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October 2015

Here are my top five tips for future Study Abroad Interns.

1. Don’t quit! - Even if you may not get your first choice going into the program, like I did, do not quit! No matter what kind of internship you receive you will be able to learn and experience so much. You might even end up liking it way more then the original.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions - When going into this internship do not be afraid to ask questions if you do not know something. Whatever company you end up with will know and understand that you are just an intern and that you do not know everything. By asking questions you will not only be able to get your tasks done properly but you will also show your company that you are interested and wanting to learn more.

3. RELAX - Do not be a nervous wreck like I was at the beginning. You were accepted into the program and chosen by that company for a reason. It is okay to be a little bit nervous on the first day because meeting new people and working in a new environment can be scary. But don’t forget to breathe and remember that you will do just fine as long as you try your hardest!

4. Go to your internship classes - You only have a few classes to go to so it should not be hard, plus you will be given a lot of tips and insights that connect with your internship.

5. Have fun - Not everyone gets to experience an international internship like you so make sure to enjoy yourself while you study and work abroad!

11059863_10208166095289351_8534934509613480249_n.jpgThese past few weeks have been quite the whirlwind. I’ve submitted three papers and gone on two fantastic vacation all while interning along the way. Luckily Taronga Zoo is extremely considerate of the college workload and the overall Australian work environment is supportive of exploring in and out of work.

And I definitely did explore! After a week on The Great Barrier Reef and four days in marvelous Melbourne, I returned to the Zoo excited to get back to work. It is like I’ve never left and I’ve been enjoying continuing on my projects and starting new ones. Australia is an amazing place and deserves to be explored.

Luckily the internship program and University allows this to be accessible for all exchange students. I’ve been having the time of my life socially and professionally...definitely a rare combination. The Great Barrier Reef was beautiful. If you head out there for your mid-semester break I definitely suggest spending a day paddle boarding on Fitzroy Island...you will feel like you a living a paradise! And in Melbourne a tour of The Great Ocean Road is a must. That drive is incomparable.

The fun isn’t ending so soon either.While I still have a month of school and internship, I have a few more fun trips planned including a surfing weekend, New Zealand, and Bali! If you end up in Australia chances are you’ve worked pretty hard to get here...so enjoy it all while you can!

When I finally started my internship I couldn’t help but have this thought cross my mind, “Will I have time to still do my school work, but more importantly will I still have a social life?” Yes that may sound bad but it’s true! I’m in the most amazing country within the coolest city ever of course I want to have a social life! Naturally school work comes first so I was really worried that having an internship would prevent me from completing my school work which would mean I would have to use my free “social” time to finish up my assignments. However, what I failed to realize is that this internship is not only a way for me to get work experience but also as a way to receive credit as a class!

This meant that even though I had work during the week I still had one less class to take which meant less studying for me to do. What was also great about the internship is that they are very flexible with your schedule. If you end up having a tough week with schoolwork you can easily switch your schedule around in order to study for your exam or finish your paper. So don’t fret, you will no problem managing your studies, your work commitments and you can still have a social life in the most amazing city. Just remember that you still need to complete all your hours!