My first impression when I arrived in Australia was that I was in an exciting place. I landed in Sydney first, and I wanted to see a glimpse of the opera house from the plane. I knew that I would later get the chance to explore it. I have an extended study abroad with New Zealand and Fiji, so I knew there was a lot to look forward to. I am currently in New Zealand, and I have had time to reflect on what it was like to visit a continent different from my own.

            I have found that the cities are very walkable, and the public transportation is fantastic within Melbourne, Cairns, and even Sydney. The locals have different accents and phrases that I had to get used to and listen carefully even though English is spoken primarily in Australia and New Zealand. I have had the chance to see a different culture up close going to an Australian Football League game which is a mix of soccer, handball, and rugby. The people have been my favorite part of both countries so far. They are kind and have similar goals to be driven just like my peers and I. I have enjoyed being in a faculty-led program, but I had the chance to learn something from different university speakers at LCI Melbourne where I learned about artificial intelligence and how it impacts consumers to how to think creatively in industries like fashion. I learned how different industries are combining the creative arts and engineering to achieve even better products. I have had the chance to hear from entrepreneurs and leaders from the World Bank in how business can shape the world for the better. I also got to learn about how impact investing can change the face of some of the world’s poorest countries through construction, ethical tourism, and even just improving financial centers like banks in the Pacific islands.

            I am enjoying my time abroad with excursions such as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia or having a tour of an iconic landmark like the Sydney Opera House. In New Zealand, I had the chance to visit Milford Sound which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. I have gotten to hear from native people such as the Aboriginal in Australia, and I will have a chance to learn more about the Maori people through cultural immersion. I cannot wait to continue my learning experiences exploring different markets, consumers, and learning from business leaders throughout my time in Oceania.