Claire: Studying Abroad Twice? It’s Possible!

Boston University offers loads of incredible study abroad opportunities and the programs offered through COM were one of the main reasons I chose to attend BU. I dreamt about my time in Los Angeles kicking butt at my big studio internship during the day, taking interesting BU classes at night and adventuring in Yosemite on the weekends. However, as senior year approached and more of my non-COM friends started to go abroad I itched for adventure. While I knew I would never give up Los Angeles, I wanted to participate in an overseas study abroad program.  It’s at that point I decided I would just do both! Yes, it’s possible! Here’s how it went…

The main thing that makes choosing a study abroad destination so difficult is making sure you can fit in all your requirements. That’s what makes the COM specific programs so appealing – because you are able to take BU classes that count directly towards your degree. When I was looking at abroad opportunities overseas I looked for programs that would allow me to take liberal arts courses (to knock out those pesky freshman/sophomore requirements).  Fortunately, there are plenty of those programs offered through BU. Planning Tip: I saved three fresh/soph requirements for my senior year, which really opened up the opportunity to study abroad twice. I calculated my requirements down to the T and had space to fit in an internship as well, which I didn’t think would be possible.

After I narrowed down my options, it was a pretty easy decision to choose to do an internship program at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. I am an avid hiker and grew up loving the outdoors but three years in Boston made it difficult for me to hike. New Zealand is one of the adventure capitals of the world and has mountains and forests that literally seem to only exist in the movies. Plus, New Zealand is VERY far away from home and I really didn’t think I would be able to travel there again in my life.

Now, my time in New Zealand is coming to a close and I know choosing to study abroad here was one of the best decisions of my life (even if scheduling my interviews in LA while traveling is a pain).  I took one class through Boston University (which counted as a liberal arts class) and two classes through the University of Auckland. At the University of Auckland, I took Logic and Shakespeare on Screen (which counted as my Philosophy and Writing Course).

I also interned for credit with an incredible local film producer both at a design agency and his private production company. Interning abroad enhanced my experience so much by integrating me in New Zealand culture and giving me the opportunity to make friends with locals. It was also fantastic professional experience that related directly to my career goals. Interning in New Zealand is far less common than in the states so I found that I was given even more responsibility than I was used to. I assisted the producer directly on several commercial productions, short films and the development of several feature films. My boss even took me rock climbing J

While studies and work experience are all fantastic – my favorite part of studying abroad in New Zealand was definitely the endless opportunity to travel. Nearly every weekend my roommates and I ventured out of the city into the mountains. There were even two weekend trips through Boston University (included!). The seasons are reversed here in the Southern Hemisphere…so I got Spring break in August.

Check out some of my travel photos below!

I have more traveling to come! The Auckland program ends November 15, which gives me over a month before packing up for the Los Angeles internship program. In between those programs I am backpacking Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand).

If you are interested in studying abroad twice and have questions/want some guidance…please contact me!

Travel on!

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