AU Ambassadors

Student Life at American University

Study Abroad Down Under

March 3, 2016|Posted in: Abroad Adventures

Desiree Murray is a current senior studying political science and education. She studied abroad the the University of Queensland in Australia in fall of 2014. Desiree took advantage of everything Australia had to offer and had an incredible experience.

Having the opportunity to study abroad through American University truly changed my life. I choose to study abroad in Australia for the beautiful scenery and inviting English language. Although I went there for a unique learning opportunity and the ability to travel, I learned much more about myself and our country than I could have ever anticipated. I learned that I am much more of a risk taker than I thought I was, and I learned truly how to fall in with a place and its culture.  I made the best friends with whom I traveled across the country, to New Zealand, and to Indonesia. These experiences I shared with people from the U.S., Australia, England, and Canada are actually indescribable because now, being one year removed from the program, it does not seem real that I was ever on the other side of the world or that I would have taken the opportunity to visit Canada and England simply because of the people I met.

Desiree Murray studied abroad at the University of Queensland for a semester.

Desiree Murray studied abroad at the University of Queensland for a semester.

I lived a different life in Australia and back in the U.S. ever since – jumping out of airplanes and off bridges, snorkeling, surfing, kayaking with dolphins, petting cheetahs, riding camels, learning to get free upgrades, and learning about a government system that functions so differently from my own.  It is so surreal. While I experienced many amazing things that were so different than how things were at AU, I truly treasured simple experiences that reminded me of home. The most AU experience I had abroad was living in the city which hosted the G20. If you can experience a G20, do it. The world’s greatest leaders fly into one city to meet with each other over the course of a few days. Of course, the closest I have ever been to Obama was in the land down under… Quite ironic that we live here within 5 miles of each other and I was only feet away from him in Australia. The town of Brisbane hosted the event. I watched Obama change the conversation about climate change at the university where I studied, and watched security heighten to levels I have yet to see in D.C. My time abroad taught me that you just do not know what opportunities you will have or when they will occur, but when they do, you need to jump on them. Beyond being cliché and taking the opportunity, I learned that it is okay to change and grow into someone you once feared becoming.

To learn more about Desiree and the rest of the Ambassadors, click here.


Posted by Amelia Crabtree

Cacti, cows, and science lover