Looking back on the last four months in Australia, I cannot believe how much I have been able to experience in just one semester. My time in Australia has differed a little from the rest of the group since my sister just moved to Sydney with her Aussie husband. My brother-in-law, Calvin, was eager to show me the “real Australian experience,” which I quickly learned consisted of exploring beautiful places and eating meat pies while rooting for his favorite Australian rules football team.
The Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics
As I write this blog post, I have been outside our beloved United States for nearly five months, and what an exciting time it certainly has been... Wow, it feels like a lifetime ago when I was curled up in a ball of stress cramming for Professor Guse’s Micro Theory final in Huntley. As an Economics major participating in a program targeted at Accounting students, I decided to opt out of an internship during the two-and-half month span between Washington and Lee's fall semester and University of Sydney’s first semester in order to travel.
Living in Sydney for the past couple months has been an awesome experience that just keeps getting better and better. With so much to do in so little time, there never seems to be a dull moment. Classes, internships, and sightseeing take up the majority of my time here, but so far it’s been a semester to remember.
Now that we have lived in Sydney for over a month, I can tell you that there is no way to see it all. Although our small Washington & Lee group has made an effort to do as much as possible, we have barely scratched the surface of what Sydney has to offer. There really is something for everyone here, and the range of things to do is countless.
The past month has been an exciting one as we’ve settled into Sydney and started to explore our new home for the next few months. The city is vibrant and dynamic, with something for everyone and with so much to see and learn about I wonder how we’ll fit it all into the next three months. Perhaps the neatest thing about Sydney is its seamless blending of a highly developed urban center and vast expanses of protected coastal land to hike and explore.
“What time is it…..wait, no, what day is it….and where the heck are we?” My experience with the first two weeks of the Sydney Internship and Study Abroad Program (SISAP) can be summed up in those three short questions. As my first two weeks abroad come to a close and I begin to settle down into Sydney student life, I am thankful for the opportunity to pause and reflect on the many adventures that have occurred these past two weeks.
Growing up, I always loved to travel; I believe the only way to truly understand a culture is to immerse yourself in it. Applying to college in high school, I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to spend an entire semester in another country, experiencing a different culture. Junior year came way more quickly than expected, however, and suddenly I realized I had to make two important decisions: where I would study abroad and where I would apply for internships the next summer.
I picked up my life in picturesque Lexington, VA with its one-way streets and free parking and moved to the hip suburbs of Arlington, VA – a popular area for W&L students to move to after college, just a short metro ride into downtown DC. I traded three apartment-mates for six kids, a mammoth St. Bernard, and a chilly basement apartment. I switched out my intermediate accounting textbook and cozy carrel in Leyburn for a new city and an audit internship, all of this right in the middle of junior year. Sounds crazy? It’s worth it. Let me explain why.