Interview with Bri Hart

Describe your post-graduate international experience(s) or program(s).

I traveled to Adelaide, South Australia to serve as a NC State in Australia Site Director for the study abroad program and I also traveled to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia to visit RMIT and Monash universities to learn more about those institutions.

How did you find out about this program or opportunity?

NC State’s Study Abroad Office asked me to serve as Site Director, as I was an Academic Advisor for Wilson College of Textiles students and many of our students attended institutions in Australia (University of Adelaide and RMIT). This was the perfect opportunity to gain first-hand experience to better advise students as they considered studying abroad.

What are some highlights of your experience abroad?

The highlight of my experience was definitely being able to see the kangaroos and koalas. I grew up in a rural town and international travel always seemed so unattainable to me, especially a place so far away like Australia. I never imagined that I would experience Australian wildlife outside of television and textbooks, so to be able to see and touch a kangaroo was truly surreal. What I appreciated even more was that through technology, I was able to Facetime my parents (who have never traveled abroad) and share all of my experiences with them!

What advice do you have for NC State students considering going abroad after graduation?

If a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel abroad after graduation comes your way, take it! In my opinion, the benefits of being immersed in a different culture far outweigh the costs. There are so many sources of support to make travel opportunities accessible; don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help! I truly believe that life is too short and unpredictable to leave opportunities on the table for the sake of fear.

How did you bring your “whole self” to your international experience(s)?

As a tall, Black woman, it’s kind of hard to not bring my whole self anywhere that I go. Oddly enough, most of my experiences and encounters centered more around my nationality (being American), than my race. I was hyper-aware of the fact that I was the only Black person in almost every space I encountered while in Australia, however I didn’t let that serve as a barrier. I had so many great conversations with Australian folks about everything from the NBA, to American politics, to the Real Housewives of Atlanta.

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