Be More Pacific
Winters in Atlanta can be brutal, such was the case in 2014. Atlanta broke a 24-year record low, dipping down to 6 degrees.
While Atlanta was in the deep freeze of a generation, Maggie Bridges and a group of Yellow Jackets were basking in the summer sun of the southern hemisphere. While the U.S. is in the middle of winter, all of the locations on the Georgia Tech Pacific Program are enjoying their warmest season.
“I had never really traveled outside the United States,” explains Bridges, a senior business administration major from Brinson, Georgia.
Three locations are on the itinerary: six weeks in New Zealand, four weeks in Australia, and two weeks in Fiji. For students who do not speak another language fluently, this can be a good option. English is an official language in all destinations.
Students who go down under experience some of nature’s finest offerings as well; from waterfalls and geothermal pools, to glaciers, beaches, and the Great Barrier Reef.
“If I could pick one place to live outside the United States, it would be New Zealand,” Bridges recalls of her experience. “The scenery was amazing.”
Experiencing nature firsthand is a pivotal part of this international experience. Cave exploration, hiking, bungee jumping, and scuba diving are just a few of the activities Bridges and her fellow traveling Yellow Jackets encountered.
Intensive coursework is part of the agenda as well, so students are building their academic portfolio while having the experience of a lifetime. Classes included everything from organismal biology and mechanics of deformable bodies to British imperialism.
“It’s not just a study abroad program where you go and goof off the whole time,” Bridges explains. “You’re still going to get a lot out of it academically.”