Landon Krivanec

MAJOR: Mechanical Engineering
PROGRAM: SJSU Exchange – RMIT University, Australia

BIO: My name is Landon Krivanec and I am a third-year mechanical engineering major and an engineering management minor. During my time at San Jose State University, I have become involved in many organizations of all types including but not limited to Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity, BAJA Racing Club, and the Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honors Society. However, despite these quality experiences, I knew I would not be satisfied with my college experience if I did not study abroad. Being born in Sacramento, California, and then choosing to go to University in San Jose, California gave me a very limited view of what the world has to offer. While I do love California, I knew there was much more to experience in other parts of the world. I chose to study abroad in Australia because of many reasons, but if I had to limit it to two, I wanted to go to Australia because of the amazing surf and wild nature. Australia exceeded my expectations in both categories and gave me moments I will remember for the rest of my life. I studied abroad in hopes of an adventure and to grow as a person, and I was able to achieve both and more in only 5 months.

GOALS: My goals for studying abroad were to see as much of Australia’s nature as possible and to have friends from all over the world. Australia’s nature is breathtaking and unique to the rest of the world. Any spare time I had I was either on a trip or planning my next trip. Meeting people from different parts of the world was one of the most exciting parts of living abroad. Each person had a lot to share about their experiences and what life was like for them back home. Each person I met gave me a new opportunity to learn more about the world.

PERSONAL GROWTH: The biggest impact studying abroad had on me was the understanding that there are many different ways to live a successful life. In my opinion, the U.S. is very career-oriented in terms of what we do and focus on in our day-to-day lives. However, it was very refreshing to see that life in different parts of Australia is more community and interest-based. My Australian friends described the difference as: “Americans live to work, but we work to live.” This idea has stuck with me since I was in Australia and has become something I want to implement into my life. I enjoy what I am studying, and I spend the majority of my time creating opportunities for my career. However, I have a lot of other hobbies and interests that often get overlooked because of this. Since coming back from Australia, I have continued to live a more balanced life that fulfills my need to work but also invest more time into my community and my other interests.

ACADEMICS: How would you describe your academic experience abroad? I took a lighter coursework load while I was abroad to ensure I had time to enjoy living in Australia. To be able to do this, I increased my workload the semester before and after my study abroad semester. After my study abroad semester, I feel refreshed and have a new desire to learn that has made me look forward to class time.

CAREER: What skills did you learn / sharpen during your study abroad experience? The most valuable skill I learned while studying abroad is how to collaborate and work with others from different backgrounds. I continued my mechanical engineering studies at RMIT University and the majority of my assignments were project oriented. Working with international students from Singapore, Germany, the Netherlands, and Australia all at the same time is where I truly learned the value of communication. This is a skill I continue to use in my academics at San Jose State University and will use in the industry. Another valuable experience that came from studying abroad is being exposed to different ways of doing everyday tasks. I saw this in both my schoolwork and daily life. One of the biggest differences between the U.S. and Australia is Australia’s use and integration of public transportation. A large majority of workers used the trams and trains for their daily commute into the city, saving time and money. This showed me the value of public transportation and inspired me to utilize our public transportation system in the Bay Area,

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: How has your immersion impacted your perspectives on the world? Living on another continent significantly changed my perspective on the world. Before I left for a semester abroad, I felt immersed in California. However, I was unaware of the ecosystem that is our world and how events in one area can create a chain reaction globally. Living outside of the United States gave me a better understanding of the different geopolitical environments in the world and how each has different effects.

FUTURE: How has study abroad prepared you for your future? Studying abroad has exposed me to many different opportunities in life. These opportunities help me understand the different paths I can take and what the possible outcomes could be. This helps give my life a better sense of direction. Understanding the different opportunities in life helps me find what I want to do and how I can get there.

TIPS: What advice would you give to future Global Spartans? For a future Global Spartan, I would recommend studying abroad more than once! There are so many study abroad programs to choose from which makes it easy to find one that is right for you. You should take advantage of the chance to live in a different country as often as possible while studying.

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