My name is Kieran Bartels, I’m from
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania I arrived almost four months ago now
which seems like such a long time but it really has gone by in a blink of an eye. My name is Max, I’m from New Jersey in the United States, I study chemistry
but I’m doing my first semester abroad at Swinburne. The first week was orientation week,
they had programs and they had Club Week so I signed up for a
couple of clubs, we also kind of did a scavenger hunt around the city
that kind of got us used to the train system as well. There’s a train station
right on campus it’s a two minute walk from my dorm. So Hawthorn, where the university is, is a very nice suburb of Melbourne that’s 15
minutes from the city, yet it has the closeness and the feeling of a suburb. And there’s the food I would say is amazing. The food, I love food, I’ve
really enjoyed being able to cook for myself just as a sort of mark of
independence and self-sufficiency. One of the big projects that we do is the Freshmen Abroad Program this involves a large group of students from a university –
coming together for one of their first semesters and then we help them come
here and study with us. Once they are all coming, we help arrange their airport pickups, as well as their accommodation on campus. So I came from my home uni
with a group of about 90 students and so we’ve been you know we’ve all been in
the same in classes. And we do have a whole team that’s available to reach out to as well as all the facilities and services on campus and these include
health services counseling services residential services. When you study abroad with someone you’re going through all these are new experiences but you’re
going through them together. We do organize some great trips for them to
experience Melbourne and Victoria while they’re here some of the highlights are
the Great Ocean Road and Animal Sanctuary and Phillip Island. So while I was at Swinburne I did
something called service-learning I worked at the Red Cross in Camberwell I
went there every Friday for two hours back in the States, I had always done
volunteering but I’d never even heard of the concept of service-learning. It’s so easy to just go to another country and experience that while also getting
credit for your uni. We understand it’s going to be a little bit of a culture shock at the start but you’ll also be really excited. I think a little
bit more nervous for reverse culture shock going back to my home university. Swinburne was my first college experience and from now on I’m gonna be
subconsciously comparing the rest of my college experience to Swinburne.