Bryan School Study Abroad Program

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Tammy BurkwaldTammy Burkwald
International Business, studied one semester at Australian Catholic University in North Sydney, Australia.

Every time I walked by the posters up in the Bryan building I stopped to stare at the pictures of UNCG students abroad and would think, “That would be amazing, but how could I ever afford that?” Let me tell you if I did it just about anyone can do it; you just have to start by looking into how easy UNCG has made the process of studying abroad. My only wish is that I had done it earlier so I could have spent a full year abroad!

I studied abroad at ACU National in Sydney, Australia. I attended class at the ACU-North Sydney campus, which is about the size of the elementary school I attended. It took a little while to adjust to the laid-back attitude of the Aussies, but don’t be fooled, the exams are not easy. On the plus side, because the school is so small you do get the opportunity to really get to know your classmates and professors.

I stayed in a place called Greenwich Village Accommodation, which has an amazing view of Sydney! I made some of the best friends of my life here, and I was one of only five native English speakers in a three-story dormitory, due to the fact that GVA consists of international students studying at surrounding colleges, with a few Australians and Canadians in the mix. If you are going to Sydney, accommodation will be your greatest expense. I shared one room with three other girls and still paid au$ 180 per week! Although, living here, not one day passed where I felt lonely or bored. There is always someone who wants to go surfing or go out in Sydney, and this location is very convenient to the hot spots in Sydney!

As an exchange student, you are permitted to work (with some restrictions) during your time in Australia. Finding work in Sydney is not a difficult task. I landed a job with APA promotions, Australia's leading suppliers of promotional staff to the beer wine and spirits industry, and I found myself at a different district of Sydney every week promoting Australian wine in bottle shops and hotels. I honestly suggest working while abroad because this is where I learned the most about the local culture, and I became very familiar with all the districts within Sydney and the surrounding areas, for example coogee beach! It is also a great way to make Australian friends. There is a helpful website called that everyone uses to find jobs, apartments, roommates, etc in Sydney.

Backpacking Australia was simply the best experience of my life thus far. I enjoyed scuba-diving along the Great Barrier Reef, sailing the Whitsunday islands, skydiving, camping on Fraser Island, canoeing down the Noosa river, and exploring the entire east coast all the way down the great ocean road towards Adelaide. Simply amazing!

Obviously if you’re reading this, you are somewhat interested. If you are somewhat interested don’t let the opportunity pass you by. I am who I am because of my unique experience, and you certainly deserve your own amazing adventure.

My only other words of wisdom on the subject: don’t sweat the small stuff. The unknowns of another country are a little scary, but it all comes together in the end.

Page updated: 30-Oct-2009

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