Hey all! My name Elise Macoustra from the University of Adelaide, South Australia, where I studied Bachelor of Tourism and Event Management. I was a part of the 2014 ‘Social Media for Business and Digital Marketing’ AIM Overseas program in Michigan State University, USA .

Before the trip I was a very cautious person, I wasn’t a risk-taker in any way. This trip was a big decision for me.

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Some of the highlights for me were seeing some of America with our mentors such as Detroit, going to a local fair, a baseball game, taking part in college traditions and learning from the leading experts in social media. This experience changed me, as I came back much more confident in my ability to face challenges. I faced many fears on my exchange, such as my fear of heights when I went on a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon or my fear of flying through my many plane rides,  and I am now much more confident in my choices and willing to face my fears head-on.  And I would definitely do it all over again!

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I was pleasantly surprised to find out just how friendly and curious Americans are about Australia. Their knowledge generally isn’t very strong – I was asked many times whether I knew a cousin in Melbourne – but they make up for it in keen interest and willingness to learn. The moment they found out I was an Aussie I was bombarded with questions that I was pleased to answer, even if I did tell little lies about the kangaroos we all keep as pets. My tip in relation to this is to be open to their questions and friendliness, have some fun but don’t be mean about the answers you give.

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I miss the friends I made over there such as the mentors from the university and the friendliness of all those I met. The food, although in huge portions and very sugary was some of the best I’ve ever had, although I do recommend sampling local restaurants instead of the cafeteria as often as possible.

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Stop thinking about it and do it. It is a once in a lifetime chance and something you will never forget.

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