Nicole Muckenhirn- Robina QLD, Australia

                My name is Nicole Muckenhirn and I am a junior in the Entry Level Masters Physician Assistant Program at Quinnipiac University. 

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                I’ve wanted to study abroad for as long as I can remember.  My sisters are 13 and 14 years older than me, and both of them studied abroad back when they were in college.  I remember hearing about it and thinking it was the coolest thing ever.  Since then, I’ve always wanted to have that experience for myself.  Quinnipiac is only an hour from my house, which I actually really love.  I live on campus, but if I ever need anything I can jump in my car and be home within the hour.  I’m excited to go abroad because it’s a chance for me to actually get out there and be on my own gaining a sense of independence. 

              I chose to study abroad in Australia because I feel like it is a country that suits my personality.  I would describe myself as being very adventurous.  In fact, I’m a little bit of an adrenaline junky.  This is mostly because of how I was raised.  My parents had me hurdling down mountains, skiing behind boats, and jumping off of cliffs before I turned 6.  I’ve grown up with a love of getting outdoors and doing these crazy fun things.  Out of all the places I could go, I felt like Australia would foster my love of adventure the best.  Growing up, whenever Australia was mentioned it was always in connection to some sort of high intensity activity and that just appeals to every bone in my body.  I chose Bond University for its academic calendar and location.  Bond is the only University in Australia that runs on the American schedule and doesn’t get out extremely late into the summer here.  This was important to me as I need to work during the summer and I also wanted to be home to enjoy it with friends and family.  The location of Bond University can’t be beat.  I basically live in the water and It’s near one of the biggest surfing places in the world so I think it will be a perfect fit!

           I didn’t have a good idea of what a traditional rite of passage was before beginning this class, yet it’s clear that I will go through one.  I want to use the knowledge that I am gaining to make the most out of my study abroad experience.  I can already see how this course is helping me understand and deal with the separations that are going to occur.  I’m trying to use what I’ve learned to understand that though it’s going to be very hard, I need to allow the separation phase to occur in order to gain the most out of my experience.

         Wilferd A. Peterson once said, “Go forth seeking adventure.   Open your eyes, your ears, your mind, you heart, your spirit and you’ll find adventure everywhere”.  I love this quote because I feel like it exemplifies this journey that I’m about to embark on.  I’m seeking adventure and I think Australia is a good place to find it! 

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