Mitchell McGowan – Gold Coast, Australia

I have always wanted to travel abroad and visit Australia. With all of the amazing natural locations and sporty culture, I felt like Australia was the best fit for me. When looking at schools, I felt that Bond University in the Gold Coast was the best fit for me. Bond University has a remarkable reputation in the Communications field, or more specifically, my major Public Relations. The Gold Coast also has a big surfing and sea-life culture, which reminds me of being home. Growing up next to the ocean in Quincy, Massachusetts, I have a deep love for the water. While there are some similarities to being back home, I know that being in a new place with new people will help me grow into the person I want to be.


I believe this study abroad experience will be a rite of passage for me. I am separating myself from the comfort of my home and family to enter a world that is completely new to me. I need to rely on my mentors and fellow study abroad students to help me grow and learn in my new environment. I know that if I remain open to new opportunities, I will come home as a stronger version of myself.


My favorite quote from the class workshop talks about moving from place to place. Richard Slimbach said, “The very act of moving from one place to another helps create a space where we can bump up against strangeness and reexamine some of the settled assumptions we hold regarding the world—and ourselves.” To me, it is telling us we have to interact with people and situations we may not be comfortable with. These situations can change the assumptions and stigmas we carry regarding the culture, and help us learn more about ourselves. It makes us more mature individuals by experiencing things for ourselves, and make our own judgments based on what we see.



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