One student reflects on the similarities and differences between Australia and the US.
Arriving in Australia I experienced a culture shock. Australia is very similar to the United States but there are subtle differences, like driving on the left side of the road and using a surrogate name instead of a last name. It’s interesting to see a different perspective of everyday life. Australia is a very beautiful and clean country. It is filled with rich culture and amazing history. The people are friendly and great to talk to. They are very intelligent and are nice enough to answer any questions you may have as a visitor. I have met some very great people all throughout the city of Sydney. One thing I have noticed here is the laid back atmosphere. In big cities back home there is a hustle and bustle to everything but I haven’t noticed it in Sydney. Yesterday, I was excited to go to the opera house and see the magnificent architecture that went into its construction. When I finally saw it in person, I was in awe at its brilliance. I felt the individual tiles that made up the roof of the building, something that I will never forget. Looking over the nearby harbor bridge was an incredible sight to see. During our tour, we learned where Captain Cook, the first settlers, and the first fleet colonized, nearby at a place called The Rocks. Walking through The Rocks reminded me of Colonial Williamsburg back home in Virginia. I was fascinated with the old world buildings and the history that seemed to parallel the United States. I noticed that the architecture was influenced from early Great Britain at The Rocks as well in Colonial Williamsburg. It shows how we are direct descendants from the English. An interesting fact that our tour guide mentioned is that mostly everything is made from sandstone. Sandstone is formed over thousands of years of being compressed under water and you can see the water marks all throughout the city. It is truly a great accomplishment to build a city out of this type of rock. This trip has given me a great look at the world outside the United States and I’m happy to experience with a great group from ECU. All of us agree that it has been incredible. I’m happy to learn the history and culture of Sydney Australia and am looking forward to the rest of my stay here.
Thank you to Ben Spitzner for sharing your experiences arriving to Australia and in Sydney.