Endicott College (USA)
Study Abroad Testimonial - Gregory
Name: Gregory Kitto
Program of study at CQUni: Bachelor of Psychology
Host Institution & Country: Endicott College, United States of America
Period & Year of Exchange: January – late May, 2013
Endicott College is located in the town of Beverly about 40 minutes north of Boston. Studying there provided the opportunity to immerse myself in the American college lifestyle as due to the close proximity of everything (since Endicott is a small campus) it was not difficult to become involved in any activity that seemed interesting. The classes that I took were very group work oriented and were set up very similar to high school classes in Australia meaning a lot of collaboration and a clearer understanding of the course material due to smaller class member numbers (approximately 20 – 30 per class). Whilst there I was a member of the college rugby team and took part in many campus events. For my classes the assessment was rather relaxed with exams held in the classroom, however there were many short (approx. 500 words) papers to complete based on the weekly readings and topics.
I was introduced to the Outbound Mobility Program in early 2012 by Kathy Ramm who was then the director of CQUniversity International. After she told me what the program had to offer I viewed the many options for a one semester placement overseas and decided on Endicott, a choice that was due in no small part to the beautiful campus and its location on the beach. As well as this Endicott College's close proximity to the city of Boston was an influencing factor as Boston is regarded as one of the world's biggest sporting cities. I chose to study in America because I had previously lived and worked in Europe and the UK for 12 months and was looking for a different experience to that.
I was put up in the newest dormitory at Endicott which had only just been built the previous summer so the accommodation was great. I shared a room with an American student who was of the same age as me and our room consisted of a living space and a personal bathroom. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner were all provided every day at the main dining hall though eating out was cheap as well.
The grant money that I received was used to purchase air tickets as well as buy the necessary resources for the semester (textbooks etc.). The remainder of this money, coupled with my savings for the trip provided me with spending money which I used to travel. Considering that the Australian dollar was stronger than the US when I was over there I had more money than I expected and thus the semester was definitely cheaper than I anticipated.
Life Outside of Classes
Whilst I used taxis and trains as forms of transport while I was over in the states as these were relatively affordable and felt quite safe, getting rides with friends was the most common form of transport I used. Over in America I travelled to Boston many times to see basketball, ice hockey and to see the sights. I also travelled to the south of Massachusetts for Easter with my roommates family and to New York to watch the Yankees play Toronto. As well as this I was shown a few of Beverly's neighbouring towns by friends.
Adjusting to life in America was quite easy, the most straight forward way to describe it would be to say that it is like Australia only on a much bigger scale. Meeting new people was particularly easy at Endicott due to the many events and sporting activities I participated in and the introductions provided by my roommate as well as the close knit nature of the College. Perhaps one difference is the strict importance to be on time even for non formal events, though this is easy enough to get accustomed to.
Definitely my 21st birthday week which included being in Boston for St Patrick's day, going to an NBA game. As well as this, my trip to New York was unforgettable. Perhaps a surprising highlight was being included on the Dean's List for Academic excellence.
Tips of the Trade
Don't be afraid to talk to strangers on campus as majority of them will be more than happy to help to show you how to make the best of your time at college. The same goes for lecturers and it would be a mistake to not make the most of the intimate class settings by remaining quiet in class. Don't turn down any offers to go places with other students unless you feel unsafe as majority of the time these offers will provide experiences that a regular tourist will never get to experience.
How have you changed
I feel I have become a more independent person after this experience with a now even more extended network of friends and a deeper understanding of life in the USA.