Study Abroad: Trying travel, cuddling koalas in Australia

Communication major senior Kaci Snyder (pictured above) spent the spring 2018 semester in Australia. Snyder is thankful for the opportunity she had to study overseas and encourages all students to do the same (courtesy of Kaci Snyder).

Studying abroad is an opportunity that not many students take advantage of in college; on average, less than 10 percent of students study abroad. But for communication major senior Kaci Snyder, studying abroad turned into an amazing opportunity. 

Snyder went to Australia during the spring 2018 semester and came back with a new sense of confidence. Studying abroad and exploring Australia was something that Snyder had always wanted to do. 

“I took a surf lesson there, which I thought was so cool,” Snyder said. “My campus was on a nature preserve, so there were kangaroos all over the place. I was also just meeting people from all over the world all the time.” 

Snyder also spoke on how different Australian classroom experiences were compared to those at Geneseo. 

“For my science class, we traveled to this island and stayed there for two nights,” Snyder said. “We were learning about how the sand dunes affect different types of birds’ lives. It was cool to be able to travel to another island for free with the school because we can’t do that here.”

At times, Snyder traveled completely by herself. Solo travel allowed Snyder to challenge herself, meet new people and gain independence. Meeting people from all over the world opened up her mind to new perspectives. 

She explained that the process to go abroad was very long and that she began filling out all of the paperwork in September, about four months before she left. Most of the work she had to do included doing paper paperwork, writing a letter about why she wanted to go and retrieving letters of recommendation.

Snyder also felt that Geneseo helped her answer the questions that she had. She said that it was very stressful and that there were many things she didn’t know how to do, but the study abroad office really helped.  

“The study abroad office was really involved,” Snyder said. “I had a bunch of questions, as it was really confusing at times. I would just go there and they were really helpful.”

Snyder advises students who want to study abroad to save up as much money as they can. She believes it is an opportunity everyone should take, as many people regret not doing it in college.  She illustrates that she gained a lot of confidence and independence by going and that anyone else who goes will gain these attributes as well.

“I think it’s 100 percent worth it, no matter where you go,” Snyder said.