Olivia Kiernan

Olivia Kiernan

BSc Economics 2015

United Kingdom

On July 10th 2013 I left London for a study abroad adventure down under and have since had the most exciting and rewarding year of my life to date. For my first semester at Monash University I lived in halls on Clayton Campus and despite some minor differences in the typical student lifestyle, I quickly settled in and was lucky enough to meet and befriend many other international and Aussie students. With lots of experience in customer service and hospitality, finding a part-time job around my studies and my 20 hour a week visa requirement was easy and I was soon spending my days off and weekends earning to save up for travelling!

By November I had road-tripped to the outback and spent 10 days in Bali over our mid-semester break. During my 4 month summer that ran from mid-november after semester 2 exams to the start of our next semester in March I took full of advantage of being on the other side of the world! For 6 weeks I travelled the Australia’s East Coast from Port Douglas to Byron Bay in a camper van with 4 friends. I spent christmas in New Zealand’s Queenstown where the beautiful scenery and adrenalin activities distracted me perfectly from being away from home at such a family-orientated time. I spent my new years at Falls Music and Arts Festival in Lorne - an incredible way to bring in 2014. After attending the Australian Open in January when temperatures reached a sweltering 45 degrees, I drove the length of the Great Ocean Road and ended up in Adelaide, South Australia. Next up was New Zealand’s North Island before heading South to soak up even more spectacular natural beauty. After an incredible few months and a quick stop over in Sydney on the way home, I was Melbourne bound to our new rental in Richmond. Scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef on the Whitsunday's and sky diving from 16,000 feet above New Zealand’s Bay of Islands were just a couple of highlights from a summer to remember!

With a little less pressure on my studies this year, I have used the opportunity to take units in Behavioural Economics - a branch of my subject i had always been interested in but had little opportunity to explore back at home. This semester I have also taken a unit called ‘The Human Body and the International Marketplace’ - a topic I am hugely interested in and am looking to base my dissertation on. I have also taken units in microeconomic theory to make sure I’m not too rusty for fourth year!

Living more centrally this semester has meant I’ve got to know the city and its inner-suburbs much better and am starting to feel like a real Melbournian! I couldn’t recommend the whole experience highly enough, this year has taught me so many invaluable lessons about myself, my studies, living so far away from home, the Australian workplace and so much more. I’ve met some of the greatest friends, been to places I never thought I would get to the opportunity to go and grown to love a city I may well end up in later life!

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