Courtney Windju - “Where are you now? - i-studentglobal Follow-up Blog”


 Courtney Windju

Courtney left the USA to study at the University of Otago in New Zealand. When she’s not studying she likes exploring, baking and meeting new people. Courtney graduated from the University of San Diego in 2016.

My next summer break was spent living and working in Sydney, Australia with my partner, Patrick, who coincidentally I met whilst on spring vacation when I was in New Zealand. My lust for travel and experiencing new places clearly and fortunately hadn’t diminished after spending six months in my monotonous, yet comfortable University environment. I found work as a data entry clerk at a Wine Sales company in the centre of Sydney; although entering the position with a very elementary wine palate, I learned quite a bit and was mostly appreciative for a secured few months of work ahead of me before I had to return to the States to complete my last semester of Uni. As the end of August approached much too soon, I yet again, packed up my bags begrudgingly to return back to school. By this point, I had become quite comfortable with the ‘southern hemisphere lifestyle’ and seriously began questioning what my next move would be after completing college.


Well, my last semester came and it went; in other words, it flew by. I approached the semester with a ‘can-do’ attitude and mentality that I would enjoy and soak up every last second of University, as it is an opportunity that comes once in a lifetime. I graduated in December 2015, a semester ahead of the rest of my classmates, with a BA in Behavioural Neuroscience and a minor in Leadership Studies. I returned home for the holidays before embarking on another trans-Pacific journey. Patrick and I spent a week road tripping the North Island of New Zealand, before returning to Sydney to complete the rest of my yearlong working/holiday visa. This time around I secured a position as a dental nurse and receptionist, certainly another eclectic role to add to my already randomized, yet worldly CV.


In May of 2016, Patrick and I returned to the U.S., where we spent celebrating my University Graduation, spending time with family and friends, and prepping for a summer working at a camp for children and teens with social, emotional and cognitive disabilities. Above any of my previous roles, it was the most rewarding, yet exhausting position I had taken on yet. The constant need of reminding and redirecting was draining, but the recognition of growth and change in these individuals’ lives and everyday routines was incredibly heart-warming. But knowing that Patrick’s US visa would soon come to and end, we decided what a better way to neutralize our summer’s experiences than returning back to the blissful and lassiez faire lifestyle of the kiwis.