Picture this... What’s something you’ve worked really hard for, but have had to wait what feels like forever for the result?

For me, I waited for what felt like eternity to hear back from one of the biggest decisions I have ever had to make in my life. So when I received the result, it was at that point I realised I had an adventure of a lifetime awaiting – I had been accepted to study abroad at San Jose State University for Fall 2016.

San Jose State University, California

It had been a tough year leading up to this moment... lots of sleepless nights to get the perfect GPA, long shifts to save those pennies, and to this day I’ve still lost count of the amount of coffee consumed.

But besides this, studying abroad was all I could think ABOUT, and all I could talk about. It was my first thought each day, and my last each night.

As I'm now four months through this amazing adventure, there have been a lot of “news” for me. One being my first time travelling solo, and the other being my first time living out of home. I’ve had to learn, which in turn has made me become completely adaptable to any environment - a strength I will later thank for when I enter the professional workforce. I’ve also had to be completely dependent on no-one but myself while here, and it’s not that easy when life hands you the unexpected, knowing mum and dad aren’t just around the corner to create a quick fix.

SJSU International Students
While going on student exchange isn't just travelling as a tourist, it's also living in a new country, with a new culture, requiring initiative, commitment and flexibility.

SEE THE WORLD: The biggest reason you should consider studying abroad is the opportunity to see the world. By studying abroad, you will experience a brand-new country with incredible new outlooks, customs and activities.

EDUCATION: Another reason you might consider studying abroad is for the chance to experience different styles of education. By enrolling in a study abroad program, you’ll have the chance to see a side of your major that you may not have been exposed to at home.

CULTURE: Many students who choose to study abroad are leaving home for the first time. Therefore, when they arrive in their new host country, they are fascinated by the distinct cultural perspectives, which can often result in a case of culture shock on arrival.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
you must immerse yourself fully into the countries culture by having day-to-day interactions with the locals, getting accustomed to their habits, traditions and culture, and gaining first-hand judgement and experience.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES: Upon completing study abroad, you will return home with a new perspective on culture, language skills, a unique education, and a willingness to learn. Needless to say, all of these are very employable skills to have.

LIFE EXPERIENCE: For most students, this time may be the only opportunity they ever get to travel abroad for a long period of time. Eventually you will find a job and career, and the opportunity to study abroad may turn out to be a once in a life time chance. Take this opportunity to travel the world with no commitments, but to study and learn about new cultures. This is an experience unlike any other.

LANGUAGE SKILLS: One of the major attractions of studying abroad is the opportunity to study a foreign language. This grants students the opportunity to completely immerse themselves in a new language and culture, and obtain a unique learning style than at home.

Yosemite National Park, California
The opportunity to study one semester abroad and build experience in another international atmosphere is something quite unique.

Without regular support from your family and close friends, you’re exposed to make new networks, explore the unknown and to try new activities that have never been within reach before.

Studying abroad adds significant value and creates a personalised version of your degree, holding a great deal of potential for increased employability for when you graduate. In my opinion, a life of travel is a good thing to have. But the catch is, once you start, there’s no looking back. So where I chose to begin, was right here, at San Jose State.

There are many factors to take into consideration when choosing your host institution. First is looking at the location, and finding out what’s best for you. It is very important to do your research on the area you’re planning to live in. Other factors include looking to see whether your major is offered, and the different types of subjects you’re able to choose from. It’s also important to see what other co-curricular activities the host institution has to offer, whether that may be joining a club or taking on an internship while on exchange.


Studying abroad at San Jose State University has presented me with the opportunity to create global connections... and as my long-term goal is to work abroad, I plan to return to San Jose one day in the future. As an ambassador for QUT and now SJSU, I strongly recommend to both my peers in Australia and America, to also experience a different way of life, by studying abroad whether it’s in Spain, London, America or even Australia, so you too can find your personal “gap” much like I have.

See below for a short video of my U.S.A TRAVELS as part of my study abroad adventure.
Created By
Samantha Cheney

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