International Connections

Rebekah Trost

Major: Kinesiology and Health

Year: Junior
Hometown, State: Johnston

Type of experience: Study Abroad
Experience: Semester at University of Tasmania
Experience website:
Destination: Australia

Overall experience..
Studying at the University of Tasmania taught me so much. I was able to be fully absorbed into a different culture while still having the comfort of my familiar language. I was able to meet new friends from all over the world to learn about even more than the Australian culture. Since studies in Australia have more frequent breaks I was able to also find time to travel around the country which opened my eyes to even more opportunity and time to explore the world.

I learned...
I learned about this opportunity when I visited the Study Abroad Center office at Iowa State. They were very helpful in explaining all of my options and helping me when I changed my decision.

An impact to my life...
This experience has given me relationships that I wouldn't trade for the world. I was able to travel to places and experience things that I never could without the opportunity to study abroad. I was able to learn how to be more flexible when unknowing situations arise. I learned more about myself when I was put into a whole new world with a whole new level of responsibility. This experience will be key for my long-term career goals because of the confidence I gained in what I can do and the experience I couldn't ever have found elsewhere.

My most valuable learning experience...
The most valuable thing I learned was the value of the people that you are surrounded by. While I missed my family and friends so very much, I was able to build an incredible bond with my best friend that also studied abroad with me. We saw and did so much together that we were able to grow together. This was also emphasized when I was able to spend an extended period of time with the other study abroad students, I was able to learn the core of who they were as a person to find what people I love to surround myself with. And that when surrounded by people that can inspire you, your life is so much greater.

I will never forget...
The most memorable experience was staying overnight on a boat at the Great Barrier Reef. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever been able to do and also a big challenging. The skipper was a no nonsense guy who stuck to a strict schedule and strict rules. It was one of the roughest weekends out on the water, but once I dove in, it was all worth it. I was able to scuba dive for the first time to discover the beautiful world under the sea.

A surprising discovery...
The one thing that surprised me so much was the importance of being in touch with those you love and getting out even if you may be feeling down. Staying in touch with family seemed to be the thing that helped me through the whole trip. While some days I got sad and felt like I would rather hang out in my room, I always made myself get out and explore Tasmania and I never regretted that for a second. I was able to see and do so much and accomplished nearly everything on my Australia bucket-list.

Advice for others...
I would advise someone to take a best friend and just dive in head first to every opportunity given. While some things may seem weird or different you always just have to go anyway and you will never regret it.

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