Study Away Spotlight: Bond University

Hey guys, it’s Jackie! This week I am going to spotlight one of my dear friend’s experience studying abroad in Australia with Bond University. Lina Zaharias is a current junior at Furman, where she studies physics. Fun fact: this past summer, Lina interned with NASA!

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Furman’s program with Bond University is an affiliate one, which means it is not Furman faculty-led. However, many Furman students do participate in this program. For more information on the different types of Furman semester-long study away options, check out this blog.

Bond University is located on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. Known for having a year-long summer, students get to enjoy the beach an Aussie lifestyle while taking classes. The University does not specialize in one specific area of study, making this program very accessible to students of all majors. It is actually Australia’s first private University, and caters towards international students.

Q & A

Why did you choose this study away program?

LINA: I chose this program (TEAN Aboard at Bond University) because it was unlike any other affiliate programs Furman offered. I have always dreamed of coming to Australia, but always wanted to come with plenty of time to explore the country. This opportunity allowed me to go on my dream trip while taking courses that transfer to Furman!

What has been the most challenging part of your semester?

LINA: The most challenging part of this experiencing is definitely homesickness. I never imagined I would miss my classes and professors so much. Although it is sad to miss family and friends at school, it has definitely made me realize how thankful I am for the people in my life.

What has been the most beneficial part of your semester?

LINA: The most beneficial part of this experience is the fact that I am forced out of my comfort zone. I am more sociable and willing to go up to a stranger to strike a conversation. There is also a sense of independence that I have learned while being abroad. Not having constant communication with friends and family abroad and home has forced me to become much more self-reliant. I feel I have grown much more independent as a person since coming abroad. Not having easy communication to those who I typically go to for any inconvenience has forced me to become self-dependent and be able to reason and figure out a solution to the situation on my own. I have also learned a great deal of responsibility. Having to plan our weekend trips, finding our way to wherever we go (via public transportation, car rentals, uber, etc.), and even buying groceries for a no-meal-plan way of life has forced a responsibility on us as students. We have become our own travel agents, cooks, tour guides, and more, which I have personally enjoyed very much.

What has been your favorite adventure you have gone on thus far?

LINA: I got the chance to fly to New Zealand for a weekend in September and go skiing at Mt. Hutt. We were able to catch the last weekend of the ski-season and enjoy fairly fresh snow! We had a great time skiing, and got to explore the city of Christchurch, which has remained to be my favorite city to visit.

What is something about your time spent abroad that you didn’t expect when you first arrived?

LINA: Something I didn’t expect before going abroad is the number of students studying abroad. The school I am attending (Bond University) is structured around the idea of making studying abroad an ease for international students. This means that the majority of the students that attend the university are in fact here for a semester or two to study abroad. Majority of the students in my classes are from the US also studying abroad.

If you have any further questions about the Australia study abroad trip, feel free to reach out to Lina. lina.zaharias@furman.edu

It’s a great day to have a great day!

Love & Laughter,

Jackie

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