MSIS Continental Connections: Cultural Immersion

More than just an opportunity to connect business and technology on a global scale, the Master of Science in Information Systems Study Tour provides students and alumni the chance to learn and explore from the culture and history of each city visited. Read about the Sydney and Melbourne visits.

A Husky Welcome in Sydney

Upon arrival, MSIS students received a warm welcome from the University of Washington and Foster School of Business alumni at a happy hour in the heart of Sydney. For MSIS students it was a great opportunity to hear how these Huskies made the move across the world, setting the stage for the upcoming company visits. The alumni expats were eager to connect with students and provided insights into the city, including the best hidden gems to explore!

After a night of great connections made, MSIS took to the streets of Sydney on a city bike tour. Even when students were caught in the rain (in true Seattle style), the tour let them familiarize themselves with iconic sites from the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the Sydney Opera House. The adventure around the city ended with an interactive cocktail class on a rooftop bar. The energy of the group was impalpable, and this was just the start of the trip.

City Hoppers

Australia is a huge country, and while it wasn’t possible to cover the entire continent in two weeks, MSIS did experience another side of this nation with a trip to Melbourne. This 2nd city had what many students called a Seattle vibe and a different culture from Sydney.

The visit began with a city walking tour where Melbourne’s famous street art was on full display. Moving through the world’s oldest continuously operating Chinatown, seeing one of the busiest train stations in the world, and stopping for refreshments near the banks of the Yarra River, students were able to experience Melbourne’s must-see neighborhoods and learn the history of the city along the way.

Having worked up an appetite exploring the city, the group ended the day experiencing Melbourne’s night life at Queen Victoria’s Market surrounded by some of Melbourne’s best crafters, artisans, and globally inspired food.

One More Wow!

From Melbourne, there was one more trip to Cairns, known as the gateway to The Great Barrier Reef. Taking a speedboat through the Pacific Ocean, this tour of the largest reef complex in the world was the “wow” of the tour activities for many students. Those who were interested, snorkeled, happy to not encounter any sharks. Guided through the waters by a snorkeling guide, the reef tour touched on essential conservation efforts, as well as the multitude of species living in the reefs.

“The most memorable part of the trip was snorkeling on the great barrier reef. I have watched so many nature documentaries and have heard so much about the Great Barrier Reef – being there was surreal.” – Bunmi Sofowora


To end their cultural excursion in Cairns, the group went to an Aboriginal cultural dinner and fire dance. “This was one of the best parts of the visit for me,” said Dan Bianchini. “This is not something I would have done on my own.” The event highlighted the native culture and history that had been so often discussed during their previous company visits. It allowed the group to reflect on the culture and the continent – concluding a trip of a lifetime.

In 10 days, 7 flights, 3 cities, and 8 company visits, MSIS students experienced a full Australian cultural immersion through tailored excursions and company visits. We are excited to announce what is in store for our 2020 Study Tour to Japan!

Interested in becoming a part of this global cohort? Apply today!