So in the first part to this blog I wrote about the friends that I had met and the memories that had been created from those experiences; for part 2 I will write about what I’ve learned and overcome, and also what I think you can take from your time studying abroad.
I have learned many new skills from studying at Griffith University in terms of my academic progress, but I’ll be writing more about the life lessons that can be learned from studying abroad. One of those lessons was to be found when I traveled to Moreton Island. I have always been interested in urban environments and on the ferry journey from Moreton Island my friends and I encountered an industrial landscape, the sunset behind it silhouetted the buildings and it provided me with the inspiration to paint it. I am from England and this kind of environment is difficult to find there, but in studying abroad and seeing this magnificence close up I flew back to England with the inspiration to really test my painting abilities. This kind of exploration can provide you with all kinds of inspiration relevant to you, and Australia has a rich and unique environment to explore, so get out there and explore it!
During my 6 month stay in Australia my friends and I went to Melbourne and in going to Melbourne I realised something incredibly important, and it’s something that has informed the way I’ve lived my life since returning to England. I learned to take risks. To add a little context I had previously spent 3 months in Melbourne on a personal trip, the bottom line is it ended in a bitter way and it affected the next year and a half of my time at university in England. I took a risk in going back to Melbourne but in doing so, I created the best memories of my life so far. Since then I have taken many more risks and yes some haven’t worked, for instance I’ve been more willing to be critical about things in order to find a good solution or to better myself or others. But when my risks have worked, they’ve provided me with the opportunity to go to America after my degree, and they’ve developed my paintings to a level where I think they can become of genuine quality.
To summarise, make friends that are culturally different and have different experiences on life. Explore all that Australia’s unique geography has to offer, some of the most uplifting experiences in my opinion come from absorbing vast, euphoric landscapes which are rich in colour. And finally, take risks. Do you ever sit at your desk and think about some of the things you want to do and accomplish besides you academic education? Get yourself out there and go for it, the support is there for you to be thoroughly involved in all things awesome.