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US study adventure inspires bigger plans for CQUni Brisbane student

Published:10 October 2019

Bachelor of Accounting/Business student Christi Chapman is spending a semester studying in Beverley, MA, in the United States.

When CQUniversity student Christi Chapman first heard she had been approved to study overseas under the CQUGlobal Outbound Exchange Program, there was just one problem: she didn’t have a passport.

A proud Wakka Wakka woman from Queensland’s Burnett Region, Christi had already made the big move from Bundaberg to Brisbane earlier this year.

Now, taking off for Beverley, MA, to do a semester of studies at Endicott College, felt like entering another world.

The Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Accounting student quickly organised passport, visa, and even started a blog to help her capture the challenges, aptly titled Christi’s Adventures.

Her first post, 16 days before she flew out, explained “it’s my first ever trip overseas… (and) I am very appreciative to everyone at CQUGlobal for their support in making this happen.”

Christi had applied for the Outbound Exchange Program more than a year prior, and she was determined to make her travel dreams a reality – without putting her studies on hold.

“Its super easy to dream that you can do this and that - but I knew what I wanted and I pushed myself, (despite my) habit of saying yeah I will do this but then I don’t follow through,” she explained honestly on her blog.

“But I am so glad that I kept my word to myself and did everything I could to ensure it would happen.”

Taking off to the United States on 24 August, it’s now been two months in Beverley for Christi, and she’s enthusiastically seizing new opportunities at Endicott College.

She’s loving living on campus, right next to the North Atlantic Ocean, and is taking on five subjects, as well as playing rugby union with the College club, and making plenty of time to explore her new world.

“Life here at Endicott has made me broaden my perspective in many areas, my study and classes, people engagement and networking, time management, socialising!” she said.

“One of the reasons I wanted to study abroad was I didnt want to defer my study to take an adventure travelling, even though I was seeing all my friends post their overseas trips and I was extremely jealous!”

“But thanks to CQUni and Endicott I’m getting to travel and study at the same time – (although) the travel bug has me good because I want to do so and see so much while I am over here, but I also know that study comes first!”

Being a student abroad has been a long path for Christi, who initially began CQUni’s Tertiary Entrance Program (TEP) for Indigenous students in 2009, before completing the pathway program in 2016, and throwing herself into the Accounting/Business double-degree.

She’s had plenty of successes since then, securing a Career Trackers Internship program at the Bank of Queensland earlier this year, and being a finalist in the 7 News Young Achiever Awards, which recognised her range of community work.

In 2017, Christi was also a recipient of the Wangan and Jagalingou Clermont Aboriginal Community Development Fund (ACDF) Scholarship, and she will be the first in her family to graduate from university.

“I plan to show Indigenous Australians that education is another way to open the doors and networks to new opportunities and life,” she says.

“This is a great inspiration to a lot of family and friends,” Christi says.

Thinking of studying abroad? Visit CQUGlobal Outbound to discover your options, or email at CQUGlobal-out@cqu.edu for more information.