Arriving in Australia, I was greeted with a wave of heat and humidity, alongside news that my luggage had accidentally been sent to Greece. With just the clothes on my back, my carry-on, and a credit card that didn’t work, I made my way into the city. Little did I know, my adventure had only begun.
Since starting at Dal I knew I wanted to study abroad at some point. Chatting with an O-Week leader who had just returned from Australia during my first week convinced me that Australia was the place to go. Sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and “heaps good” coffee. What’s not to like? Going on exchange was the perfect opportunity to visit—if you’re going to travel more than 24 hours to get somewhere you may as well stay awhile…
I knew that going to the University of Adelaide would make my experience at Dal more well-rounded and that it would be an opportunity to grow and learn as a person. Having lived abroad growing up, I also knew that moving outside of Canada again, this time alone, would present a new set of challenges and opportunities to learn and grow. Most important though, I wanted the opportunity to get outside of Canada again and explore a new part of the world.
As a photographer and avid traveler, Australia’s landscapes, affordable domestic flights, and proximity to other destinations made for the perfect opportunity for me to travel, explore, and take photos. During the semester I spent in Australia, I had the chance to travel throughout the country, as well as to New Zealand and Indonesia.
Living in a larger city also presented opportunities that aren’t as abundant in Halifax, like going to concerts, festivals, and different cultural events. And I went to a lot of concerts! But I also had the opportunity to photograph asome of my favourite musicians from around the world—artists like Peking Duk, What so Not, Jeremy Loops, and Jauz.
Being in Australia allowed me to make friends from all over the world. Hanging out with Australians helped give me a local’s perspective on the city. And it was great to meet other exchange students and travellers—people from a wide range of background and cultures. Plus, it’s given me friends to visit (and couches to crash on) all around the world.
Studying abroad also benefited me academically as well. Studying at another university allowed me to take courses and learn about topics not covered at Dal. Having a fresh timetable to choose classes from was refreshing and (almost) as exciting as all the travelling I got to do while abroad.
But of course the most memorable lessons took place outside of the classroom—through the experiences and opportunities that came with studying abroad. And through dealing with challenges and the unexpected—whether it be cancelled flights, moving to the other side of the world alone, or having an airline lose your luggage (which I did eventually get back, BTW).
If you want to experience your own adventure, you’ll need to start with some advice from the International Centre. Seriously, book an appointment and get started!
Carter wants to photograph concerts on every continent.