After spending some time in Sydney now, I have truly fallen in love with the country. Going into this program, my expectations were high. I expected to partake in a once in a life time opportunity and my time here definitely not disappointed.
My biggest takeaways from this experienced have been how friendly the people are, the diversity of cultures in Sydney and the pride the people here have in sports. Living in the Northeast, I am used to people generally not being friendly towards strangers. In Sydney however I have encountered many people willing to help my friends and I find places to go to. From food recommendations to directions when trying to use the public transportation, people have been more than willing to help out. I also did not expect the culture in Sydney to be as diverse as it is. Little did I realize that people from all types of life live here, with a large population being immigrants from other countries. Lastly, their pride in sports is very strong. I have attended two Australian Rules Football games here and the atmosphere has been incredible at both. There has also been a lot of pride in the Australian Soccer team throughout the world cup with large numbers of people congregating to watch the team’s games.
My classes have also gone well. I have really enjoy my Sports Marketing class and the topics that we have covered. It took a bit of an adjustment to get used to the accent that my Australian professor has, as well as words that are different here vs. back home. The class however has not been taught much differently than how classes are taught at Pitt. The only noticeable difference has been that our grades have been solely derived from papers and presentations instead of test. I prefer writing papers to taking tests so this has been a welcome change.
Reflecting on my internship, I was able to connect with my coworkers quickly. The two tax advisors and the other intern that work at my job are American, which made it much easier to adjust to working in another country. This familiarity of American culture helped me to feel more at home than I would have if I was to work with only Australians. The tax advisors were able to share their stories with me about how they ended up working full-time in Australia, and if they intended to go back to the United States or not. The biggest adjustment to working this internship has been waking up and commuting to and from work. I have not ever worked a 9-5 job before, or taken the train to get to work. This was a big adjustment and taught me to make sure I am prepared the night before so that I can reach my job on time.
Since the culture in Australia is very similar to that of the United States, I haven’t had any real culture shock moments. The first day I really started thinking I was in another country was my first day of commuting. Seeing myself walking amongst everyone else going to work made it hit that I was no longer in America anymore.
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