The day has finally come for me to go to Australia! For those of you who know me, you know I have been talking about studying abroad since the moment I came to the University of Arkansas. It’s crazy to think that I’ve been waiting for this for so long and now I’m a junior in college, sitting in the DFW international terminal getting ready to start the adventure of a lifetime.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit sad to leave my friends and family. My classmates in IE are amazing and it’s weird to not look across the Bell auditoriums and see their faces.
Two and a half years ago, I moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas for college. It wasn’t easy to move to a new state, make new friends, and decide my major. Being young is hard. In the four short years of college, you’re expected to pick your future and establish yourself as a young professional, all while still trying to figure out how you fit-in in this world. Some days I still feel like the wide eyed 17-year-old who got accepted into the University of Arkansas and not the 21-year-old on the brink of adulthood. But somehow in two and a half years this unknown place has become home and holds such a dear place in my heart. It’s going to be hard not being in Fayetteville but, I have a gut feeling that this next semester is going to be something I remember for the rest of my life.
Sure, it’s easy to get stuck in your comfort zone but, the biggest growth I’ve had in my life is when I’m put in a place where I’m uncomfortable. So why would I pass up an opportunity to go study abroad?
I’m spending the next 5 months at the University of Newcastle. Newcastle is a coastal city just a little north of Sydney. I’m continuing my engineering coursework. I’m lucky that we have such an amazing exchange program that will allow me to study abroad and still graduate on time.
I’ll be taking Optimistion (No, that’s not a spelling error. That’s how Aussies spell Optimization). It’s a similar course to Operations Research at the U of A. I’m also taking Project Management and two business classes as technical electives. I only have class 3 days a week this semester.
I am absolutely blessed with this opportunity to spend 5 months in Australia. I’m so grateful to be a part of the department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Arkansas that encouraged me to study abroad. Quick thanks to my friends and family who have been so supportive of me throughout this whole process and for letting me ramble on for weeks now about how excited I am.
My goal on here is to write once a week about my studies, travels, and anything else interesting that happens along the way. But for now, I’m on to a 17 hour flight to Sydney. See ya from Down Under!