Courtney Koester




Courtney Koester



Accounting and Finance


Engagement on campus:

Kappa Alpha Theta, Kolodzik Business Scholars Association, Lindner Ambassadors, Red and Black Bash, Emerging Campus Leaders


Coop Placements:

Columbia Sussex Corporation, Ernst & Young


Graduation year:

Spring 2017


Location and type of program where you studied abroad:

Faculty-led to Sydney, Australia


Describe the location you studied abroad for someone who has never been there.

Sydney, Australia is a beautiful little corner of the world that looks and feels a lot like the United States, only with an opposite time zone and seasons. Australia is a relatively modern country as a whole, so Sydney is a very clean and vibrant city! It has everything from the urban environment, the Sydney Harbor, beaches, mountains, forests, and of course warm weather.


Why did you choose your program?

I had studied abroad three other times in college but I had never left North and Central America. Australia was somewhere I have always wanted to go and I knew I couldn’t miss out on a Lindner program to Australia before I graduated!


What was your best memory from your time abroad?

I was lucky enough to participate in many adventurous things while in Australia including climbing the Sydney Harbor bridge at night and spending a day snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. I had so many great memories, it’s hard to pick just one.


How did you afford an international experience?

I knew I wanted to do this program so I saved up money throughout fall semester and also applied for many grants and scholarships.


How did you plan academically to be able to study abroad?

Because I wanted to participate in co-ops and internships, I took advantage of short term programs that I could fit in-between semesters. This program was convenient because it was right after finals but we made it back before Christmas!


Has study abroad changed who you are as a person?  If so, in what ways?

As cliché as it sounds, study abroad truly opened my eyes to things I never thought it would. Growing up in Ohio my whole life, study abroad never appealed to me until I tried it. Once I did, I couldn’t stop learning about different countries and cultures. This program really challenged my beliefs on immigration and diversity, especially hearing about the issues from another country’s perspective.


How has study abroad influenced you career path?

Although I am still pursuing a career in public accounting, I plan to take advantage of every possible travel opportunity for work that I am able to. I look forward to working on global teams and continuing to learn about cultures different from my own.


How have you stayed in contact with your classmates and overseas friends since returning to the US? 

Every group you travel with you will form close bonds with. Australia was no different for me. We have a group message that we all still talk in and I have seen a few people since I have been back!


In your opinion, why should every student study abroad?

You have your whole life to travel, but only a few years to study abroad. In college, people will essentially hand you money to travel and learn about the world if you are willing to put in a little work. Study abroad while you’re young, while its cheap, and when you have next to no commitments holding you back. The lessons you learn abroad are so invaluable, every moment is worth it.