Sarah-Jane - CIS Australia July in Los Angeles

B Business Management/B Communication
Winter 2023
Choosing this path allowed me to grow personally, embrace new challenges, and make unforgettable memories.


When I started university in 2020, the prospect of studying overseas seemed unattainable. However, my desire to experience new cultures and countries persisted. That's when I discovered short-term study abroad programs, offering the perfect opportunity to combine academics with travel. I was thrilled by the chance to immerse myself as a student in a foreign country, gaining a genuine understanding of its culture. Choosing this path allowed me to grow personally, embrace new challenges, and make unforgettable memories. Studying abroad has been a transformative experience, enriching my university journey in ways I never thought possible.

Personal Development

The experience pushed me to experience travel by myself which challenged me to try new things and was outside of my comfort zone. I have always been a confident person but being in an environment where I could only rely on myself made me feel more confident and trust in my decisions. The exposure to different cultures and perspectives has made me more empathetic and understanding of people from diverse backgrounds. I appreciate the value of stepping out of my comfort zone, as it leads to personal growth and enriching experiences.

Academic Development

Attending UCLA had a profound impact on my academic growth. The course content was challenging and taught in a unique, engaging manner. The high standard of education motivated me to ask questions and delve deeper into the subjects. Despite the absence of PowerPoint slides, the professors' teaching style allowed me to interact with the material effectively. Adapting to a different academic system posed some challenges, but my enthusiasm for learning and active engagement helped me overcome them. The workload was comparable to UQ studies, but the diverse academic environment at UCLA made the experience both fulfilling and enjoyable.

Professional Development

During my short-term study abroad, I developed adaptability, effective communication, and resilience while navigating a new academic system and cultural differences. Forming international friendships enhanced my collaborative skills. These attributes will significantly contribute to my professional growth and future employability, enabling me to thrive in diverse and dynamic work environments.


The trip cost in addition to the bulk exchange sum was $130 per day plus $3500 for my flights and visa. I wanted to save where I could but also experience all the good things that being overseas has to offer.


I used the funding to pay back the expense of my visa. This was a large cost that I needed to undertake my exchange.


The accommodation was included in my experience and was a tri shared dorm on campus the style was very similar to living on campus at UQ but there were some differences such as the communal dining halls for all residential halls.


The highlight would be attending a Dodgers game on the 4th of July, this was a very special experience as it was a celebration of all things American whilst attending a stable sport in the American calendar.

Advice/Top Tips

  • Say yes (within reason) but do not turn down something if you are scared
  • Try something new when you can