Caroline Grimes

Briefly describe your applied learning experience

I studied abroad for 15 days in a faculty-led New Zealand and Australia trip with East Carolina University. We started out in Auckland, New Zealand. From there, we went to Sydney, Australia, Cairns, Australia, and Brisbane, Australia. I was able to meet new people and learn about a different culture. I learned about children, families, and their relationships. 

How did you get involved in this applied learning experience and what did you hope to gain from it?

I got involved with this applied learning experience by going on the study abroad trip. Hours before I was unsure and I just wanted to back out because I was so scared. This applied learning experience broke me out of my shell. I completely stepped out of my comfort zone. I traveled to a place that I had never been before with people that I had never met. I was able to see a different piece of the world through different eyes. I had hoped to gain confidence in myself.

What did you gain from this experience? What was challenging? What did you learn?

I conquered so many fears on this trip. I am a person who is terrified by the ocean and anything that is in it. I went snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. When I jumped off the boat, there was a huge fish that was guarding its territory. I jumped in anyway and had the best time of my life. Later on in the trip. when we were in Cairns, I went ziplineing through a rainforest. It was sort of against my will because I did not sign up for it. Someone else signed me up. I am terrified of heights so it took someone to push me off the ledge to get me to go. It was the most terrifying thing that I have every done, but I did it. It was challenging facing all of my fears. I was terrified, but I knew that if I did not, I would have regretted it. I learned on this trip that I am more adventorous and courageous than I seem. I can face my fears.

In what way will this experience make you a more viable candidate when you are seeking a job or applying for graduate study?

This experience will make me a more viable candidate when I am seeking a job because I have the experience of learning and working with families in other countries. I have studied family dynamics of other countries. I think it will also help because it taught me how to step out of my comfort zone. Before this trip, I would not have described myself as someone who is courageous and adventorous, but now I can say that I can face whatever life throws at me. This trip also made me more of a go-with-the-flow person. I can adapt to whatever is handed to me.