Missouri State University
Cody Vaughn

Cody Vaughn

Cody — who is having adventures from white-water rafting to holding koalas at the zoo — gives great advice to students considering going abroad.

Student in Australia never wants to leave

Cody is junior double major in psychology and communication. He studied in Australia for the fall 2011 semester through GlobaLinks Learning Abroad, and answered the following questions while he was abroad.

Have you tried anything fun yet?

The craziest thing I’ve done so far was probably white-water rafting in the Tully River in North Queensland. I knew it would be hard work, but I legitimately had no idea just how close to death I’d feel! It was REALLY intense, really cold and really exhilarating. We flipped, hit several boulders and even got stuck under a gushing waterfall. Not only was the experience crazy, but I must be as well for being such a thrillseeker!

Oh yeah, and petting two wild sea turtles while scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef!

What have you enjoyed most about your experience so far?

I have truly loved the diversity and versatility Australia has offered me. I live in Sydney, only a short bus ride from the heart of downtown, but I also live a short walk from beautiful beaches and wonderful residential neighborhoods.

The Aussie way of life has really changed my perspective and opened my eyes. I have been able to meet people from across the globe, all with different backgrounds and stories to tell.

I’ve also found peace in being able to step aside and appreciate the beauty of both natural and man-made wonders. I have so much more that I could say, but the most enjoyable thing for me is the fact that I can do or see practically anything I want here, because Australia has it all! I never want to leave!

What advice do you have for students considering going abroad?

I know it sounds cliché, but I would honestly have to give the advice "know thyself." By going abroad you’re really able to gain independence and learn so much about the great big world out there, but it’s a lot easier if you’re pretty confident and grounded before you go.

Going abroad has the potential to be a great way to discover yourself, but I recommend knowing what your natural tendencies are, good and bad, before you go out into the world. If you have the tendency to be reclusive, careless about expenses, or irresponsible when it comes to having a good time, etc., it’s good to recognize that and think of ways to manage it when you’re on your own. The last thing you want is to have some kind of personal emergency you caused yourself when you’re halfway around the world.

If you’re well in tune with who you are before you go, you’ll feel much happier and in control when your family and friends from home aren’t around you all the time.

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