Melissa Ray ('09) Gets a Taste of Life Down Under
Music majors at Bucknell are encouraged to study abroad and can do so with a Bucknell-run program or one sponsored by another university.
Melissa Ray, a senior Music Composition major, looked at India before deciding upon a program in music therapy in Melbourne, Australia. She says that studying abroad gave her a new perspective on learning. Of the many courses she took, her favorite was African Drum and Dance, which met weekly to work in the Ewe style of Ghana. "The rhythmic challenge invovled in singing, dancing, and drumming simultaneously proved to be an exhausting mental exercise.," Melissa recalls.
With an enrollment of approximately 44,000 students, the University of Melbourne gave Melissa the opportunity to study in a very different setting from Bucknell. She lived in a large city, heard new music and studied new topics like music psychology. Melissa summarizes "whether it was petting a sleeping koala bear or conducting a small orchestra on stage, going abroad to Australia brought about a number of incredible and irreplaceable experiences."