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US Study Tour – Final Student Reflections

Posted July 25, 2017.

US Study Tour – Final Student Reflections

 

Boston University’s 2017 Summer Challenge concludes…

Our students’ departure today from Warren Towers was long and heart-felt… so many fond farewells from so many new-found friends. There can be no denying that the two-week Summer Challenge program at Boston University was an extraordinary experience – our students have thrived on the challenges of their university-level seminars, learned so much about residential life and reflected on themselves as learners. They are excited by the educational possibilities and opportunities that are ahead of them.

They have much to share…

Sean
The Summer Challenge was the most enjoyable part of the US Study Tour. I was excited and nervous to be rooming with someone I had never met with before. However, I was glad I made the decision to room with an international student as we got along well and shared a new experience. For anyone else participating in the Summer Challenge, I would recommend them to seriously consider rooming with someone they have never met before as I believe I would have regretted sharing with someone from Clarendon. In addition, my whole floor was heaps of fun and really added to the experience. The staff who supervised were also great as they almost treated us just like friends. My Program Assistant, Adrian, was great and kept our floor under control. My two seminars were incredibly interesting. Electrical Engineering inspired me and gave me the opportunity to work with equipment that you do not use in daily life. Business was much more social than Electrical Engineering and I got to meet even more new people. Business was very group-oriented and it was great to work in a team and see a simple idea develop into something much bigger over the two weeks. The BU Summer Challenge has been an unforgettable experience and I believe it has had a positive influence on me in the lead up to the end of secondary school and the beginning of a new chapter in my life.

Tejas
The US Study Tour has been life changing as well as enjoyable; it has been a real eye-opener and has helped me forge some meaningful friendships. At Boston University, I studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, both of which were very rewarding in terms of the new-found knowledge gained and the skills learned. Electrical Engineering was particularly interesting and challenging; the seminars involved testing the theories that we had just learned using tools and equipment. This program also involved many other young, inquisitive people such as my roommate and others on my floor. I liked the freedom the Summer Challenge program offers to explore Boston with new people and and plan your own adventures. Overall, I would recommend the Summer Challenge program to anyone who wants to develop their interests and meet many people from around the world.

Owen
The US Study Tour has been an incredibly enriching experience and was very enjoyable. It allowed myself to gain a greater understanding of all the possible paths my educational journey may lead me. Boston University was an amazing experience. I made many new friends, including my roommate whom I had never met before. I recommend to others participating in the Summer Challenge to also choose to room with someone they have never met as it allows for greater interaction with new people. The seminars I participated in were Nutrition and Infectious Diseases. I found these particularly interesting and, although I was initially concerned about the workload, the class work was challenging, but not too difficult. I recommend selecting seminars that you think will be difficult – this will challenge you to step beyond your comfort zone. The people I met really made the experience as well, in particular, my Program Assistant, Adrian Lee. He created a great environment that made the experience very enjoyable. Overall, I highly recommend the US Study Tour to any who are considering it.

Yang
The Boston University Summer Challenge has proved enlightening! The seminars provided a depth of knowledge and were inspiring and the program gave me an insightful glimpse into university life, which I yearn for! The experience is like no other. To be given the opportunity to pursue your passion in a two-week course was simply amazing. Besides the brilliant selection of course materials provided, the social atmosphere is what makes the experience unique and, I dare say, life defining. People from all backgrounds and locations congregate at Boston University for two whole weeks. Strange and unfamiliar faces all around may seem daunting at first, but soon you begin to hear the stories behind the faces, discover the individuality of each different person and that is what truly made the experience for me. Alas, all good things must come to an end and we said goodbye to all our new friends and said farewell to Boston… I was silently wishing the journey did not have to end.

Brydan
At first, it was a challenging process transitioning into Boston University. I was really nervous and excited. In the end, it turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences and it was really rewarding. Not only did I learn more about myself, but also met some extraordinary people from all around the world. Having that sense of connectedness and friendship with others from all corners of the earth is quite an amazing thing. The two seminars I participated in were Law and Business. In Business, we were put into groups, had to come up with an invention and, along the way, learned some valuable information about how to start a business and make it successful. Law focused on the U.S Constitution and it was interesting to learn how the U.S legal system is different from Australia’s. The classes were really interesting, informative and the homework was manageable – particularly, the group work. Law was inspirational and the experience has confirmed my desire to pursue that subject. Along the journey, I made many friends from all around the U.S and the world, which really is quite amazing. The experiences of the US Study Tour has taught me many things; I have begun to consider all my future educational and professional options.

Brooke
Going into Boston University was challenging at first. Adjusting to the 2-hour seminars and learning to manage the time proved difficult. After meeting some amazing friends, I was able to use my time well to experience Boston University and the education experiences offered by the Summer Challenge program. I enjoyed my seminars of Abnormal Psychology and Law more and more every day. In Psychology, I enjoyed learning about the diagnostic criteria for mental illnesses and the misconceptions of them we find in the media today. In Law, I learned about the system used in America, which I found very interesting and different to the Australian legal system. My favourite part was the final presentation where we created a Supreme Court representation and I was one of the nine Justices deciding a case referring to freedom of speech in schools. It was lots of fun and I would gladly do it again. My Program Assistant at BU was amazing and I found the floor activities she organised helped everyone to bond together. Everyone overall was nice and I definitely made some lifelong friends. I would definitely recommend this program to others as it gave me an amazing experience of university life.

Astrid
Before this trip, I was convinced that visiting grand places such as New York and San Francisco would be the highlight. Boy oh boy was I wrong. When I first met the girls on my floor at Warren Towers, Boston University, I knew that I was sitting in the room with some of the best friends I have made to this day. It genuinely amazed me how fast and close we all became. It might just be an American thing, I’m not sure, but they’re all very good at making friends. Although at the beginning not many understood my Australian sense of humour, by the end of the two weeks, we were able to sustain some entertaining banter. Possibly the best thing about the Summer Challenge is now having such great friends from literally all over the globe. I also genuinely believe that I had the best Program Assistant, Erica. She was less like a mentor and more like a friend. I’m sure if someone walked into our common room, they would mistake her for one of the students. I want to thank all the beautiful girls in 8A for making my US Study Tour such a life-changing experience.

Molly
My Boston University experience was something truly extraordinary. At first, I was nothing but nerves and doubts, but by the end of the two-week program, my life had been ultimately changed as a result of the people I met and everything that I had been taught along the way. The pivotal thing about the Boston University Summer Challenge program is the people that you meet during the challenge; I have made some of the greatest friends in the shortest amount of time. I know that I will have these friends, from all over the world, for the rest of my life. Overall, the seminars were enlightening. I believe that they have contributed to my educational experiences and they will assist me in transitioning into university life. The thought of potentially studying abroad has become more of a reality. I would highly recommend the Summer Challenge program – it was not only memorable, but also life-changing.

Darcy
When we arrived at Warren Towers and got photo-bombed by someone we didn’t know, I suspected that it was going to be a very interesting two weeks. The first day, I was very anxious as I had no idea who my roommate was going to be. We got along well and I am very glad I chose to share a room with someone outside of Clarendon. Meeting my Program Assistant and our group was such a relief as they were funny guys who joked around and we instantly got along. My classes, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science were very interesting and engaging and I learned an enormous amount. The most enjoyable part of the Summer Challenge was the different people from around the world, sharing Australian culture and the experience of ‘university life’. Overall, the Boston University Summer Challenge was incredible and has given me high expectations for university life.

Mark
The Boston University Summer Challenge program was undeniably the highlight of our US Study Tour. Staying in a residential college with people from around the world was daunting at first, but it was so easy to adjust to the new surroundings and make so many friends. The seminars were really challenging and enjoyable at the same time. Getting to experience Boston University and the city of Boston itself was a great experience. Ultimately, The Boston University Summer Challenge Program ended up changing my life. I would strongly recommend the US Study Tour to anyone who wants to experience university life and wants to be challenged to think and learn about themselves and their future.

Dom
When I first arrived at Warren Towers, I wasn’t nervous but I was anticipating something more then what I’d expected, and that is what I found. The Boston University Summer Challenge was a challenge. I roomed with a girl I’d never met before who was actually from Boston and she was the first of many friends to come. My advice to anyone interested in the US Study Tour is to jump right in, be yourself and be daring; I met some amazing people who I will never forget and will always have a connection with. You can’t withdraw and you can’t be shy. The two weeks that I spent with 333 people from around the world went incredibly quickly, so it’s important to embrace the experiences and to integrate yourself into the energy of Boston University. Within the Summer Challenge program, I studied Visual Arts and Philosophy mainly because I love Art and I’d never been exposed to Philosophy and I wanted to experience all that I could. Visual Arts was amazing and my teacher was extremely encouraging of everything I did. Philosophy was a very demanding subject where we were asked to question the existence of those we’ve known our whole lives and our very own existence. Despite how interesting Philosophy was, I now know I do not want to pursue it at university level. The opportunity to make great friends from around the world is one that I will treasure from my experiences at Boston University.

Nadil
The Boston University Summer Challenge program was undoubtedly the highlight of my US Study Tour experience. At first, I was slightly nervous to see how I would get along with my international roommate and people that I had never met before. People were extremely friendly and finding new friends was no struggle at all in such a social and welcoming environment. Our floor got along really well and the freedom and fun our Program Assistant gave us greatly enhanced the dorm-style living experience. The seminars I undertook were Chemistry of Medicine and Abnormal Psychology. Chemistry of Medicine was a great seminar as we learned a lot about how medicines are made and how much effort is required to make them. We learned about the composition of certain medications which allowed us to understand how they worked. The teacher was excellent and covered the content really well. The class was outstanding and very friendly. I was the only boy in my Abnormal Psychology class, but that didn’t detract from my experience. The content we covered in class was really interesting and really intense. I was not expecting such deep discussions, but after experiencing them I am glad to say that I chose Abnormal Psychology. The Boston University Summer Challenge really changed my life and I would highly recommend it.

Ayman
Offered the opportunity of getting a taste of university life in a different country, I literally jumped at the chance and was on board from day one. The Boston University Summer Challenge program provided me with exciting opportunities such as meeting people from all around the world, participating in classes that will put me on track for my future and, of course, travelling half way around the globe. Our first day on campus was immediately eye opening. Not only from the sheer size of the campus, but the diversity of the people there. We all participated in two seminars over 12 days. My seminars were Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The knowledge I gained will most certainly help me forge the right career pathway for my future. Although the academic side of the program was exciting and challenging, for me the best aspect was the chance to be engage with new people from all around the world with different backgrounds. Spending two weeks with these amazing people means the building of special relationships that may even last a life time. The only thing that could have made the experience better would be to spend longer there! Overall, I strongly believe that my time at the Boston University Summer Challenge has been life changing and that anyone who attends in the future should take every opportunity that is offered to them.