Adapting to Aussies

Jessie Lovallo

Jessie LoVallo

Global Business Institute: Sydney

Spring 2023

Hi, it’s Jessie! I am a little over a month into my experience abroad and wish I could slow down the days. It has been the most memorable time getting to have this opportunity to explore a new culture in a new city, but with my time here being halfway over, I realize it is not enough time. I recently celebrated my birthday, in which we traveled to Byron Bay for the weekend. I was worried I was going to miss my family back home, but my friends and even strangers we met on the trip, made it the most special day ever. It has been a blessing having to share these experiences with my friends, and I believe we have adapted so naturally because we are doing it together. When asked what is most challenging to assimilate within Australia’s culture, I truly have to think for a while and nothing pops into my head. So instead of listing the obstacles I have faced, I will explain how I have found ease in navigating through Sydney. America and Australia are very similar when comparing the large stuff, but the minor differences are evident now that I feel fully adapted here. Aussies believe in mateship, which is the concept of equality and loyalty towards the people around them. While Americans are quite competitive and independent in nature, Aussies show genuine respect and helpfulness towards everyone they even just pass on the street. It has been eye-opening to see how much more open-minded Aussies are than Americans. This is probably due to the fact that the majority of their population isn’t native-born citizens, so their worldview is larger in perspective. This shows in the way Aussies are much kinder than Americans, whether it is work-related or not. Where Americans are quick to judge, Aussies have a well-rounded mindset that gives them patience when perceiving others. Another difference I have noticed is the service industry. A lot of Americans would not be able to adapt to the way restaurants run because the lack of gratuity leads to poor service. It is much more “do it yourself” when it comes to restaurants here in Sydney. In the US, servers are trained to perform their best with the best attitude because they’re seeking out a tip from their tables. It has been a different experience going out to eat here because it doesn’t feel like I am being waited on. Personally, I have adapted to this just fine because I don’t have to add a large tip to the bill, which means more food for me! Since there are a lot of similarities to the US, it is hard to think of any challenges I have had to deal with. I believe I have already come to enjoy the culture here better than in America and it might be a shock to adapt back to it when I return home. My experience in Sydney has been amazing and I couldn’t have picked a better city to explore!

Sydney Harbour Bridge lit up for Pride Week
Lighthouse hike in Byron Bay
Koala bear at Taronga Zoo