Whilst I have always had this awareness and have, in fact, been enthusiatically anticipating my “fate” to spend at least 3-4 years of my academic journey in the Ozland ever since I was in primary school (thanks to my Aussie-graduate mother’s repeated lectures and purposeful trips to the Go8 universities), my childhood dream to be a part of the Ivy League community that was inspired by the story about Helen Keller’s success to be a part of Harvard’s community which I came across when I was 7 years old, didn’t resurrect/revive until my last year of undergraduate studies. As the last year of my undergraduate program commenced, to be specific, I was faced with a dilemma as I, on one hand, didn’t feel that I — a 19 years old girl then, was ready to enter the ‘real’/working world, yet on the other hand, was yearning for an even more challenging academic trainings. For this reason, I packed all my belongings that one Brisbane’s so-called winter day and flew 15.491km to the other side of the globe, to the city that never sleeps a.k.a the New York City bringing with me that resurrected childhood dream and that desire for a more challenging, brain-stretching, practical trainings!
Now, why Columbia University in the City of New York?
Whilst Columbia University wasn’t as popular as the other Ivy League institutions like Harvard, Princeton or Yale then (well this is at least true among my circles), I decided to be a part of the Teachers College at Columbia University’s Human Development Department in the year 2012 for several reasons. Aside from the rigorous, brain-stretching, dynamic academic exposures, the Teachers College’s community school and the research laboratories also provide me with hands-on, practical trainings And experiences. Another priceless experience that I’m forever grateful for is the opportunity to meet numerous present-day ‘Einstein’ in the field of education, psychology and human development whose name I used to cite in my academic papers, like Kuhn, Brooks-gunn and Miller!
Last but not least, the City of New York, itself, has not only exposed me to various,mindblowing social or people-oriented services, ventures and projects, but has also allow me to cross paths with numerous passionate, big-hearted dreamers who consistently transfer that
unexplainable/inexpressible courage and energy to never stop dreaming and believing in beauty of our dreams!
As I reflect back and ask the “does it really worth it?” question regarding my Aussie and the USA’s academic experiences today — the day which remarks my 3rd forgood anniversary, I can be confident to say that these experiences are definitely, truly worth it and that I will never exchange it for the world!
Whilst becoming a part of one of the Go8 universities as well as an Ivy League institutions are definitely great, dream-comes-true achievements, I realize that at the end of the day, the most valuable take-home point that I should continue to live by every day is the courage and the energy to keep dreaming! To keep dreaming big! And to continue believing in the beauty of those dreams and to consistently work on it realizing that the better future depends on it!
Grace Eugenia Sameve, S.Psi, B.A, M.A
The University of Queensland
The Teachers College, Columbia University