The “Study” in Study Abroad

Well, it’s late at night here in Chippendale (a suburb of Sydney) and I thought since everyone has been having a bit of a reality check this week with our first round of assignments due on Friday, I might write a little bit more extensively about the academic side of our program.

Manly Beach in Manly, New South Wales

All of us are taking a class called Australian Culture and Society, taught by our program director, Mark. It’s a really neat way for our whole program to come together at night and learn about Australia and Sydney and talk about our experiences that we’ve had in the city. For the next two weeks though, we have split into 5 groups to learn about different aspects of Aussie culture…Lindsay and I are in David’s class learning about Australian Sporting Traditions, while Chris opted to spend some time learning about Aboriginal Australians. We are all going to be going on field trips this week, and the two biddies are super stoked for ours on Thursday when we will be going to Sydney’s Olympic Park. We’ve been told to bring our “swimming costume” as we will have the opportunity to go for a dip in the Aquatic Center! (For the record, the weather is supposed to be super nice that day!) The only downside to these two-week modules is that we have a research paper due in less than 2 weeks, and a presentation to prepare for the day before that. So…that’s what they meant by STUDY abroad…

In addition to that class (and our internship the second half of the semester), we each select two electives, one for each part of the semester. Currently, I am taking the Australian Politics class, which is very interesting. Our lecturer Keith often screens documentaries on important aspects of Australia’s social and political development and he is very knowledgeable about Australian, American, and worldwide politics. There are only 5 us of in the class, which makes for a very individualized experience (here’s the inner BU Admissions Ambassador in me—any prospective students and incoming freshmen out there reading, rest assured classes at BU are NOT ALWAYS HUGE LECTURES!)

Chris is taking a class called “Film Production Using Video.” I wish I could talk more about that, but I get lost just watching Chris edit for his video blogs. Check out the video blog section of this page for some of Chris’s masterpieces and wonder with me why he even needs to take a class on the stuff!

And then there’s Lindsay, who is taking one of the most popular classes BU Sydney has to offer – The Australian Wine Industry. Lots of wine tasting, lots of field trips, and just lots of wine in general. Chris and I love when she lets us help her do her homework, which usually involves trying as many different types of wine as possible before the next class.

All in all, the classes haven’t proven too demanding of our time thus far. More than anything, they are really unique and the professors all have a lot of insight into Australia that we can only get from talking to the pros. And I think Lindsay and Chris would agree with me when I say, the field trips are such an added bonus. Not even in elementary school did we venture out of the classroom as frequently as we have this semester so far.

And it’s only week 3.

Good luck to everyone at BU and practically every other school in the U.S. who are starting the school year this week. And sorry we’re not sorry that down unda’ the summer is JUST BEGINNING. (Hence the beach picture featured in this post.)

Peace, Love, and double-coated Tim Tams,

Brianna

P.S. OUR NEWEST VIDEO BLOG IS HERE! There are also links at the top of the page so you can keep up with it! Hope you’re enjoying the new blog layout!

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