue Mountains. I went on a class trip to Uluru (the big rock in the Outback) and was able to learn about the Aboriginal culture and issues. This experience bonded me with my classmates while simultaneously teaching me about Australian Issues.
What advises, recommendations would you give to prospective study abroad students? In retrospect, how would you prepare differently to maximize the study abroad experience?
Make sure you know as much about your program and location as possible before you get there, this will be your home for the next semester so it is important to know customs and traditions. Try to read up on the history of the country and what the locals enjoy to do. It is easiest to immerse yourself in the culture of your location if you are able to relate to their likes and experiences.