Study Abroad Reflection

Guest Post By: Hayley Rosinbum, a Junior studying Finance. She studied abroad through CIEE Open Campus Block in Sydney, Australia, during Winter Quarter 2024.

For my study abroad experience, I went to Sydney, Australia. Sydney is full of the stereotypical surfers, beachy vibes, and lots of Australian accents. The beauty of getting to live in Sydney for 3 months came with the opportunity to dive deeper into learning about Australian culture and what it looks like to live in Sydney. I had the privilege of making some Australian friends and they truly gave me the picture of what life in Sydney was like. 

Every morning you can see hundreds of Australians getting up for sunrise at the local beaches. Typically, you can see everyone getting in a workout whether that consists of running, lifting weights with friends along the beach, or surfing. The mornings are lively, and I was shocked to see so many people awake along the beaches at 6 am. Then around 9 am people start heading off to work and will be walking about for the rest of the day. It was really interesting to learn about how the Australian culture is to give people time off during the afternoon to prioritize working out as well as lunch. The Australian culture displays a passion for fitness and getting movement in throughout your day. 

Something I observed as well was in January most people are on holiday. People all over the country get about a month off just to spend time with their families and friends to enjoy the summer weather. Compared to the United States, a lot of people do not have the luxury of being able to take even a week off work. I appreciate and admire how Australia implements a healthy work-life balance in people’s lives. I think it is really easy to get caught in the hustle and bustle of life. One can forget the importance of life experiences, spending time with loved ones, and exploring the world. This is something I want to make sure I stay aware of as I pursue my career goals. Life is much more than the career one has, and I think Australia does a fantastic job with work-life balance. 

Throughout my study abroad experience I got to live in a house of 16 people from different colleges all over the States. In my house, I got very close with everyone and was fortunate enough to have them all become some of my good friends. Below is a picture of some of the people in my house: