I am so happy that I went on the "Doing Business in Australia" trip. Australia is nothing like what I saw here on my T.V. It is much more than blonde haired, blue-eyed surfers catching a wave. Australia has a strong connection to the Outback, which is mostly desert and covers the continent. I never realized what a huge place Australia is. It is the same size as the U.S. yet; it only has 22 million residents that mostly live on the East and West coast. Australia is a very diverse continent that has come a long way in terms of gender and racial equality. Australia reminds me of the U.S. in so many ways; while we have our first African- American President, they have their first female Prime Minister. Also, both countries were once ruled by Britain.
While I was aware of the flooding in Australia before I went, I did not have a great understanding of the extent of the flooding and how catastrophic the damage has been to the state of Queensland and Australia as a whole. Queensland is the equivalent to Florida in America; Australians call Queensland the Sunshine state. Most of the produce grown in Australia comes from Queensland. The flooding has ruined this year’s crop, residents’ homes and killed 16 people by the time I left.
The worst thing that happened to me on this trip was being left by the bus on our way to the 20/20 cricket match in Melbourne because I was locked out of my room. Not pleasant! The good thing is that everything was solved and I made it to the cricket match in record time.
The best thing that happened to me on this trip was our group’s ability as a whole to overcome adversity and still achieve the goals that were set out for us. No one could control nature, with 46 people on a trip, emotions can become strong and personalities can clash. However, most people showed selflessness and self-control on the trip. I grew as a person due to this study abroad experience. I learned how showing discipline and having a positive attitude could make any situation better. I also learned that never giving up and always having a backup plan are the most valuable tools one could have when abroad. Because we never gave up, we ended up missing only one event even though the flooding threatened to mess up an entire week of activities. Literally, the best thing to happen to me on this trip was the Sydney Opera House tour. My entrancement with the architecture really took me by surprise. To me, the Opera house represented the innovation, dedication and hard work that Australians show in their daily lives.