Life Down Under…A Study Abroad Interview

What if you could pay about the same as you’d pay for a semester at DYC and take classes that count toward your major, but live somewhere fabulous for a few months? Not to say that Buffalo isn’t fabulous or anything, but just for a change of scenery, how about Australia? England? Italy? It’s all possible through D’Youville’s study abroad program.

Studying abroad is one of the best experiences a young adult can have.  Not only do you broaden your view of the world, but you also get to know yourself a lot better. There’s nothing like being on the other side of the world, away from everyone you know, to allow you to figure out who you really are.  How do I know this? I’ve been there. I spent my last semester of my first degree in Australia.  It was amazing. It was everything you’d imagine it to be. It was also a long time ago, which is why I met with DYC sophomore Gretchen Mau who did her study abroad in Sydney, Australia last semester. When Gretchen was young, her cousin spent a semester in Italy which sparked her interest in studying abroad.  As a freshman she took an ethics class with Dr. John Abbarno who also happens to be the academic study abroad coordinator.  Dr. Abbarno mentioned in class that DYC had just added Sydney as a new study abroad location which is when Gretchen made the almost immediate decision to go.

DYC students in Sydney

DYC students Adam Holody and Gretchen Mau in Sydney

Gretchen stayed in a serviced apartment, which she described as being like a hotel.  Staff would come once a week, clean up and even make your bed for you.  During the semester she took two classes (Australian Cinema and Australian History) and did an internship.  As a freshman in the Physical Therapy department,getting an internship assisting a Physical Therapist in private practice was a great asset to her education.

students on camels

student petting a koala

Gretchen petting a koala

I asked Gretchen what the best and worst parts of her trip were.  She said her favorite parts were the weather and the wildlife. She spent every weekend at the beach, saw kangaroo, platypus and even fed a koala.  The “worst” part of her trip, if there was one, was that it rained the last week she was there.  She also said certain things were a bit more expensive and internet wasn’t quite as abundant as it is in the US.

student petting a kangaroo

Petting a kangaroo

Then I had to ask the question on everyone’s mind: How expensive was it? Gretchen states that she paid the same as she would have to stay on campus at DYC, all of her scholarships applied and she was even able to get certain scholarships just for studying abroad.  If you’re worried about the paperwork and getting your arrangements in order, Gretchen says Laryssa Petryshyn in the International Student Office was extremely helpful with all the forms and planning.

So it won’t cost you more, it won’t set you back in your classes, and you have a ton of help making all the arrangements easy. Now what are you waiting for? Get traveling!

student in front of the Sydney Opera House

Gretchen in front of the Sydney Opera House


About the author


Major: Dietetics
Where I’m from: Western New York
When I graduate: I plan to work as a registered dietitian. I hope to work in a wellness center or open up my own.

One Comment

  • Studying abroad was the BEST decision I made in college. I spent a semester in Rome, Italy, and wish I had opted to stay for the entire year. At first I was nervous about missing out on college life, friends, family, etc, but it was totally worth it. Living in another country is a truly transformational experience and a great opportunity to see the world when you have minimal responsibilities as a student.

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