College Life with Amanda LaRiviere

Written by Marie Kane |
Photos by Amanda LaRiviere

2017 Morgan graduate Amanda LaRiviere goes to Northeastern University in Boston, but is currently spending her first semester at the University of Sydney, Australia, and loves it there. She is majoring in journalism and describes the main campus at USyd as Hogwarts. She said that the professors are nice and interested in exchange students’ lives. “The grading system here is really different though. Instead of A-F it’s different levels of pass/fail.”

“I feel a lot more independent, especially since I’m on the other side of the world and have to do everything on my own. I had to get used to cooking and shopping for myself, making appointments for myself, and getting around a huge city.” Amanda is taking a bunch of general ed classes while she is abroad so that she could get them out of the way. She is taking world politics, Australian sports/culture, Austrailian theatre/film, global experience, and youth/digital culture.

So far, college is great for Amanda. She has finals in two weeks but feels very prepared for them. She described college as spontaneous. Her favorite part of college is meeting new people because 60,000 students go to USyd. She does not like having a word count to reach for all of her essays because it can be tedious. However, Amanda does like college more than high school. “You’re not stuck in a bubble with the same people, and you can really do or join anything that interests you.”

She chose Northeastern because of their co-op program, which basically substitutes a semester of classes with a paid internship sort of deal. “I can take up to 3 co-ops, either domestically or internationally, and they will help me network for the future.” She also got accepted into Northeastern’s NUin program which lets students pick from ten locations around the world to study in for their first semester which is a great opportunity and something to put on a resume.

Amanda played volleyball for four years and is sad that she cannot go to any of the games this year. She misses writing for The Morgan PawPrint and playing volleyball. “If I could go back to Morgan, I would go to more sporting events because I love our school spirit.” Her favorite teacher was English and journalism teacher Leslie Chausse. “She helped gear my future so much.” Amanda is looking forward to visiting her when she comes back.

Mrs. Chausse spoke of Amanda, who was in Journalism for three years, (freshman, sophomore, and senior year). Mrs. Chausse also had Amanda for her junior year AP English Language and Composition. “I enjoyed having Amanda as a student. She was always looking for different ways to improve the Morgan PawPrint. In her last semester of Journalism, she helped students find ways to improve their posts.” She said that Amanda was always positive and friendly. Mrs. Chausse described Amanda also as kind, intelligent, and well-traveled. “I can’t wait until Amanda returns and comes to tell me and other students what it was like to spend the first semester of her freshman year in Australia.”

She gave a shoutout to science teacher Chris Luther. “I want you to know that there are massive Austrailian spiders in our dorms, and I wish I could bring one back to your class.”

Amanda was nervous at first since, in Australia, school starts in July, but now that she is there, she is happy to be able to explore Australia with her new friends. “My summer was cut short. I had rushed goodbyes, and I had to fit everything I needed into two suitcases.”

She has volunteer work once a week at a magazine. “The manager thought it would be a good idea for me and a friend to deliver a package so that we could get used to the city. So he gives us a map of where to get on the train and where to go, but when we get to the train, the map blows right out of my friend’s hand and onto the tracks. A train came and ran them over. We still delivered the package, but it took twice as long.”

Amanda does not live directly on campus because she is an exchange student, but she loves the community within her dorm building. “We have weekly gatherings to watch the Australian Bachelor, we cook meals together, and we hang out on the quad at the campus because it’s a really beautiful place.”

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