Students jumping overseas

Student stories - Global experiences

CDU student Tara, who spent her exchange semester in Worcester in the UK, described her overseas experience as: "Ineffable – too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words."

We would like to share with you the life changing experiences hundreds of CDU students have recently encountered all over the globe. Be inspired by CDU students who are sharing their story on these pages.

Find beautiful accounts about students who come and study at CDU. Read inspirational stories about CDU students travelling to different destinations to undertake semester length, short-term and trimester programs.

Lillian in Darwin - From Germany to Australia

Lillian Lochner decided to do an exchange semester at Charles Darwin University. Brandenburg University of Technology in Cottbus is a long standing partner of CDU and students from Germany are very keen to come to Darwin to study the ancient landscapes and understand environmental issues in the NT.

For more information on our exchange partners visit:

Hoi Yan Chan

Exchange Student from Lingan in Hong Kong | Semester 2, 2015

Three words that sum up your experience here

A once-in-a-lifetime experience.

What attracted you to CDU?

The weather. It's good to come to CDU in the dry season.

Would you recommend CDU to other perspective exchange students?

Yes, I would recommend CDU to others if their major is not business. It's inconvenient to go to the CDU Waterfront campus when living at the International House Darwin. I had to get up early to catch the shuttle into the city.

What was the best thing about studying at CDU?

Although the CDU Waterfront campus was far away, it was great to use all the facilities at the Waterfront.

What were your impressions of Darwin and the Top End?

I loved the quietness and the fabulous natural attractions.

Specifically, what stands out in your mind as a personal highlight of your exchange experience? 

The 3-day Kakadu National Park camping trip. It was my first time camping and there are millions of stars at night. Awesome! You will never find this in Hong Kong.

What was the most challenging aspect?

The study load was quite challenging.

What word of advice would you give to incoming exchange students?

Play hard, work hard. It's better to study 4 units so that you have more time to experience Darwin and the NT.

Litchfield National Park

Meis Szee Khor

Software Engineering
Exchange Student from UNIMAS in Malaysia | Semester 2, 2017

Words that sum up your experience at CDU in Darwin

Fun and Awesome.

What attracted you to CDU?

Malaysian student at the beachIt is located in Australia.

Would you recommend CDU to other perspective exchange students?

Yes, because CDU has great lecturers and tutors and coupled with state of the art facilities. Also, CDU organises a lot of interesting activities.

What was the best thing about studying at CDU?

Getting to know people and making friends from others part of this world.

What were your impressions of Darwin and the Top End?

Students at LitchfieldA beautiful and peaceful place that surrounded by nature (mountains, lakes).

What was the most challenging aspect?

I had to cook for myself almost every day ;)

What word of advice would you give to incoming exchange students?

Let's step out of your comfort zone and come to study at CDU, it will be an awesome experience in your life.


Louis Kubasiewicz

Masters of Civil Engineering
Winter Program 2017 Innsbruck/Austria | Summer Semester 2017/2018

Louis spent 4 weeks in Innsbruck/Austria enrolling in engineering units at the Management Center Innsbruck. Once in Europe, Louis seized the opportunity to travel all over Europe meeting up with friends and family. Watch his video and tune into an account of beautiful travel and study overseas.


Matthew Mckenna

Bachelor of Education (Primary)
Study Tour: China/Beijing | Semester 1, 2017

Cambodia group photoMy trip to Cambodia had a profound impact on me, both personally and professionally. I couldn’t be more appreciative of the opportunity CDU gave me and the platform it provided to further my journey on to becoming a teaching professional.

From the moment we met as a group to the last day in Cambodia I was constantly learning something about Cambodian culture, teaching and education, the importance of community and support and most importantly, myself.

As someone who has never really lived at home since I was 6 years old I found my comfort zone being challenged for the first time in a long time.

I knew this experience would open my eyes to a new world but I never expected how much it would help me make adjustments in my everyday life and how it could improve me as a person.

Our days at CIA First International School we’re like no other. A prior perception of a large school could never have prepared ourselves for what we faced. A massive school of 2400 students and over 400 staff teaching and 2 vastly different curriculums. Each piece just another cog in their comprehensive educational environment.

The challenges we faced daily at CIA we were able to bond as a group and face them as a team. From understanding our new content and curriculum, the complex ESL conditions and the general day to day operation of the school someone was always there in support.

We not only encountered these challenges academically, the sheer size of the school made even finding a classroom or the Canteen difficult.

My experience I am sure differs significantly from the others in my group but there is no doubt in my mind that the people I have met and the experiences I have gained are priceless to me and my ongoing personal and educational journey.


Charlotte Cooper

Bachelor of Education
Study Exchange to Mount Royal University in Calgary/Canada

Charlotte studied for one semester in Canada and it was a life changing experience for her.

Listen/Watch her account on her study experience and travel adventures in Canada, the USA and South America.


Joyce Yeum

Bachelor of Business
In-country Language Immersion Program: Wuhu/China | Summer Semester 2017/2018

Joyce spent 4 weeks in Wuhu immersing herself in Chinese language and culture. Joyce received the New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant of $2,500 to support her study/travels in China. Watch Joyce’s colourful account about her global learning experience. Joyce sums up, that learning Chinese in China is a very different experience and a lot more rewarding.

Emma Boeck

Bachelor Laws and Arts
Study tour: China/Biejing | Semester 1, 2017

This is a beautiful account from Charles Darwin University Law student Emma Boeck about her life-changing overseas short-term mobility trip to China.

Emma returned recently from a two-week accredited study tour in China after being awarded $3000 in New Colombo Plan (NCP) funding.

The tour – with nine of her CDU colleagues – took in Beijing and surrounds and was focused on the differences between the Chinese and Australian legal systems.

“We had the time of our lives and at the same time learned about their legal system, which is very different from ours,” Emma said.

“Living an urban Chinese lifestyle was very interesting, and witnessing the contrasts between the lives of people in the city and those in rural areas, not far from the city, was quite confronting.”

Eesha Raut

Bachelor of Laws and Arts
Study tour: China/Beijing | Semester 1, 2017

Students in China"Being a part of the New Colombo Plan scholarship group that travelled to China, was probably the highlight of 2017 for me. China has always been a country of curiosity to me, and being given the chance to travel and study there with the law school was an amazing opportunity. I met some incredible students on the trip that I am still good friends with and they really challenged my own ideas, making the trip all the more eye opening in all regards.

Beijing city and all the sites we saw including the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square and The Forbidden City to name a few, were remarkable.

Students at the Great Wall of ChinaAlthough the hustle and buzz of China may have been lost on us, as our accommodation was in an area that wasn’t so central to the main city, the history of every ancient site definitely wasn’t.

Our learning experience, at the China University of Political Science and Law was both educational and riveting as it gave us an insight to a completely different type of legal system delivered in class by some of the most captivating lecturers I have ever had.

Our culinary experience was equally as exciting and delicious as many of us tried foods we likely will never eat again. I highly recommend this trip for student looking for a short exchange trip to go on."

Errol Chua

Bachelor of Laws and Arts
Study tour: China/Beijing | Semester 1, 2017

Charles Darwin University Law student Errol Chua is sharing his impressions of his overseas short-term mobility trip to China, Beijing!

Listen to a beautiful and personal account of Errol, who was able to connect with his Chinese roots. Errol's highlights: - new friends - developing life skills - cultural immersion.


Katie Hicks

Bachelor of Applied Social Science
New Colombo Plan Scholarship | 1 semester at the University of the South Pacific and an internship in a village north of Suva.

Charles Darwin University student Katie Hicks (BA of Social Science) talks about her overseas experience, studying and traveling in Fiji.

Katie is a recipient of the New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program. She studied for one semester at the University of South Pacific in Suva, Fiji.

"For me, studying abroad has made me a worldlier person, and I have picked up intangible life skills along the way; particularly adaptability and open-mindedness, which are important traits to have, and are valuable within the workforce." - Katie Hicks


Annette Turner Duggan

Master of Emergency and Disaster Management
Summer University program at the Philips-Universty of Marburg | Germany Semester 2, 2017

About you

I had been studying for a Master of Emergency Management and Disaster Management part-time for three years when I decided to find out about studying overseas. The majority of my study has been undertaken online which is great for being able to attend flexible. Working full-time, studying and looking after a family can sometimes be challenging although all the juggling has been worthwhile as I have enjoyed both the subjects and the interactions with other students.

Overseas study experience

Marburg, GermanyFor my overseas study experience, I went to Marbury, Germany and studied at ISU (International Summer University) for four weeks in July/August this year. Marburg is in the German State of Hessen and about 1hour train drive from Frankfurt. Marburg is a University town …. Or as the Program Leader says Marburg is the University.

All of the students at ISU were internationals from the Middle East, North America, China, Australia. The program administrator and leaders were previous or current students at Marburg and it was beneficial to be able to draw on their experience and local knowledge. My overseas study experience included a few extra days of holiday travel in Germany and Abu Dubai. And weekends were spent exploring other towns such as Frankfurt and Heidelberg.

How did you hear about the opportunity to study overseas? And how did you get involved?

Getting involved in the overseas study was really easy and started with a visit to the CDU website. At the beginning of 2017, I had an idea that it would be interesting to studying overseas. My aim is to use my Masters to enable me to work overseas when I have finished, so studying overseas seemed like a good way to prepare. The CDU website identified who I needed to contact regarding overseas and I sent off an email enquiring about available options.

After a few backwards forwards emails Brett Smith sent through options for overseas study based on my current study and how far along I was to completion. When I had made selected the study option which best suited my circumstances, I contacted my Course Coordinator to gain his support for my overseas study. It was also important to go through the processes to identify credit points. This process was a little tricky however consistent follow up meant that a decision was made and my application was submitted and enrolment approved.

Brett was also fabulous about providing information on options to pay for the overseas study.

ISU consistently provided information and contact through the period between enrolment approval and arrival in Marburg for Day 1 Orientation.

Why did you want to study overseas?

One of the greatest things about studying for the Master of Emergency Management and Disaster Management has been the opportunity to explore concepts and theories from different regions and countries. What attracted me to studying overseas was the opportunity immerse myself in a different culture, to experience day to day life of that culture while continuing to explore subjects that I had only a little knowledge of. I found the idea of combining experience and ideas in a totally different place very attractive.

Was it what you expected?

I wasn’t sure what to expect when studying overseas. I know that I would be ok with the travel aspects and always enjoys exploring and seeing new and different places. I suppose that beyond the travel I didn’t know what to expect. In many ways, studying overseas was so much more than I ever expected.

What were the most challenging parts of studying abroad?

The most challenging part of my study in Marburg that I found was living in student accommodation, being without my partner and family for such an extended period of time and not having any other students around my age to socialise with.

While I found the lack of social engagement and having somebody to truly share the experience with challenging at times, these did not detract from enjoying and engaging with as many opportunities as I could.

What were the best aspects?

Studying in GermanyStudying in Marburg was a great experience and one which I will also be gratefully for. In my mind I had anticipated that there would be other students who had a similar knowledge and depth of life experience as myself which would make for some challenging and enlightening discussions – and there were a number of those plus travel, history, meeting new people, being exposed to people’s lives that were so different to mine, visiting UN Headquarters and the EU Parliament, challenging and expanding my thinking and learning.

And the food – so much and so little time.

What’s the most important thing you learnt from your experience overseas?

Learning German challenged my brain and my persistence but I did it. Learning about the Israeli and Palestinian conflict was illuminating and confirmed my personal politic stance. Learning about GeoPolitics expanded my worldview and mind. Learning about the history of Hessen and Germany made me truly appreciate wide scale trauma, strength and the human spirit. If I have to pick one thing that is the most important learning from my overseas study experience - it is that there is so much to learn, and to continually explore and be curious.

Can you sum up your experience in three words?

Mind & soul expanding

What advice do you have for anyone considering studying overseas?

The best time to study overseas is now. There will never be the right time – the right time is when you decide to do it.

William Janssen

Bachelor of Education Graduate Entry
Summer University program at the Philips-Universty of Marburg | Germany Semester 2, 2017

About you

Marburg, GermanyMy name is William Janssen, a frequent traveller and aspirant science teacher. I have just completed the final unit in the Bachelor of Education Graduate Entry. Late last year while going through the Office of International webpage, I read about the wonderful opportunities that CDU has in global mobility. I sent an enquiry, not expecting much as I was entering my final year. Brett Smith from the International Office contacted me and confirmed that as a final year graduate, there were perhaps limited opportunities but that he would see what he could do. Somehow in July was on a plane to undertake a study abroad in Germany.

About your overseas study experience

Something I heard repeated over, and over again by almost all the locals was “Marburg doesn’t have a university, Marburg is a university.” Marburg is situated in the central German state of Hessen, about an hour south of Frankfurt. I was enrolled in Summer University program at the Philipps-Universität of Marburg.

The courses I undertook were interesting and delivered in ways I had not experienced in the past. I have come away with a number of views of teaching to different audiences and inclusive classrooms. I had to study German; this was a surprisingly difficult experience. I grew up speaking two languages, both Germanic; I thought I would be able to easily transfer my existing knowledge to the new language. I was worried that not being a German speaker would mean I would be constantly lost in a foreign land. Luckily, no matter where I went there was someone who could speak English.

Everything about the exchange was well organised. The cultural excursions allowed us to visit other German cities, and there was even a weekend trip to France. However, a lot of my experiences outside the classroom were at the bar in the student accommodation, using my library card to purchase a variety of German beers.

The University is extremely multicultural. Our group was made up of people from across the world, Chinese, Middle Eastern, American, Canadian, and of course German and Australian. Everyone got on so well and joined all the festivities. I have learned so much about people and I think the rest of the group were intrigued to hear about life in Australia, which was often filled with questions about the dangers of Australian wildlife.

Why did you want to study overseas?

Study abroad has been something I have always wanted to do, but I have never had the opportunity. I wanted an opportunity to discover how other students learn, I wanted to explore new contexts of education and meet new people. I knew in my final semester that this wasn’t an opportunity I was likely to ever have again, so if I didn’t do it now it would be lost forever. Luckily, university staff at the International Office of CDU were willing to jump through all manner of hoops to make my dreams a reality.

What were the most challenging parts of studying abroad?

There were things I found challenging. I am no stranger to travel, but I’ve always been in control, or with my family. I was suddenly in charge of making my way through London and Frankfurt and finding the right train to Marburg. I was concerned I would not find the university or be able to communicate with the contacts once there. As someone who finds it difficult to interact socially when I meet new people, the idea of having to put myself out there was soul crushing. None of these challenges though were difficult to deal with, and the trains were easy to navigate. The staff, made up of current students at the university, settled me in and made me feel welcome from the beginning.

Another challenge was learning German. I found that there were many words that had stems in words I knew and automatically assumed the translation. The German alphabet has different characters and different pronunciation. Luckily, Germans find English speakers hilarious whenever they drop the word “knackwurst”, which was a great way to seem witty, when in fact I just wanted to know where to buy a knackwurst. They sounded like delicious sausages.

What were the best aspects?

Studying in GermanyIronically, the people were far and away the best part of the entire experience. I made some of the best friends I ever have, even though we are separated by the entire planet. While on the exchange, every night we would pile into someone’s room with a few beers and a bottle of wine, and just enjoy each other’s company.

The school work was great too, although I wasn’t sure if Middle Eastern Economics was the most useful topic for an aspiring science teacher. It was the lecturers who made it the best reason to be up early every morning.

The arranged excursions for the group were completely different adventures. One weekend we took a bus to Strasbourg, in France. Sitting several hours in a cramped bus doesn’t sound like the most appealing time, but when surrounded by friends, there wasn’t anything I’d wanted to do more. Except maybe find that elusive knackwurst.

What’s the most important thing you learnt from your experience overseas?

Self-confidence! It was a lot easier to make friends and be a part of the action than I had anticipated. I have a perspective of myself as socially awkward and I was concerned that people would not accept me into their group and that I may be isolated None of this happened. Instead, I became a valuable participant of a great team of people. Don’t let shyness stop you from joining in.

Can you sum up your experience in three words?

Try the Knackwurst

What advice do you have for anyone considering studying overseas?

Apply today. This is a wonderful experience and we are extremely lucky to study with CDU and have the chance to apply Submit everything the university asks for. Remember the amazing International Office staff are always there to give advice and to help. Make sure you have a valid passport and try everything you can. The food, the adventures, the seemingly boring walking tours that end up revealing the dark, sordid lives of medieval Germans.

Seize every opportunity, it is easy to sit in a corner alone, but it’s far more fun to do it with other people. Everyone is nervous. They’re away from their home and their friends, so you already have something in common. The people who study abroad are more likely to be open to new experiences and are therefore more likely to welcome you with open arms.


Dion Morrow

Bachelor of Engineering
Humanitarian Design Summit India 2017

Dion Morrow speaks about his experience in India. Dion managed to participate in the Humanitarian Design Summit India 2017, organised by Engineering without Borders. Dion’s account of his study tour to India is a reflection of a mature age student with competing commitments. His story is incredibly humble and inspiring.

“It’s all well and good to study a field, but understand that that same field in a different part of the world will be different. These differences can be highlighted by observing…”

Alison Langevad

Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies Humanitarian Design Summit in India 2017 I am going into my second year and study full-time online, as I live in the beautiful Whitsundays. I work both as a personal trainer and as a sports and wildlife photographer. I chose this area of study because I aim to take my photography into the humanitarian sector.


About your overseas study experience:

In November 2017, I left for Ahmedabad, India. I was fortunate to enjoy a few days with a guide and driver exploring and photographing the city and surrounding areas. I then joined up with other CDU and Sydney students for two weeks on a Design Summit with the Engineers without Borders. After a few days doing ground work in the city we headed out to the Little Rann of Kutch to spend time investing the salt farms. While delving into the challenges the families face on a daily basis, I got to spend time with some incredible people. I enjoyed the company of both my fellow students and also the salt farmers and town folk of Dhrangadhra. In small groups, we worked on projects that addressed specific problems faced by the salt farmers. On return to the city we presented prototypes and our research to the Engineers without Borders, the relevant NGO and other relevant people. I then spend a few more days on my own with my camera documenting an amazing culture and a rare, endangered Wild Ass found in the Rann of Kutch.

Why did you want to study overseas?

I always thoroughly enjoy time overseas and this particular opportunity gave me the chance to confirm my career choice is exactly what I want. Travelling in a group with like-minded people made me feel secure in a new country.

What were the most challenging parts of studying abroad?

I found the short time frame quite challenging. I felt I had so much more to offer and accomplish if given more time. Small differences between our cultures were also quite challenging, such as bathroom and eating habits.

What were the best aspects?

I was amazed at how welcoming the Indian culture is. They have an ability to draw you in with their warmth. I was inspired by the salt farmers beyond belief. They are amazingly stoic and inspirational, and have definitely had an impact on me. I also made great friends. With fellow students we shared something so amazing that it feels like we will be connected forever as friends.

What’s the most important thing you learnt from your experience overseas?

I learnt so many things about myself. Most importantly, I discovered how to do things both alone and with others. I stepped so far out of my comfort zone only to discover that zone is bigger than I realised.

Can you sum up your experience in three words?

Bring it on!

Lastly, what advice do you have for anyone considering studying overseas?

Make sure you are clear on what you are heading into, then enjoy it. Know that any time travelling and experiencing new things is precious and cherish every moment.


Max Stretton

Bachelor of Law, Exchange student to Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Max StrettonI am studying a Bachelor of Law at CDU and I’m about to start my fourth year of studies. I have also studied some Indonesian language classes at CDU as electives to maintain my Indonesian language skills and learn more about the country. I am also about to start a three-month internship with the law firm, Akset Law, in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

Overseas study experience

I just got back from studying law at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia for a semester. At UGM, I studied Indonesian law through their International Undergraduate Program which teaches all the classes in English and I was able to study amazing subjects unique to Indonesia. Every lecturer was fascinating and the other people I studied with were incredibly kind and caring. 

One of my goals when heading over there was to improve my language skills. Although I wasn’t studying language specifically, I was able to practice with taxi drivers, my Indonesian friends and basically anyone who was up for a chat. It was great!

Whilst in Yogyakarta, I also became the Communications Officer for the Australia Indonesia Youth Association – Yogyakarta Chapter. Through this, I was able to practice my Indonesian language skills, help the community and meet a bunch of great people who also had a passion for the Indonesia-Australia relationship. 

Another thing I did whilst in Indonesia was travel. Although I wasn’t able to do as much as I would’ve liked, I was able to visit other cities such as Bandung, Jakarta and Surabaya.

Why did you want to study overseas?

Studying in Indonesia was an aspiration of mine for quite some time. I first went to Yogyakarta with my Dad when I was 15 and knew that one day I wanted to go back to study. I also aspire to work in Indonesia after I graduate so being able to study Indonesian law at UGM during my degrees at CDU was very beneficial. 

Furthermore, I also wanted to challenge myself. Living overseas isn’t that easy and not many people have or can do it. I wanted to test myself to really gauge whether living in Indonesia was something I wanted to do in the future. 

What were the most challenging parts of studying abroad? 

Max stretton

If you have patience and tolerance, Indonesia is an easy country to live in. The people are great, food is amazing and there is always a new place for you to visit. 

Saying that,I did have some difficulties whilst over there which I had to overcome. Like for anyone who studies overseas, the first problem you’re going to have is language. Although I considered my Indonesian language skills strong, there was still so much I didn’t know. What’s great about Indonesia is that the people are patient and will help you out. Although I don’t really consider this a challenge, Indonesia’s rich culture and religion makes the experience very different to being in Australia and does provide some challenges. The majority of Indonesia is Muslim and so with that, comes some strict social standards which you don’t get in Australia. For example, I basically wore pants 24/7 which isn’t that great in the middle of the wet season and every morning at 4 am I would be woken up by the local call to pray. But like I said earlier, I don’t really consider this a challenge, rather, something I looked forward to and loved to observe whilst I was over there. Patience and tolerance will help you get over anything in Indonesia. 

What were the best aspects? 

The highlight of my exchange was being in a country on the verge of becoming one of the biggest nations in the world. I couldn’t believe how many people my age owned clothing stores, cafes, or barber shops. The entrepreneurship in young Indonesians is astonishing and was truly inspirational. There’s a kind of buzz around Indonesia and around what the future holds and you can really feel it when you’re there. 

What’s the most important thing you learnt from your experience overseas? 

I learnt that I can handle myself in challenging situations. I explicitly remember how intimidated I felt after the first two weeks of class, amazed at the level of sophistication and knowledge the other law students displayed. Although I was taken back a bit and questioned my own ability, I was able to prove myself. I believe that this experience has taught me to be confident in my ability and I will transfer this confidence into my future career path. 

Can you sum up your experience in three words? 

Time for creativity

Must go back!

Lastly, what advice do you have for anyone considering studying overseas? 

Your parting wisdom – fun or functional. 

If you’re thinking of studying overseas, you’re already one foot there. It’s a lengthy process to study overseas and you will need to be patient. But, once you’re there it will be all worth it. It’s life changing and you will come back as a different person. Be up for anything. 

Annie Ingram

Diploma of Languages - Indonesian

About You

I am studying the Indonesian language at CDU. I am an external student but studying Indonesian at CDU is so great because you’re able to complete a lot of it through in-country units. This was the key reason that I chose CDU’s Indonesian language program when looking for academic programs to improve my Indonesian language abilities.

Prior to commencing my language studies with CDU, I had previously completed a Bachelor of Media and Bachelor of International Studies at the University of Adelaide in 2011. I then went on to work in the international development sector in Australia, Papua New Guinea and finally in Indonesia in 2015-16. While completing an overseas placement with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s AVID Program in Indonesia, I was fascinated with the Indonesian language and wanted to continue learning beyond the completion of my 10 months placement in Indonesia. Coming to the end of my Indonesian language studies now, I’m so glad I chose CDU and am grateful for the support and opportunities I have been offered to develop my language abilities.

Annie Alumni UGM

About your overseas study experience

Through the Diploma of Language, I have been able to complete various overseas study programs.

Jan-Feb 2017: 6 weeks of intensive Indonesian classes at the Mataram Lingua Franca Institute in Lombok (RUILI)

August-Dec 2017: A semester abroad at Univeritas Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta, Java (Study Exchange)

Jan 2018: 3 weeks of intensive Indonesian language classes at the Mataram Lingua Franca Institute in Lombok (RUILI)

Why did you want to study overseas?

When I arrived in Indonesia I spoke no Indonesian. As time passed, I developed a love of the Indonesian language and wanted to continue learning beyond the completion of my overseas assignment. Having begun learning Indonesian in-country, I really saw the value of learning through immersion and experiencing language in context.

What were the best aspects?

For me, the best part was being completely immersed in Indonesian language. In many areas of Indonesia where the tourism industry is strong, English is extremely widely spoken and it’s difficult to practice using Indonesian. In Yogyakarta it is necessary to use Indonesian every day. Being put out of my comfort zone and needing to use Indonesian was the best aspect.

What’s the most important thing you learnt from your experience overseas?

Studying the Indonesian language overseas showed me that to learn new things you need to have confidence in yourself. The main thing that has changed for me is my confidence to be able to use Indonesian in the real world. It has shown me that to learn you have to put yourself out there – even if it means looking like a fool!

Can you sum up your experience in three words?

Hebat - Indonesian for all things emphatically great

Woles - term used to describe the slow pace of life, kind of ‘slow’ backward

Nasi – rice, so much rice

Lastly, what advice do you have for anyone considering studying overseas?

Studying overseas is a great experience – go for it.

Annie in Indonesia

Jessica Hives

Bachelor of Nursing
ACICIS Program - Public Health Study Tour | June/July 2017

Charles Darwin University Nursing student Jessica Hives spent 2 weeks in Indonesia studying the public health system. Thank you, Jessica, for your authentic and inspiring account of your trip to Indonesia with the Australian Consortium for 'In-Country' Indonesian Studies.

"Putting yourself out there, despite not everything being perfect...this experience, the good and the bad, made me grow as a person!" - Jessica Hives.

Rebecca Lambert

Bachelor of Environmental Sciences
RUILI - Indonesian In-Country Language Program 2015

Rebecca Lambert in Indonesia"This photo was taken the week we were learning about Merantau (similar to migration) and had an excursion to a local village in Lombok. We interviewed locals who had migrated to another country for work. The villagers welcomed us with gendang beleq (dance and music performance from Lombok). I felt very honoured when the village head (the man next to me) asked me to play the drums! These kids were so excited to have us visit their village!" 



Study tour | 2017

10 students, who work as assistant teachers at schools in Santa Teresa, Wadeye, Daly River and Bathurst Island, were enrolled in the Bachelor of Education (Primary) via the Growing Our Own partnership with Catholic Education.

A group of Charles Darwin University students from several remote Indigenous communities arrived spent 2 weeks in Timor-Leste where they observed the use of language and culture to better understand multilingual education.

Education lecturer Ben van Gelderen said the seven-day study tour would give students the opportunity to explore and analyse educational needs in a remote multilingual context.

“The tour has been incorporated into the unit ‘researching classroom practice’, which asks students to reflect on their teaching practice and to develop a plan for ongoing professional development. The tour study tour was funded with a grant from the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan Mobility Program, which deepens Australia’s relationships with Indo Pacific nations by supporting undergraduates to study in the region.

United Kingdom

Tara Hamon

Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science
United Kingdom | Semester 2, 2017

About your overseas study experience:

I am currently studying at the University of Worcester in the United Kingdom for one semester. Aside from studying I have also planned some travel as well. My first adventure was a stopover in Abu Dhabi, to break up the ridiculously long journey and enjoy some hot temperatures, en route to the UK. I spent a few weeks in London with a friend before boarding the train to Worcester. I must admit, I was quite nervous to be setting out to my new home for the next few months! On arrival, I was surprised at how beautiful this small city is and how easily I felt at home on campus. Worcester is gorgeous, with plenty of character and charm, and the people here are so kind and lovely. My accommodation is perfect and my international flat mates are just like a family. I have travelled to castles and national parks in Wales, to Scotland’s Highlands and the absolutely stunning Isle of Skye, and most recently to Cardiff to watch the Wallabies play Wales in the rugby at Principality Stadium. Upcoming trips include a tour of Helsinki, Tallinn and Russia for Christmas and New Years, a trip to Iceland to try and catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, and anywhere else I can get to before my short time here comes to an end.

Why did you want to study overseas?

Worcester, UKI love to travel, so the idea that I could live and study overseas was definitely something that caught my attention. Being an external student who started their university a few years after all of my friends at home, I wanted to experience student and university life just like everyone else. In a way, studying overseas was a perfect way for me to make friends and meet people who have had different experiences. I wanted to build my self-confidence, to step outside of my comfort zone and push myself to do something exciting and new! To be honest, I chose Worcester because it was the only partner institution that CDU had that offered sport science units that I could take. However, I am so glad that I did because living and studying in Worcester has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. The sport and exercise course and facilities here are brilliant, and my lecturers and tutors are inspiring and passionate. I only wish I could stay longer!

What were the most challenging parts of studying abroad?

The most challenging part about studying abroad for me as an external student was not knowing what to expect from daily university life. I had never stepped foot inside a lecture, seminar or a tutorial before. I was nervous about making new friends and whether I would sink or swim. I was also studying one unit online back at CDU while travelling overseas, which made things harder when trying to settle into a whole new environment on the other side of the world. Being so far away from my family and friends was also something that took a little bit of time to get used to.

What were the best aspects?

Student jumping in the UKTypically, the best aspects of studying overseas are opportunities to travel, to meet new people and make new friendships and connections. While this is most definitely true for me and my exchange experience, for me the best aspects have been how this experience has helped me grow. I feel so much more confident and happy. I have enjoyed learning and getting involved in my classes, thrived off the experience and knowledge of all my incredible lecturers and tutors, and I have filled my time with as much fun and adventure as I could. It has been all of the little things that have made my experience so incredible. The late night study sessions, getting up and belting out a song at karaoke night, cooking dinner with my friends who have become like family, and exploring Worcester. Many people here have asked me the question, “why Worcester?”. My answer has often been, “why not?”. Being from Canberra I often get asked the same question back at home. My time here has shown me that it is the little things that truly make their mark on you, and affect you in ways that make such a large impact. The best aspects of my exchange experience have undoubtedly been the new friendships I have made, both with staff and my fellow students from all over the world, and my travel adventures. I smile everyday at the fact that I am studying something that interests me, in a beautiful town, surrounded by incredible and inspiring people who I am so fortunate to have been able to meet and get to know.

What’s the most important thing you learnt from your experience overseas?

I have learnt that coming to do this exchange on my own has been more empowering than I imagined. I am usually a little bit shy, slightly anxious and a more reserved person. However, through this experience I have shown to myself that I can step outside of my comfort zone, be more confident in myself, and actually thrive! It has definitely been the best decision, and the challenge has allowed me to see potential within myself and so many more possibilities for what I can do into the future. This drive to get out there in the world and chase a goal or dream sounds insanely cliché, but the feeling is so elating and I know that this has been the best thing for me.

Can you sum up your experience in three words?

One word: Ineffable – too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words.

But to add two more…

  • Bendigedig – Welsh word meaning ‘blessed’ or ‘wonderful’
  • Kairos – Greek word meaning “the perfect, delicate, crucial moment; the fleeting rightness of time and place that creates the opportune atmosphere for action, words or movement”

Lastly, what advice do you have for anyone considering studying overseas?

My advice would be to take the opportunities that we are fortunate enough to be offered to us, through CDU and in life generally. See more of the world. Smile at the beauty of nature, of learning, and of people. Combining travel and study is such a rewarding experience. I have had the most amazing adventure and I don’t want it to end; ridiculous amounts of fun, countless fits of laughter, travels to places that have left me lost for words, challenging myself and trying new things, meeting incredibly inspiring people, and learning SO much about my field of study, but also about myself. Don’t ask yourself, “Why study overseas?” ... Ask yourself, “Why not?”.

Dr Carla Eisemberg talks about the Brazilian Amazon Field Intensive 2018

Dr. Carla Eisemberg, lecturer at CDU is very passionate about Brazil and the rainforest. She is offering an in-country field intensive in the Brazilian Amazon for students interested in applied ecology, fauna conservation, wildlife management and the Amazon ecosystem. Students will work on wildlife research, harvest, management and protection with a focus on freshwater turtles, during a two weeks field studies placement in Manaus and the Rio Trombetas Biological Reserve, Amazonas, Brazil. Be inspired by Carla.

For more information about this once in a life time study opportunity in Brazil visit: and

Dr Daniel Gahreman talks about our partnership with NTUS in Taiwan

Dr Daniel Gahreman gives an insight into Taiwan and the opportunities Charles Darwin University offers to study in Taichang City at the National Taiwan University of Sport.

If you are inspired by CDU students who recently studied overseas, or students from overseas who joined the CDU community to study in Darwin and would like to plan your own global experience, please contact the CDU Mobility team for further information here.

“You are always one decision away from a totally different life” Via (the Minds Journal)