Work Abroad - Australia, Work Abroad Program

In Oz, Cultural Differences Still Surprise

by Kate Stanley, Greenheart Travel Work Abroad Participant in Australia

G-Day guys, how you going?

Look how properly Australian I have become in the 5 weeks since I have arrived for my work abroad program!  That’s right, five weeks now I have been living here, I cannot quite believe it myself. Time has really flown. Sorry it has been just as long though since I have written last. I hope you will forgive me, as I have had a lot to take in!

So yes, I am in Oz! The country is truly beautiful, as are the people.

I have moved into a house in the suburbs right outside Sydney with two girls. Unfortunately, I am still unemployed at the moment, which on one hand is a bit stressful, but on the other is nice as it leaves a lot of time to relax and explore. I have not yet ventured much outside of Sydney to sight-see, although I do plan to. This has not been a problem of course because Sydney has a lot to see. It is a wonderful city full of museums, great shopping (I recommend the Queen Victory Building), great historical sights, loads and loads or cafes, and of course a beautiful harbor. If you do nothing else, hit the harbor to gaze at the Sydney Opera House and bridge, they are truly breathtaking.

Of course, it has not all been easy. Traveling alone is hard. I have had my lonely moments for sure. When you are doing things like exploring the beautiful Botanical Gardens of Sydney, or drinking a delicious cappuccino in a café, you cannot help but wish you had someone by your side to share it with.  My homesickness has waxed and waned. Sometimes I will go enter a shop and see a book that I know a friend would love, or I sit beneath a tree and it reminds me of another friend’s spirit, and I miss terribly the people I have left back home. I have met some lovely people though who have been just wonderful and open and warm to me, including my one Australian housemate who has taught me a lot in the ways of being an Aussie!

It has been so very fun to start picking up the different phrases and terms for things here in Australia. For instance, juice boxes here are called poppers, or bell peppers are called capsicums. It has also been interesting to discover the differences in cuisine here, which I really wasn’t expecting. On the whole things are similar, which makes it all the more jarring when subtle little differences pop up. For instance, a standard cup of black coffee…a staple in my day, is not something you can generally order at a coffee shop here. Imagine my surprise!  Not that I do not love a good latte or cappuccino, which are thoroughly delicious and of high quality here, but honestly guys, I am jonesing for a good ole’ cup of joe!


About Greenheart Travel

CCI Greenheart Travel is personally invested in providing cultural immersion programs that change lives, advance careers and create leaders. We achieve this by partnering with organizations and governments overseas that empower their local communities through experiential learning and practical development. We provide others with the same positive travel experiences in which we ourselves engage. Through travel and cultural exchange, we help individuals reach their full potential, leading to a more tolerant, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world.


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