Kyle Grand ’11 – I have been studying at Bond University in Gold Coast, Australia for about three months now, and it has truly been one of the best experiences of my life. The Gold Coast is one of the most beautiful places on earth and is home to some of the world’s best beaches.
My school is located near the popular suburb, Surfer’s Paradise, and for the most part the weather is always 75 degrees and sunny. Bond is the only private school in Australia and offers a great education. It has a small school feel very similar to Wabash, so I of course fit right in. I am currently taking four classes that cover a wide range of Australian topics. I am learning about the history of the country as well as its government and politics. Australia is a very interesting place with a unique culture unlike anywhere else in the world.
Since I have been here I have been immersed in that culture. In my dorm there are many Australian students that I have grown close to. Australians are very easy going, friendly, and love to have a good time. They understand that I am visiting their country in order to broaden my horizons and have taken me under their wing. Australians have taken me to their homes to hang out, given me rides to the mall, and beach, all for the sake of being “mates”(it’s the word they use instead of friend).
One idea that Australians live by is mateship, which means doing whatever you can to be a good friend. So far the Australians I have met have demonstrated that principle to me in a big way.
While I have been here I have traveled all over the country and it really is one of the best places in the world. I have seen the beautiful beaches of Byron Bay, walked around the awesome city of Melbourne, and of course spent a wonderful weekend in Sydney. I have seen a professional rugby game, an Australian national team soccer match, as well as an Australian music festival. No matter where I have gone, one thing remains the same. Australians have strong national pride and celebrate the fact that they are Australian.
They truly love their country and I will admit the feeling is contagious. I have really enjoyed my time here and am excited for my last month. Studying abroad has shown me how special other parts of the world are and that culture is something every country should embrace. This country has had an impact on my life and I can’t wait to see what I learn next.