Hey! my name is Michaela Califano, I am a sophomore at the college majoring in Exercise Science and am on the Equestrian team. In a little more than a week I will be traveling to a place nicknamed as the “land Down under”, also known as Australia. Most people ask “oh why Australia?” My answer usually is I don’t know it seems like such a cool, interesting place. I have always had a desire for adventure, the warm weather, the beach and always being active, all of which Australia is perfect for. For as long as I could remember I have wanted to go to Australia, I have always had an urge to travel, seek new things, learn new cultures, I have just always been fascinated with Australia. I was contemplating whether I should go to Australia or somewhere in Europe perhaps Italy, because in Europe it is so easy and cheap to get around to other countries and cities whereas in Australia it is a bit more difficult because most cities and countries are far from each other which can get a bit pricey at times being that you usually have to take a flight to your destination. But then I thought, well when is the next time I will get the opportunity to live in Australia for about four months of my life?… probably never! Being that I have been to other European countries, I figured that I would have way more of a chance of exploring those countries on my own and more affordably than Australia. The affiliated program that I chose to use was ISA, I did a lot of research over the summer and they seemed to be the perfect fit for me, they had a program that was related to my major, they were more affordable for me than other programs I had been researching and were extremely helpful since day one. ISA even made the not so fun stuff, like paperwork super easy! Before you go abroad there are tons of paperwork that have to be filled out between ISA, the host university, the College of Charleston Study abroad office, JOT Forms, the list goes on- but trust me it is worth it in the end! With ISA you get paired up with a program manager based on the area of the world you are going to, my manager Emily has been my saving grace with all of the questions about classes, visas, housing, etc. you name it she had an answer and not only did she have an answer but she responded almost immediately. As I am enjoying my last few days home, I am getting more and more excited and anxious to see what my semester abroad is going to hold and I cannot wait to share it with you all!
See you in Australia, Michaela