Johanna Rydhage, Occupational Therapy, James Cook University, Australia

My name is Johanna Rydhage, I'm studying my fifth semester as an Occupational Therapist. I did my fifth semester as an exchange student in Townsville, Australia at James Cook University.

The reason why I choose to study abroad was because I saw the opportunity to develop my English and at the same time discover another country. I was also thinking about how this experience can benefit my future job as an Occupational therapist.

I had heard from other students who had studied abroad and they described it as one of their best experience, I can definitely agree about that.

James Cook University was very friendly and helpful, especially at the beginning of the semester when we were a bit confused about how everything works.

I read three subjects, they were called: Rural and Remote Primary and Public Health Care, Psycho-emotional Determinants of Occupation and Contextual Determinants of Occupation.

One of the big differences between James Cook University and Jönköping University were that you study the three subjects at once throughout the entire semester instead of having one subject at a time. Overall the subjects I read were interesting and resulted in more knowledge about occupational therapy but also about the health in Australia.

Me and my friend from Jönköping University who were studying the same program as me lived in a share house together with different people, both students and people who were working. That was a new experience for me, but it was fun to meet new people so I enjoyed living in the house. I met a lot of new amazing people and I think that is one of the best things about this experience, the friends you meet. The most people I went on travels with were from Scandinavia, it was easier to travel with other Scandinavian people because they wanted to explore the same things and they were in the same situation as me. The friends I met I became very good friends with and I’m sure we are going to have contact the rest of our lives.

Travel in Australia is fantastic, it was hard to choose places to visit because Australia is so big and the distances from different cities are very far. Some of the beautiful places I visit were Magnetic Island, Brisbane, Surfers Paradise, Byron Bay, Cairns, and Melbourne. I recommend everyone who is going to Australia to visit all of these places.

This experience has been fantastic and I have learned a lot. Both from the school, I got a lot more confidence in my schoolwork. But also as a person, it is good to challenge yourself because you grow as a person.