Studying in Sydney

I am not doing an internship in Sydney, but I am taking four classes. I am just finishing up my arts and sciences electives before I graduate, so I am taking Australian History, Exploring and Analyzing the Global City: Sydney, International Economics, and Intercultural Communication. I think the most important skill to have when taking these types of courses is respect for other cultures and values that are different from your own. We often discuss Aboriginal history in Australia in many of my classes and a major theme throughout these discussions is acknowledging Aboriginal culture and the mistreatment indigenous people endured in the past, as well as the inequalities they continue to face even today. Through my Intercultural Communication course, I have learned all of the elements that make up culture and how you can effectively and respectfully communicate with individuals of all different cultures and backgrounds, so it has been one of the most relevant courses I have taken, especially while studying abroad.

My strengths from the CliftonStrengths assessment are Restorative, Harmony, Deliberative, Relator, and Futuristic. I think all of these strengths will benefit me not only in my courses but also during my study abroad experience in general. Restorative is the propensity for problem-solving, which is extremely important when studying abroad because very rarely does everything go exactly according to plan. Harmony is the ability to form strong relationships, which is a great skill to have in a program where you have to work with and get to know so many new people. Deliberative is the capacity to make very careful decisions and anticipate obstacles, which is helpful in any scenario, but especially when traveling to new places. Relator is similar to harmony, so again, very beneficial in a scenario where you are working with new people. And lastly, Futuristic is the aptitude for forward-thinking, which is useful when working on end-of-semester group projects and papers, as well as travel planning during the program.

In my first month of taking classes in Sydney, I noticed the classroom dynamic is much more laid back than in the United States. This could be due to the smaller class sizes that allow for more informal discussion, but I also think the professors and other CAPA staff members are dedicated to getting to know all of the students on a more personal level, making it such a warm and welcoming environment. They even provide snacks during class breaks, which is so nice of them!

Thanks for reading about my class experience in Sydney!