The Australian Way by Kayla Kozak

So far, I have been here for a little over one month and I am loving it! I have done so much since being here, from seeing the opera house to riding a camel…random right? At first, I thought that Australia was very similar to the United States, but the longer I’ve been here the more I notice differences in the way of life. The uni here is cosmopolitan, with students from all over the world. I have been able to interact with students from southeast Asia, New Zealand, and many countries in Europe as well. Australians don’t have any problem with a long commute, with many driving or taking the train for a 2-hour trip multiple days per week! Therefore, most students living on campus are international. My classes are longer with fewer assessments as well (but more heavily weighted). In upper-level courses, the directions are less direct, and you are fully responsible for time management and self-sufficiency. The transition was intimidating at first, but after using the resources available and having an open mind I already see myself getting used to it. Australians are passionate about sport as well. I have been to two Australian Football League matches, or Footie, which is like a mix of soccer and rugby. It has also important to rack up on the sunscreen because the UV rays are super strong here. The people are sarcastic and brief in their communication styles/sense of humor. They like to get to the point and don’t seem to be easily offended, at least in my experience. In addition, the food is largely foreign influenced. Australian cuisine is characterized by a traditional BBQ made up of sausages and bread slices used as buns. I have been served this at many on-campus cookouts, it’s pretty good actually! Many of the local restaurants are Asian food, since a large part of the population is from there. The one thing that isn’t as delicious is Mexican food, I miss Chipotle, haha! Another thing I’ve appreciated is how expressive Australians are about climate change. They promote reusable cups, conserve electricity, and even had a protest march in the city! In all honesty, I am so glad I took that leap of faith and decided to come to Australia. I couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity. It has allowed me to see my own country from a different perspective, be more independent, and face new challenges for personal growth. I would recommend that every student try going abroad during their undergraduate career. I will have memories and life lessons to share for the rest of my life!

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