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Making it in Melbourne: Kaitlyn’s Story

Cheering young couple take a selfie portrait on the road standing next to a kangaroo warning sign, Australia.

By Kaitlyn Terrey
Digital Design with an Emphasis in Animation Student, College of Fine Arts and Production

I’d like to tell some big dramatic story about how this particular study abroad program was written in the stars for me, like the night a winged kangaroo with flaxen fur came to me in a vision and said, “Go to Australia, Kaitlyn. It is your destiny.”

However, that’s not at all what happened.

The true story is much less interesting and involves me on my laptop, pajama-clad and doing an archaeological spoon dig for purpose in a pint of cookie dough ice cream. I had gone to a study abroad info session at Grand Canyon University a couple of weeks prior and heard that we partner with an organization called USAC to send students abroad. I’ve known I wanted to spend a semester of college in a different country since I was a kid. My mom taught in Germany for a semester when she was a student and she tells stories about it all the time.

Anyway, while surfing the web on my surf-bored, I stumbled across Melbourne as a location USAC offered. At first, visions of deadly venomous spiders danced in my head, but then I considered all the good things that could come from studying in Australia: beautiful beaches, experiencing Aussie culture and a fresh perspective on the world, to name a few.

Let me point out that decisions aren’t my thing. I’ve spent hours deciding if I should buy a new shirt in blue-grey or grey-blue. Picking out what I want to eat at a restaurant is a nightmarish experience for all involved. So, lucky for me, Melbourne was the only place on USAC’s list of countries that offered my animation program. My good friend Limited Choices made one decision for me, but now I was faced with 80 million more, mostly pertaining to pulling this off financially, arranging my housing abroad and picking out classes that would transfer back to GCU.

I worked really hard as a design intern all summer and saved every penny I made – a huge chunk of which went towards my plane ticket. Twenty-hour flights aren’t cheap, y’all. I signed up for three classes: Modeling 3D Objects and Worlds, Photographic Practice and Script Writing. I think all three courses will challenge me in new and unique ways, as will living in a new country for four months. Adjusting to culture shock, getting around and overcoming a language (accent) barrier are all hurdles I anticipate jumping, but I feel prepared to take all this on. I plan to learn and grow from this awesome experience in every way possible.

Grand Canyon University takes pride in offering study abroad opportunities so that students can immerse themselves in other cultures. Learn more about your campus opportunities and our degree programs by visiting our website or contacting us using the Request More Information form at the top of the page.

About Kaitlyn Terrey
Kaitlyn Terrey
Digital Design with an Emphasis in Animation Student, College of Fine Arts and Production

Kaitlyn Terrey is a designer, explorer of the world, relentless optimist, pun-generating machine and fan of the finer things in life. She is the most organized spontaneous person you’ll ever meet, and she is serious about good humor. Basically, she is a living, breathing oxymoron. Kaitlyn kind of thought she’d be doing things like saying “ciao” and kissing people she just met on both cheeks at this point in her life, but instead she hammocks on her stomach like an awkward caterpillar, has the freckle pattern of a tortilla and coughs almost every time she laughs. Well, to be fair, sometimes she says chow, but it’s only if she is talking about food. Kaitlyn is a big believer in following one’s dreams and reaching for the stars, as painfully trite as that is. On that topic, she is currently pursuing her lifelong dream of working in animation, by earning her degree in digital design with an emphasis in animation and a minor in film. Also, Jesus is life! Literally. He saved mine and continues to change it everyday.

Read more about Kaitlyn