Originally from New Jersey, Megan Troutman traded city life to live and study in laidback, sunny Perth in her semester at Murdoch University.
Megan wanted to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and experience a more relaxing lifestyle. She was particularly keen to study a semester abroad exploring the outdoors, enjoying nature hikes and discovering native animals.
Hearing about Murdoch from a friend at her school in the United States, Murdoch seemed like the perfect fit for her study abroad experience.
“I chose Murdoch as it was in the perfect location: situated in a more suburban area, where I could go on runs through the neighbourhoods and walk to the grocery store, yet close enough to the city and tonnes of incredible beaches.”
Life as a Murdoch study abroad student
Coming from a mathematics and secondary education study background, Megan wanted to immerse herself in Australian culture and chose subjects to help her gain a deeper knowledge.
“I chose classes that were about Australia (such as Indigenous Australia and the nation) because I wanted to learn more about the country I was living in.”
One of the highlights for Megan were the types of learning on offer at Murdoch, including student discussions and group work that made it easy to connect with students.
“My classes were very engaging and relied on a lot of group work, so I was able to meet other students, rather than only getting to know international students like myself.”
A major highlight for Megan was the field trips, during which she became best friends with two Australian students.
“I never would have met these girls if it wasn’t for this incredible class, and I was able to deepen those friendships by meeting their families and spending time with them in their homes in Perth.”
Making the most of living on campus
Megan quickly settled into her new environment, becoming part of the vibrant community at Murdoch University Village.
Featuring a range of secure apartments as well as a beach volleyball court, e-library, swimming pool and a student lounge, the Village is the most popular accommodationchoice among international students at Murdoch.
Megan loved living on campus in the Village, because she was immediately connected to many other students, including full-time students and study abroad students.
“I lived with six full-time students and one other student in my program, CIEE, which meant that I grew very close with students who were not American. This is exactly what I was looking for!”
Living on campus gave Megan the chance to be involved in many of the events at Murdoch, especially the Thursday markets, food festivals, trivia nights and dances at the tavern.
“My favourite afternoon habit was to walk around campus after class to see what events were happening. I could never be sure what I was going to stumble upon!”
The relaxing Perth lifestyle
During her semester in Australia, Megan fell in love with Perth and what it had to offer. Different to the fast-paced city she came from, Perth had the perfect balance of city life and beach life.
“I thought Perth was the perfect city, because there were lots of new things to explore constantly, yet it was not too big or overwhelming.”
One of Megan’s highlights in Perth was Elizabeth Quay, an entertainment and leisure waterfront precinct connecting Perth city to the Swan River. It is now one of her favourite spots in the world, and she spent many evenings watching the sunset there.
“In general, Perth is home to some of the best sunsets in the entire world because it is on the west coast, every single evening brought forth a breath-taking sunset.”
Getting around was also simple with Perth’s clean and safe public transport network.
“It was very easy to take buses and trains into the city, to the beach, and to other towns, which meant that we could fit lots of different activities into the same day.”
Megan’s time at Murdoch was one to remember and said her experience bought her lifelong friends from countries all over the world.
“Murdoch welcomed me, while also pushing me out of my comfort zone, and I would do anything to be back there for another semester.”
“Studying at Murdoch was the most incredible semester of my life, and I could not imagine what the semester would have looked like if I had chosen another study abroad location.”
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