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Jessica Keller: Perth, Australia
What’s your major?
I am majoring in Criminology and Psychology.
Where are you studying?
I am studying in Perth, Australia at Curtin University.
How long will you be abroad?
I will be abroad for about 5 months!
What type of courses are you taking?
Here in Australia I am taking a fine arts course, Australian studies, Social psychology and I have an internship while here too with a psychology professor!
What is your favorite memory from your study abroad experience?
So far my favorite memory is when I went to go meet my professor I will be interning with for the semester, and she told me she had a welcome gift for me and it was a baby kangaroo! She keeps this as a "pet" basically because she is caring for it until she has to bring it back to the zoo or something, but she told me she brings her everywhere- to the mall, to the beach, to work, everywhere!
What would you say to someone considering studying abroad?
If someone were considering studying abroad, I would tell them to definitely do it! It's a great experience and it allows you to make new friends from all over the world, and it gets you out of your comfort zone. You experience something new every day and the culture in a different country is always fun to see and experience first hand! I know the money is kind of an alarming amount, but this is a once in a lifetime chance, and it will be remembered for the rest of your life!
What is/was your favorite local landmark?
Here in Australia, I really like the city. It's so pretty- especially from Kings Park! Rottnest Island is also really pretty and they have quokkas!!
What are your living accommodations?
Where I live is nice! I live in George James. Right across the street is a little mall with shops, food and grocery stores! I live with 5 other people- 2 boys and 3 other girls. I'm the only American in my flat, also! I have 2 roommates from Australia, 1 from China, and 2 from Zimbabwe.
What is your greatest challenge while being abroad?
I think my greatest challenge is definitely missing my family and animals back home, I've never been away from them this long, especially in a different country! But with the technology these days it's a lot easier to talk to family and friends! My grandparents and I FaceTime about every week!
What skills have you acquired abroad?
While abroad I have really come out of my comfort zone, experienced a new culture, and learned how to be independent. I have learned a lot of skills while here, but I have really come out of my comfort zone while abroad. There's always so much going on and so many new people from all around the world that you want to see and meet, so you just go out there and do it, and being in a different country, no one wants to just sit in their room all day when it's so beautiful outside!
Has study abroad influenced your academic/career path?
Studying abroad is definitely making me want to do something in the future that requires me to travel…a lot. I love being in a different country and experiencing the culture, and just traveling around! I always thought I would want to work in a different state, but now being abroad, it's making me realize I love traveling to different countries!
What were questions you were asked by local residents?
A lot of the locals ask about Donald Trump, American food, American words, and Donald Trump...Yes, everyone here is more interested in Donald Trump than anyone in the U.S is. There was actually a trivia night that me and the girls from UMD that are also here, went to and a lot of the questions were actually about America, and most of the Australian's knew more than we did!