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Student Profile Jessica Serio

1.Why did you decide to study abroad?

I love to travel so to be able to travel and get college credit at the same time was amazing! I also plan to go to medical school after Saint A's so I was taking advantage of a great opportunity to travel before I get there.

2. If you could tell someone one reason why they should go, what would you say?

You learn so much about yourself when you travel abroad. I learned that I am a strong and independent individual and I gained so much confidence in myself by going abroad for a semester.

3. What was the most memorable experience you had while studying abroad?

One of the most memorable experiences was definitely snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. You hear so much about the Reef and how amazing it is but it is truly breathtaking when you see it in person. Words can't even describe how beautiful the Great Barrier Reef is.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you had to face while studying abroad?

While I was abroad I had a minor surgery and was in the hospital for three days. It was terrifying being in a foreign hospital by myself but I had amazing friends that stayed with me and helped me get through it.

5. What was your first week like abroad?

I was in Fiji with my entire study abroad program during my first week abroad. It was definitely a great way to start my semester abroad. We got to stay with host families, which was such a great experience. When you first think of Fiji you think of a tropical paradise, but some people in Fiji are actually living in poverty. There were six people living in a two bedroom house with no clean or hot water. It made me realize how lucky I was to be able to have the opportunity to study abroad since some people don't even have the opportunity to take a hot shower.

6. Would you recommend this program to others? Why or why not?

I would definitely recommend this program to others! AIFS included so many things into their program that it made it so easy to study abroad. My flights and some of my trips were included. We also had a debit card with a $250 allowance every month which was great! It saved me a lot of money being able to have that card for buying food and transportation in and out of Sydney. AIFS was great at getting my entire group together for things but also gave us the freedom to travel on our own.

7. Express two or three things that help us to understand how you felt living in the city of  Sydney?

Sydney is a huge and very busy city. I lived about 45 minutes from the heart of Sydney. It was nice being in a smaller suburb and having the opportunity to get to know more people by actually living on a campus. Transportation was so convenient in and out of the city that I was in the heart of Sydney almost every week!

What advice would you give to students to help them in choosing a program? Pick a program that has opportunities included in it that you are interested in. If you are not interested in a trip that is included, you will just be wasting your money on something that you will not love. You need to think what is going to be best for you when you are gone for a whole semester.

Meet Jessica

Jessica Serio

Name: Jessica Serio

Major: Biology, Pre-Med

Year of Graduation: 2013

Location of study abroad: Sydney, Australia

University Abroad: Macquarie University