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Devin Streur's Experience

Name: Devin Streur
Major: History
Program: GVSU Partnership
Traveled Abroad Before: Yes

Q: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your study abroad experience?
A: When I think of my study abroad experience I think of who I am today and how far I've come. Studying abroad transitioned me into a more self reliant and open person, with an appreciation for diverse perspectives. The experience challenged me to try new things and to push the boundaries of my comfortable life. I can honestly say that studying abroad has provided for me in ways that I could not begin to comprehend at the beginning, and even immediately after my experience, and I will carry the memories of it with me forever.

Q: Why did you choose this destination?
A: I chose Australia initially out of both comfort and a strong desire to go 'Down Unda'. My vision of paradise was a tropical oasis with palm trees, tropical rain forests, white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, hospitable locals, and abundant sunshine and this seemed to match up well with what Australia had to offer. Breaking away from the preconceived notions of the outback, I also wanted to immerse myself in a large city that was both booming with life, but also aesthetically pleasing as well. All of this led me to Sydney Australia - one of the world's metropolitan gems.

Q: What are some things that surprised you about the campus, the classes, the culture, customs or traditions?
A: I was initially shocked by Americans misconceptions about Australians and their lifestyles. They don't say 'shrimp on the barbie!' at all, and you cannot even buy a Fosters beer in Australia. The way of life for Australians was quite similar to American life and culture, yet they seem to place a higher value on life outside of work. Athletic activity, the outdoors, and anything else that increases cardiovascular health are more highly regarded. Life just seems to move slower there. And its understandable when surfing and sunshine are an integral part of your life.

Q: What are some things you would like students to know about studying abroad in this destination or the program provider you studied with?
A: I would like students to know that Australia is a place unlike any other. The city of Sydney offers everything a traveler could want, great beaches, beautiful scenery, the harbor and harbor bridge, the opera house, and so much more. It is extremely safe and clean and has great restaurants and shops. The country itself has people who are amazingly hospitable who will do whatever it takes to show their country off to visitors with a true sense of pride and class. The university has a beautiful campus with a student body a little larger than GVSU's. Their classes are split between a lecture (normally 60-150 people) and tutorials, which break up the lecture into much smaller groups for focused learning. Normally you have 1-2 lectures per week and then 1-2 tutorials per week.

Q: What advice would you offer?
A: The advice I would offer to students who are going abroad to Australia, or any country for that matter, is to get involved in some sort of club or organization while you are abroad. By getting involved you are able to meet people from the host country who know where to go, what to see, how to do it, and most importantly, they can drive you there.

Q: What was your academic goal while studying abroad?
A: My academic goal for studying abroad was to study history from a different cultural perspective. I wanted to know how Australians viewed major conflicts and wars of the 20th century. I also wanted to take courses for my Theme requirements from people who had been socialized in a different environment.

Question? Email Devin!

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