I am Samantha Sweeney (everyone calls me Sammy) and I will be leaving to spend about 4 months abroad in the beautiful, Gold Coast, Australia. The Gold Coast is a city that is located north of Sidney and is close the the city of Brisbane. It is also home to one of the most popular surfing beaches in the world, Surfers Paradise, which is where a lot of the major world surfing competitions take place.
So, besides the beach and the surfing, why did I choose to study abroad somewhere that is 10,000 miles away from my very small hometown of Waterbury Center, Vermont? Well, originally I was supposed to be studying abroad this past fall semester in Grenoble, France. My plans fell through at the beginning of the summer, because of some issues with my program, so I decided to re-evaluate my plans. It was probably the best decision I have ever made. Not only did I desperately want to return to St. Mikes in the fall, but I also really needed to establish what I wanted out of my experience. Study abroad is different for everyone, but what I really want out of the next few months is a completely new/crazy life. I am not one to enjoy walking around museums (museums are great, just not for me), I want to DO something while I am away and I wanted it to be somewhere, where I am not likely to ever have the opportunity to go again. And there, Australia came into my mind.
So once I decided Australia, I needed to figure out a program where I was able to be back in time for the summer to have a job.... this is was tough. I got discouraged, because pretty much all New Zealand and Australia programs start at the end of January or beginning of February and don't end until June or July. But, one day when I was randomly clicking around the Arcadia (my program provider) website, I found Bond!
This was it, I finally found the exact place I wanted to go. Applying (again) was so much easier and I have been more and more excited as it has approached. I will be leaving Janurary 5th and will be arriving in Melbourne for orientation on the 7th (yes I am missing the day of January 6th in the world). I will be returning on April 21 or 26.. I haven't decided when I am leaving yet. So, I hope everyone has a great Christmas/ other holidays and I will be posting again when I arrive in Aussie Land!
Seee yaaaa :)