[Sterling attended Harding University Australasia 2017]
HUintl – What made you decide to go to HUA?
Sterling – Well, I have always wanted to go to New Zealand. I love Lord of the Rings, so Middle Earth was I place I just had to visit. Also, my sister-in-law went on the trip five years ago and she told me stories about HUA that encouraged me to go. I also like the fact that we got to do so much more as a group. We were together the whole trip and were able to experience things together rather than in small groups.
HUintl – What was it like traveling around and living in so many unique places all semester?
Sterling – Honestly, it wasn’t the easiest thing living out of a suitcase, but what we got to see and experience was definitely worth the hassle. We saw the Sydney Opera House, numerous temples, lived next to the mountains and drove through the worst traffic you can imagine. It was incredible to be immersed in so many different cultures and have so many once-in-a-lifetime experiences in such a short period of time.
HUintl – Did one or more of the classes you took this semester help you connect to the culture? If so, how?
Sterling – The two humanities classes I took helped me connect to the cultures. They helped me understand the history and customs of each country. There are so many little things like eating with a spoon in Thailand or not saying certain phrases in Australia that I learned. Without those classes I know I would have of offended or confused a lot of people.
HUintl – What is your mindset now that you have studied abroad?
Sterling – I feel like I have a much broader worldview. The sheer amount of different places we went forced me to develop an understanding for all types of people. I am a much better and more well-rounded person for studying abroad.
HUintl – Would you like to add anything else?
Sterling – I’ve been able to see God’s creation on a grand scale and I’ve been able to experience it with some awesome people. I’d definitely encourage everyone who is able to study abroad. When else are you going to be able to travel the world for three months with thirty-six, now closest, friends? It’s the experience of a lifetime.
Photos by Sterling McMichael
For more information about Harding University in Australasia visit our website here.