Cam Nguyen ’13 set foot in Melbourne, Australia in the spring of 2012 to expand her horizons. As a BMB major and Math minor, Cam is no stranger to hard work and organization. She took the time to coordinate her studies so that she could make the best of her abroad experience.
She noted: “When I came to Gettysburg, I knew I wanted to study abroad. I had planned my courses at Gettysburg so that I wouldn’t have to take any classes towards my major during my semester off campus. Instead, I wanted to take humanities courses to balance my science major. Being abroad was a great opportunity to broaden the scope of my academic studies and to challenge myself to think differently, tailoring it to the various disciplines. My favourite class I took in Melbourne was Race in America. Not only did it add to my liberal arts education, it also complemented my work at the Center for Public Service.”
Like many students who set foot abroad, Cam discovered that it had an impact on her future plans. Going abroad is something that many want to do all over again and incorporate their career interests, as well. “My experience in Melbourne reaffirmed for me my desire to travel and engage myself in different communities in my career after Gettysburg. I see myself doing public health or epidemiology research where I can work in different communities to solve health related problems affecting that community.”
Despite all her active organization, however, Cam also discovered that sometimes things don’t always go according to plan. She wrote this advice to Gettysburgians seeking an experience in Australia:
“Students planning to study abroad in Melbourne should be prepared for the rainy, windy and overcast winter. I was not expecting to see so little sun during the winter and the weather definitely affected my mood during those months. I would also suggest putting in a bit of time to make friends. The class sizes are quite large and most students commute to campus, so extra effort is required to meet Australians. Use the small tutorial groups to get to know some of your classmates. Lastly, eat out as much as you can afford, an advice I got from Gary Brautigam, director of Dining Services. Melbourne is known for its food scene, so it would be a shame to miss out on that.”
Return to Student Perspectives .