Today’s blog post is by guest blogger Kori Shearstone, one of our student ambassadors! Kori attends Ryerson University in Toronto and studied abroad at the University of South Australia in Adelaide. Read on to learn about what it’s like to be a North American student in Australia.
If you are currently preparing for your exchange semester and are about to burst from excitement, you are most likely thinking about the big picture. Coming to Australia, I was excited to go diving on the Great Barrier Reef, surfing, and spotting a kangaroo. I did all of these things, but what most people don’t realize is that it’s the little things that make North Americans unique and Australians different that are most cherished and shared during exchange.
Trying to explain to Australians what Tim Horton’s is and why it’s so fantastic when bagels are scarcely found, is not the easiest task. So since I couldn’t bring Tim Horton’s to them I had to show them something else. Myself and my new found Canadian buds had to bake a pumpkin pie for our awesome European and Australian pals who had never heard of such a thing.
So, we went off to the store and realized there’s no canned pumpkin or cool whip! Yet, we were determined, so we had to create a pie from scratch, something our European friends do quite often. Overall, the pie was a success, but it seemed ironic that being in Australia had made us become more Canadian.
However, being back home makes us seem more Australian! Tim Tams at tea time and enjoying other Aussie foods is what I yearn for. So although you may be excited for those skydives and rainforest exploration, remember it is the journey, not the destination to look forward to. Exchange is like a road trip and you’re likely to take one. What makes a road trip successful is the people, music, and scenery. I never thought I would take a van covered in graffiti through the outback with fellow North Americans, but it was a truly memorable adventure. Sure we rode a camel, but the real adventure was driving on the wrong side of the road and then remembering to drive on that side when turning.
Therefore, I challenge you to think about what truly makes you North American because you may be in a different country to learn about the world, but you will probably learn more about yourself and the things that make you and your country unique.
To learn more about exchange or Australia, click here to check out Kori’s vlog or send her an email at kori.shearstone[at]ryerson.ca.
You can also read more about all of our student ambassadors and their studies in Australia on our website here.