Meet James Reardon

Program and Location:

Spring, Monash University; Melbourne, Australia

Major/Minor:

Aerospace Engineering

Why did you choose to study abroad?

I decided to study abroad to see more of the world, having never been out of the country before.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I’m a lot more adaptable than I thought. As I’d never been incredibly far from home before, I thought homesickness would be a major issue, but I was surprised to find that I had little trouble adapting to my temporary home. I’m happy learning new things and having new experiences; I’m excited to find out what else I can do to challenge myself!

What was one of your favorite parts of your program?

One of the greatest features of Monash are the multitude of extracurriculars it offers. I was able to learn to surf, hike mountains, and explore the city all while meeting heaps of fellow students. Being able to get out and about while becoming part of the University community was fantastic.

What advice do you have to future study abroad students?

Definitely try to get out and make friends with locals. It can be tempting to stay within your initial group of exchange students, but it’s really rewarding to meet people who know the area well and are willing to teach you their culture. You’ll know all the best places to go and be able to better understand the country you’re in.

Were you surprised by anything during your time abroad?

I was genuinely surprised by how friendly Australians are. Traveling to a place where I knew practically no one, I thought it would be difficult to find friends; turns out it was quite easy to strike up a conversation or fit in during an excursion. There was a real sense of community that I wasn’t expecting, but was very grateful for.

Would you do it again?

Absolutely!