James Masson – Film & Media – Level 3
Griffith University, Australia
What I learned from my time in Australia
Moving to Australia for a semester was always going to be a transformative experience for me, having never lived outside Scotland and I was determined to prove to myself that I could fit into and become a part of Aussie society and not just be a tourist. I believed this was the best way to experience a new society with different cultures. What struck me about Australia is the beauty of its nature and how fortunate they are to have such great weather mixed with unique wildlife. I’ve always been environmentally aware and recently decided to join Extinction Rebellion (XR) to help protect nature from destruction. I hadn’t yet joined XR when I moved to Australia and I could have just spent my months here going to the beach and chilling out but I decided to give back to Australia and fight for its nature and its future. I spent a lot of time taking part in activism and went vegan whilst I was there. I developed a deeper appreciation for nature and the fight that lay ahead. I developed as a person, becoming more thoughtful in my life decisions.
Throughout my time in Australia I did of course do tourist things like go to Byron Bay and the Great Barrier Reef and these experiences only strengthened my commitment to activism and protecting Australia’s unique and beautiful nature.
I not only got heavily involved with activism but hung out with a good group of friends from campus and made sure to immerse myself in Australian culture from using Aussie slang, to going to watch the local sports teams such as the Brisbane Broncos.
I should also add that I continued to take my studies seriously and despite doing activism and hanging out with friends continued to perform well at my courses.
I’d tell every student thinking of going abroad to immerse yourself in that countries culture and go beyond the obvious tourist destinations, also try and make mates from that country and don’t just stick to other international students. It’s participating and becoming part of a different culture that moulds you as a person and will likely change you for the better.