UMD: A Globally Connected University

Jeff Robinson

Program: University of New South Wales (UNSW) Student Exchange: Sydney, Australia
Term: Fall 2015

Studying abroad impacted me the most by helping me build a network of friends from all over the world. I now have a network of relationships in Australia, Brazil, England, Netherlands, Germany and many other places located throughout the United States. Personally, it has also helped me step outside of my comfort zone of being close to home and I am now open to relocation, and I also have aspirations of traveling the world.

I am a first generation African American college student that has lived in a single parent household my entire life. The best advice I would give any individual coming from any one of those backgrounds is to fully embrace themselves in the experience and try not to focus on things you cannot control or things going on back home. Your time abroad will go by really fast so it's best to appreciate and fully embrace yourself within the opportunity while you're there. This opportunity only comes once in a lifetime.

The most memorable experience would have to be just the total experience of living in one house with 30 other international students. We built everlasting friendships where we went to school together, studied together, partied together, and even traveled together during breaks throughout the semester. The times of traveling the entire east coast during the mid-semester break and traveling to Tasmania for 4 nights (During Halloween weekend - Very creepy) would probably be the most memorable.

Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: Living in America comes with certain stereotypes that other countries have about Americans. When you go abroad, try to be yourself and show people that the entire US doesn't live, speak, or treat people a certain way. We all have different experiences and are who we are not because of the country we live in but because of our individuality.