Posted on November 18, 2015 by Thomas Rossman '17, a conservation and wildlife management major.
Hi! My name is Tom Rossman and this fall I’m studying at Griffith University on the Gold Coast of Australia. I’ll be here for one semester, and during that time, I plan to learn more about myself by accepting change, interacting with people from all over the world and trying new things. Check out my other blog posts to follow along on my journey.
Pictured above is the Gold Coast. This is where I have spent the last four months abroad. This was my new home. Tomorrow I will embark on a long 27-hour journey back to my original home, which I imagine will be plenty of time to reflect on the past four months.
For starters, I did it. I visited the land of my hero, the place I’ve wanted to visit since I was a boy watching "The Crocodile Hunter." For me, that was my all-time goal, and now that I have accomplished that, it’s time to move on to bigger goals. Just as Steve Irwin did, it’s time to make a difference in the world.
I’ve learned a lot about myself since I’ve been here. Being 10,000 miles away from my family for four months has made me independent. I have proven to myself that I have what it takes to care for myself. I’ve also learned that it is possible to adapt. I have become pretty well assimilated to the Australian culture. Looking ahead in life, this has given me confidence. I now know that wherever life may take me, I will be able to adjust.
Lastly, it has given me a greater appreciation for what I have. Being away from friends and loved ones is hard, but the support I have received from them is astounding, and I know that I have the right people in my life.
Aside from the personal achievements that I have gained during this experience, I have made some wonderful memories. My first time surfing was in the crystal blue waters of Australia. My first time kayaking was in the Pacific Ocean off the coast. I was able to see humpback whales on their journey south. I sat with new friends on the beach under a star-filled night sky on my 20th birthday—probably the most memorable birthday I’ll ever have. And I got to see the most archaic and exotic animals the planet has left, from platypuses to kookaburras.
Australia has been good to me. I wish I could have seen more, but for a country that is about as big as the U.S., I’ve seen as much as I could have seen in four months. My time has been great and I hope to one day return to the land down under. Until next time Australia. Good Onya!
If you’re interested in learning more about Delaware Valley University’s study abroad programs, you can find out more during one of our campus visits.