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Don’t get me wrong: I really miss Arcadia. But I am also having an amazing time here at Bond University in Gold Coast, Australia. Arcadia’s study abroad program in Bond has become a very popular choice not only among Arcadia students, but also for other American students coming from various universities across the country. I decided to ask some of my fellow students about their experiences abroad thus far.
Being one of the few native Arcadians in this group, how would you describe your experience at Bond? Have you noticed any similarities between Arcadia and Bond?
"My experience thus far has been really cool. I feel that Arcadia prepared me. As far as similarities between the two, there aren’t many. Here, I’ve been going out and doing a lot of sports and activities. At Arcadia, I normally just do clubs. I rarely ever go to the gym, but here I go a lot. I have more drive to do stuff since it’s not the winter. There is a different side of me that I am happily discovering."
What do you miss most about Arcadia?
"My friends. I have friends here, but a lot are from other places, which is cool, but I really miss my friends back home."
What made you decide to study at Bond, and why did you choose to go through the Arcadia program?
"I was choosing between Arcadia in London or Arcadia in Australia, and I found out that London had very few classes to choose from. I wanted a wide array of classes so I could learn about stuff I had never learned before, and I stumbled on Bond. I chose to go through Arcadia because I had heard that [The College of Global Studies] is really, really helpful with preparing students to study abroad, and they were. It was amazing."
How does life here compare to life at your home university?
"It doesn’t! Life here is so much better. My home campus is probably four times the size of Bond. I go to school in Illinois, so it’s cold. We have to take buses to get to classes from where we live. My campus is pretty, but obviously this is beautiful because we are in Australia, so it can’t really even be compared. Everything here is outdoorsy. It’s just super chill with good vibes."
How has Arcadia's program impacted your study abroad experience thus far?
"I think the Arcadia experience has been really great so far. I felt welcomed from the very first experience I had when speaking to Arcadia staff about the program over the phone. The entire course of picking classes went very smoothly. I also loved being able to be here a few weeks before classes started with people like Gizmo and Wahaj, who were very welcoming and brought us on different trips to develop new experiences in Melbourne and Brisbane. They paid for dinner a few nights and treated us like family right from the start."
Arcadia offers their study abroad students the opportunity to travel around with their abroad coordinators for a reasonable price through Arcadia Excursions. Have you signed up for any excursions, and what are you most excited for?
"I have looked at some of the excursions coming up. One I know I am excited for is snorkeling at Cook Island. I know there are a few other hiking excursions that I want to sign up for, but I want to also be able to explore outside of the country. It should be fun to see what else Arcadia has planned for us."
How have Arcadia Australia’s program directors helped you so far?
"I came late to Australia due to Winter Storm Grayson forcing the cancellation of my flight, so I was really nervous coming in, since I missed all of orientation and I didn’t get to meet anybody. I remember when I was stuck at home contacting Gizmo and Wahaj, our program directors, and they were so nice. They were saying that I could make up everything once I got there, and then once I did get there, they all were very inclusive. I didn't feel like I missed out on anything. They have been super helpful and easy to contact."
Arcadia and Bond trivia! Do you know Bond and Arcadia’s mascots? What state is Arcadia located in?
"The mascots? Um… I know Bond’s mascot is the Bullsharks. But Arcadia, I have no idea! Something red, right? Are you guys the cardinals? I do know Arcadia is located in Pennsylvania, though."
Arcadia truly does provide the global experience not only to its own students, but to students across the country and around the world. I couldn’t agree more with what my peers spoke about above. So far my experience has been great, and I cannot wait for all the adventure that lies ahead of me.
(And we’re the Knights, by the way!)