When she’s at home in Portugal, Filipa de Lacerda is a student in international business administration at the Catolica Lisbon School of Business and Economics. So when it was time to find a host university for a semester-long study abroad program, Filipa went looking for one with a matching degree.
“ACU was my first choice whilst writing down a list of potential host universities,” she says.
“It has a good reputation, it allowed me to experience a high-quality education with local and international professors, and offers two business units I wanted to study to improve my career opportunities – Marketing Toolkit and Event Management.”
Filipa studied four subjects during her semester in ACU’s Study Abroad program and says working on real-life business case studies was the most important part of her classroom experience. But, while learning is important, studying abroad isn’t only about gaining knowledge. It’s also about getting to know another city, another culture and another country – and Filipa did just that.
She started by attending ACU’s Orientation Day where she quickly made friends with both local and international students. She also lived in ACU Housing’s Miguel Cordero Residence (MCR) in the Sydney suburb of Camperdown. The residence offers a mix of shared and studio apartments in a supportive and friendly environment and provides a team of residential advisors to help international students get settled in to Sydney.
“The student housing at MCR runs events for both local and international students, which helped me to feel very welcome here,” she says.
There was always plenty to do in her local neighbourhood – Camperdown is home to cafes, restaurants, bars and retail outlets, as well as gyms, parks and other recreational spaces. It’s also a short walk from Newtown train station, which connects residents of Miguel Cordero residents to the ACU campus.
“When I wasn’t studying, I liked to take strolls around the Camperdown Park and Sydney CBD, get involved in outdoor fitness programs in the park, read books, ride my bike and attend events at the MCR residence and around Sydney using Eventbrite, which is an app that helps you find events in your location,” Filipa says.
At the end of her semester at ACU, Filipa set off to fulfil another dream: solo travel through Australia and New Zealand. Her trip took her from Melbourne to Byron Bay via the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Airlie Beach, and then on to Auckland, Matamata and Rotorua in New Zealand.
“I was super stoked and thrilled to get into new adventures and make new memories,” she says.
“The most unforgettable moments while travelling were making new friends with other solo travellers and learning new things – for example, how to say a few Maori words!”
Filipa has recently returned to Portugal, but her memories of her time at ACU are still fresh in her mind.
“From my point of view, ACU is a very friendly and welcoming place,” she says.