Where have you traveled in Asia Pacific?
I have traveled to numerous places within Australia multiple times on work trips with TEAN. We have a TEAN employee travel incentive program that encourages our team to spend vacation time in the countries where we work and, outside of Australia, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to visit Thailand and Singapore.
What has been a favorite memory from your travels?
One of the best travel memories was taking part in a guided snorkel tour on the outer shelf of the Great Barrier Reef. The outer edge is like an underwater cliff and has many beautiful kinds of fish and coral. You can do the same tour on our new Australian Orientation Excursion in Cairns, as it’s one of the optional reef day activities available, so I hope all of our students get to share in the kind of experience I had.
What is your favorite travel or study abroad quote and why?
It’s some variation on, “Everything you learned while you were abroad doesn’t stay where you studied. You will always have it with you and must apply it to your life back home.” I heard it during an Lessons From Abroad conference re-entry session and it truly was a turning point in getting over my post-program reverse culture shock.
What is your advice for a student who is on the fence about studying abroad?
Just do it. Parts of it may make you uncomfortable, but our most formative changes require a level of discomfort. Studying abroad is still the most productive and transformative thing I’ve done, but you will only get out of it what you put into it. The challenge is getting past your nerves and allowing yourself to embrace the unknown.
What one song belongs on your ‘study abroad soundtrack’ and why?
If I have to give a shout out to only one; I’ll say Ribs by Lorde (who is from Auckland, New Zealand, by the way). The song is hauntingly nostalgic and contemplative around youth and hanging onto precious memories, particularly from childhood. It’s a nod towards the days of being innocent. Studying abroad is akin to that same sentiment because it is a chance to be innocent, and new again, in your adult life. The experiences you have while studying abroad are invaluable and in the shock of it ending all you want is to get them all back to relive on repeat. The lesson is that you’ll never lose them; like childhood memories, they’ll always be with you.