Being blessed with the incredible opportunity to live in and explore Sydney for six weeks has been life changing. Australia has always held the number one spot on my travel list and now I am finally living my childhood dream. Although I had a strong intuition I would fall in love with the nature, I did not know I would fall in love with the city. Sydney is the closest thing to a utopia in my eyes with clean transportation, safe streets, acceptance of everyone, and a strong sense of personal responsibility in all its people. On a individual level, Sydney has made me less afraid to ask for help, as everyone has been very willing to offer aid to someone in need. I’ve not only needed help on things as simple as navigating the train system, but also on coming to a deeper understanding of Australian history and politics.
“In the classroom,” I was able to tour parts of Sydney I likely would’ve never visited on my own. Sometimes these trips were for independent research on area-specific projects and other times they were field trips led by our professor. This gave me first-hand exposure to beautiful art, intricate architecture, and delicious food enjoyed by locals. Before this class, I had no idea about the degree of which Sydney is influenced by other countries, especially Asia due to its close proximity. The group projects also allowed me a chance to develop personal relationships with fellow students on the program, who I hope to still be friends with after the program ends, even if our schools are across the country.
As my first internship experience, working with PlantingSeeds has opened my mind to the incredible opportunities available to someone with an environmental and business background. I now know my preferred occupation would involve some days in the office and other days performing hands-on labor that benefits the community. Before attending the public school education sessions, I was hesitant on whether I was fit to manage a large class of children, but I now know it is within my realm of capability and that interacting with kids can actually be very rewarding. The mixture of corporate life with the team all inside of one board room to encourage open communication and engaging with the youth via interactive activities made every day of work not feel like work, as I believe it should be.
When I return to Pittsburgh, I will be returning with some new friends and new global knowledge. At home, I hope to make a conscientious effort to encourage others to be more accepting and take on more personal responsibility, such as viewing things from a different cultural perspective and encouraging my friends to live more sustainably. For the duration of my short time left in Pitt Business, I will wholeheartedly encourage my fellow classmates to embark on their own study abroad journeys, as well as seize the opportunity for an international internship if the option presents itself.