Charles Sturt University (CSU), through CSU Global, strives to give all students the chance to experience study overseas. CSU Global is a unique way to combine your desire to study with seeing the world. When Melissa Gore was studying a Bachelor of Horticulture, she hadn’t considered overseas study as an option. However, one email from CSU changed everything.
“I received an email from the university asking if I had thought about going on international exchange. I’ll be honest – my initial reaction was something along the lines of, ‘Pffft, yeah right, not possible’.”
Melissa didn’t realise the opportunity for international study was open to her. She thought student exchange was something only school leavers did, and also doubted if she could fit overseas study into her busy life.
However, Melissa soon began to think about all the opportunities that would come with studying overseas.
Study overseas and broaden your perspective
“I felt that broadening my education through an exchange would give me more of a competitive edge when compared against younger applicants in the job market. I find employers look for the best candidates for the position and those that will fit in with the business, but beyond that, they look for employees with something a little extra to add. It would give me a chance to build a different perspective into my learning and I would also be exposed to a different style of education.”
Fast-track your study with overseas study
“Another reason was to reduce the length of my degree by a year. The earlier I can transition to my next chosen career, the sooner I can be working in an area I’m passionate about.”
Gain new skills and cultural insights
“I would have the opportunity to see the world, take in a new culture, make new friends and lasting connections. I would also be able to develop my communication skills, share endless photos across social and create lasting memories.”
Why not study overseas!?
“I had the normal considerations to take into account:
- What about my career?
- Where would I live?
- What about my family commitments?
- How could I afford this?
“So why would someone my age, working a full-time job, studying part-time and living in an apartment in Canberra, decide to pack up everything, end my lease and move overseas on student exchange?
“Well, I asked myself that very question over and over again and came up with the same answer: Why not!?
“I guarantee that all the excuses, the worries and fears, the roadblocks and barricades that you can think of went through my head. But in the end, none of them were legitimate reasons not to go.”
Embark on a new adventure with overseas study
Choosing Canada as her home away from home for the next two sessions, Melissa set off on her CSU Global adventure, excited to combine her love of travel with study.
“The location of my exchange was a determining factor. I was interested in studying subjects surrounding environmental science and felt that the Canadian Government’s stance on climate change and environmental policy made this the perfect choice for me.”
Melissa decided that living on campus for her overseas study was going to be her best fit. “I felt that it might have been a little strange for someone of my age to enter into a homestay program, and living on campus would mean I didn’t have to worry about renting a car or committing to a lease.”
“My first week in Canada was spent wandering around Vancouver, outfitting myself with quality winter gear and getting used to the time zone. What I discovered was that my new schedule was less hectic than I had anticipated, which allowed me to settle in easily and learn the ropes more quickly. My first week of classes was spent re-immersing myself into a study routine. I was eager to meet new people and I also spent the week getting to know my new roommate (who, luckily for me, was actually really awesome!).”
Study overseas and see the world
“My year abroad began in January and will end in December this year. With Canada’s school year being similar to Australia, I was able to spend several months travelling before commencing my studies. This also gives me the opportunity to travel again towards the end of the year.
“I signed up for several tours, which are the most economical and stress-free way to travel as a solo traveller, and I’ve experienced some amazing places, like Cuba and sailing on a catamaran around the Caribbean (cue Pirates of the Caribbean theme music). Other places I’ve travelled include:
- San Francisco
- New York
- the Canadian Rockies
Make memorable moments when you study abroad
“I’ve been able to apply myself full-time to my studies, met new people that I would never have otherwise, improved my fitness, travelled extensively, seen a new part of the world and experienced a range of different cultures. The experience I’m having studying abroad will remain with me forever, and my most prevailing memories will be tied up in the people I’ve formed connections with and in the interesting projects I’ve been involved with during my studies.”