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Erin Biesecker
August 31, 2018


Checking back in as a follow up to my study abroad in Australia.

It feels very strange to be back on campus and in the swing of things. Here are some of the ways coming back feels strange with some tips sprinkled in:

1. I want more free time. I had unfortunately gotten used to the idea of spending my weekends traveling to different cities and exploring around me. Unfortunately, I don't have that kind of time when my planner fills with to-do lists longer than the page, with the last few squished at the bottom. It's hard enough to stay on top of everything!! It makes me thankful that I had the chance to relax and explore Australia this summer.

2. I have no money left. Yeah, soooo perhaps I should've budgeted my money a bit better. It's a good idea to keep tabs on your phone of what you're spending and on what so you can refer to a pre-planned weekly budget. I am glad that I had the gumption to do so, because I'm sure it would've been much worse if I hadn't. All of the people I talked to on the trip expressed similar feelings, and although being a broke college student isn't anything new, preventing a complete slippage into bankruptcy is something to keep in mind.

3. I can do things on my own now?? No longer am I embarrassed to sit alone at the cafeteria or go to a campus event I'm interested in if no friends are available. Time with me, myself, and I was quite valuable and frequent in Sydney, so I feel pretty good about the freedom to just not care as much about being alone in public. I highly recommend. Going to a movie theater by yourself is not sad!!

4. I'm very conscious of not being that study abroad student. Don't be them. You know what I'm talking about. You don't need to remind someone every five seconds that you went abroad. I admit it is fun to have conversations with interested friends and acquaintances about cultural differences you noticed, fulfilling experiences, and fun stories- but really, don't go overboard. Check in with whoever you're talking to to ensure that they actually want to hear about it and that they're engaged. I can hear myself getting annoying sometimes, and it's not a great feeling.

Just some of my thoughts. Feel free to reach out to me at anytime if you're interested in studying abroad but nervous for some mental health reason, if you have any questions about the Sydney Summer Internship Program in particular, or if you just want to say hi :) It's been a pleasure, and I wish everyone the best in their future endeavors.

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Erin Biesecker

<p>I have been a rower for seven years, and it has been a large part of my college experience. Rowing has helped me learn&nbsp;teamwork and camaraderie to the extreme- needing to get our bodily actions with little more than centimeters as a&nbsp;buffer. And it's amazing! I witness sunrises and sunsets on a beautiful river with my closest friends and it's everything&nbsp;I ever wanted from a sport without ever having known it before.</p>

2018 Summer 1, 2018 Summer 2
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Bethesda, MD
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