Student Spotlight: A Semester in Australia
The Office of Global Education supports many students while they study abroad, but taking classes abroad is not all that MU students do. Our university partners and other program providers around the world give students the chance for a once in a lifetime international experience.
Meet Matthew, a senior Millersville University student studying Business Administration. This past spring 2016 semester he boarded a plane to Australia to explore a part of the world he’s always dreamed of visiting. Read his responses below about his experience thus far and how his time abroad is allowing him to try new things!
Get to Know Matthew
Name: Matthew Junkin
Major and/or Minor: Business Administration
Host University/Program: University of the Sunshine Coast
Host Country: Australia
Time period abroad: Spring 2016
Why did you choose to study abroad in Australia?
Australia has always been a place that I have wanted to go to. I think the history of it is fascinating and the climate is essentially perfect. I considered studying somewhere in Europe, but I figured that I would not be able to get to Australia again any time soon. I figured if I wanted to experience it, now would be the perfect time to do it.
What is your favorite part about studying abroad so far? What is your least favorite?
My favorite thing would be seeing a different culture and having an experience that most people don’t get to have. The nice weather is also a fantastic bonus. My least favorite thing is just missing my friends and family at home. I wish that they would experience this with me and see all the fantastic things that I am seeing.
Describe something you did for the first time or a specific memory that you have about your time abroad.
I tried surfing for the first time ever. I did a lot better than I thought I would and had a blast doing it. I figured it was something that I absolutely had to try while being in Australia, especially because I am from central PA and don’t have any nice waves to surf near me.
Did you get the chance to travel outside of your host country?
Yes! I went to New Zealand for 10 days over Easter break. The three of us from Millersville rented a camper van and drove around the northern island and saw some of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. New Zealand is definitely on my list of places that someone should see at some point in their life. Arguably the most beautiful place I have ever been.
What do you miss most about the U.S.? Are you looking forward to anything in particular when you come home?
There are a few things I miss about the United States. First off, Aussie TV is no good. They have the same program running on 4 different channels at a time and you only get about 80 channels. I have been living off of Food Network and HGTV because those are the only American networks here. Secondly, I am so excited for American prices. Going out to eat is unbelievably expensive. Lastly, I am just excited to be home with friends and family and my dog Keno. Just relaxing over summer will be really nice with all of them.
What is something you’ve seen abroad that you would never see happening at Millersville?
People go everywhere here with no shoes. Whether it be class, the grocery store, the mall, etc. shoes seem to always be optional. Personally, I hate not wearing shoes so I am not one of those people.
How has your perspective of Business changed after taking classes abroad? Were there any classes that you really enjoyed or helped you think about your field of study in a different way?
The class structure is different here so it is a different way of learning, but I would say that my perspective has remained about the same. My favorite course would probably be an International Marketing class. Just interesting to learn about what all has to be considered when marketing in other cultures.
Why should other MU students study abroad?
Its an experience of a lifetime and one you may never get again. It took some convincing (mostly me convincing myself) to do it and I am so happy that I did. It gives you a different perspective on the world and it is always interesting to compare things to back home. Things like prices, weather, slang, etc. are all different and there have been many things here that have caught me off guard. It also allows you to really appreciate many of the things you take for granted at home. I have also always said that the world is a giant beautiful place, and you should do everything in your power to see as much of it as you can before you die. This experience has really solidified that idea for me and has given me the desire to see so much more than I already have. If someone is thinking of studying abroad, just do it. You won’t regret it in the slightest.