I have been in Australia for 2 months now, and am about half way through my time here. I am in love with Aussie attitude and life style. Everyone is thoughtful, friendly, and eager to hear your individual story. Aussies are also very eager to share what they love about their country! It has proved most helpful when travelling around and exploring Sydney looking for things to do or see. One of the best experiences I have had is just sitting around and talking with them, and learning about the country I find myself in.
The learning style is laid back as well. Though the class sizes are larger here, the lecturers and tutorial leaders are eager to help and discuss class or life. I find many of my professors are called by their first names and conduct classes in a very unique and comfortable way.
An important part of being here though is my Introduction to Indigenous Studies course, here at Macquarie University. Like home, there are some parts of our history that is kept hushed and unlearned until upper high school years or college courses. The nature of the Australian relationship with their indigenous peoples is very hushed and many Aussies are unaware of some of their own history and know little about what the government is doing about that relationship. To me, it is very rewarding learning about the people who truly called this place home for thousands of years. It is important to learn what lies beneath what is visible in a culture. Without the course, I believe I would leave with little to knowledge of Aboriginal culture or existence.
Nicole Graf is studying abroad at Macquarie University in Australia.