When people hear the term study abroad, they tend to think mostly of the trips and excursions students take during their time in a foreign country. While those adventures definitely promote learning and enhance understanding through experiencing different cultures first hand, people often overlook another important source of knowledge— the classes!
I too was guilty of this prior to arriving in Sydney, but after my first week of classes, I’m actually really excited to be in the classroom this semester. Although I’m not taking classes through a local university, all of my professors are Australian. They have such interesting and unique backgrounds, and many of them have shared stories and tips about living in Sydney.
I’m taking three classes this semester in addition to my International Finance class, and I’m also doing a part time internship for course credit. My classes are once a week and run for two and a half hours, which is going to take some time to get used to.
Australian History is probably the class I’m most excited about. It’s a subject that I, along with what I would assume to be a decent percent of the population, know very little about. Australia has such a long and interesting past, and I’m very excited to learn about the various cultures of the aboriginal people.
Exploring and Analyzing the Global City is another course that I’m really looking forward to. We have several field classes planned to get out and see different parts of Sydney. In fact, we’re already going to the Museum of Sydney next week!
Australian Government and Politics is the one class I’m somewhat nervous about. I don’t know very much about American politics, much less that of Australia, and many kids in the class have majors relating to political studies. I may be a bit behind, but I’m excited to learn and have discussions in a smaller class size— there’s only 8 of us!
I’m still getting starting at my internship, and I don’t have my first finance class until next Monday, but I’m really optimistic about my semester based on what I have seen so far! I can already tell that classes are going to take up a big chuck of my time, so I’m happy they’re proving to be so interesting and engaging. I’m thrilled at the opportunity to go on numerous field trips throughout the semester, and I love being in smaller, more intimate classes.
I hope what I learn in the classroom will help me to better understand the city and country that surrounds me. I’ll definitely be writing again later on in the semester to share some of what I learned and highlight the differences I notice between Australia and America!