Australia: One of Many Stops for URI student

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KINGSTON, R.I. –February 2, 2010–Stacey Konstantinov was nearly born with a suitcase in hand. Her parents immigrated to America when she was 3 and moved around the country, living in Michigan, Florida, and New York before settling in West Orange, N. J.

Growing up in America in a Russian family and no siblings, Stacey had to figure things out on her own.

She drew upon those earlier experiences as a URI sophomore. While spending the spring semester studying at Bond University on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia she got mononucleosis.

“I had to know where to go, what to do, and who to see on my own. These tasks sound so simple until you’re in another country doing them on your own,” says the business marketing major.

“Studying abroad is such a personal journey you can only experience by doing it,” she says. “I learned how to become self-sufficient. Although I’ve always been an independent person, this experience taught me that much more.”

When she was in high school, she knew she wanted to study in Australia one day because of her interest in marine biology.

“Australia was one of the greatest places to learn about marine life, especially with the Great Barrier Reef, the largest reef in the world, located there. Although marine biology is no longer my major, I still enjoy learning about it.”

She found her Australian classmates’ study habits differed from her own. “Many URI students will gather and discuss the way they plan to study for an exam and with whom. The Australians were quieter about their study habits. They sit down and get everything done without much discussion.”

She also noticed that her Australian peers participated a lot more in classes. “At first, I thought it may because the Americans were shy in a different country at a new school. However, even after a few months, I noticed the Aussies were still more talkative. I think this is a great characteristic because not only did I learn from my professors, but from my peers as well.”

Travel continues to be a road that winds throughout the URI junior’s life. Once acclimated to America, her family traveled to Spain, Barbados, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, and other U.S. states. During this year’s winter break, Stacey visited Costa Rica with family and friends.

Along with her love of travel, she loves sports and hopes to combine the two after graduating in 2011. Her goal is a job in a marketing department for a sports team. She keeps a list of the top 20 places she would like to visit and plans to check them off at some point in her life. Meanwhile, her suitcases are nearby.

Pictured above

Photo courtesy of Stacey Konstantinov