Alumni Spotlight: Karla Chavez

Karla Chavez studied abroad with ISA in Sydney, Australia Fall 2018 and Spring 2019. Karla was an ISA Global Ambassador before graduating from the University of North Texas in May 2020. Karla will be returning to her host university, Macquarie University, in Sydney to pursue a Master of Teaching! We reached out to Karla to learn more about why her time abroad in Sydney was so meaningful.

What was the most memorable experience from your time in Sydney?

My most memorable experience from my time in Sydney was going to Vivid! It’s a light show and festival that Sydney hosts every year with a lot of really cool art displays and interactive games. It was such a unique and special experience to see the city and the Opera House covered with pretty, colorful lights.

Were you always interested in studying abroad in Australia? What inspired this decision?

When I was twelve, I had this big interest in Australia and promptly decided that I was going to move abroad for college and major in photography at a school in Brisbane. That didn’t quite happen. Although, fast forward and eight years later I had the opportunity to study abroad during my junior year of college! I applied for an ISA program in Sydney, Australia and loved every minute of it: the city, culture and even the kookaburra that would sing at odd hours of the night. And don’t worry, I did make my way to Brisbane during a semester break!

Funniest story or experience from your time abroad…go!

My funniest experience happened the first time I rode in a car with someone. I was looking for something in the backseat and I turned around just as they were making a left turn. I let out a loud squeak because I thought we were about to collide with incoming traffic. This was an example of culture shock at its finest! My friends didn’t let me live that down, especially when I finally got to drive a car and promptly turned onto the wrong side of the road.

What advice would you give to students who are on the fence about studying abroad?

To anyone wanting to study abroad: if you have the means to do it, do it! The experiences and memories that you gain from studying abroad are priceless.

What are you up to now? Any new hobbies or interests?

I graduated from the University of North Texas in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts and I was just recently accepted to Macquarie University to pursue a Master of Teaching! It’s the same school I attended during my study abroad experience and I’m very excited to be returning. As for non-academic pursuits, I have recently acquired a toaster oven and am hosting my very own Great American Baking Show from my kitchen.

Inspired by Karla’s journey and want to discover your own while immersing yourself in an abroad experience? Fill out your details below to let our team know and we’ll help you find your adventure today!

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