This week, take 5 with Heather Goldman and hear about her adventures while attending high school in Australia. We reckon she was keen on her Aussie experience, as she had heaps to say!
What inspired me to go to Australia was that it had always seemed like an amazing, foreign country. Not many people from the US ever travel there, but lots of people always talk about the country, which only further propelled me to want to go there. From the limited things I had heard about Australia, it seemed like an incredible, warm, exotic place far away from where I lived, and I this always attracted me to want to explore and learn more about it.
My favorite way to spend my weekends was hanging out with my friends. We’d often go into Adelaide which was about an hour away from where I was staying, or we’d have fun and hang out in the town I was living in. Some weekends we’d go shopping, explore the many things to see and do in Adelaide, or go in or on the river in our town. No matter what, it was always something I could look forward to and memories I’ll never forget.
Something I learned about myself is how independent and open-minded I have become. This is something that is very important while traveling abroad, especially when you go alone. There are so many changes and things you have to adapt to, and a completely new culture that you’re learning on your own. I have learned how to be more independent and open to change in those situations, and this has allowed me to experience new things, meet new people, and have more fun.
There are so many great Aussie slang words, and it was hard to narrow down my list, but a few of my favorites are “reckon,” “keen,” “far out,” and “heaps”. A lot of my friends and Australians in general often say these words in casual conversation. People will say “I reckon” to mean “I think” or “I believe”, and people will say “keen” when they’re really excited about something, such as “I’m so keen to go to the movies tomorrow.” People also say “far out” when they’re surprised or taken aback by something, and people use “heaps” instead of “a lot”, like “It was heaps of fun”. All of these words add to the “Aussie experience” that I treasured while abroad.
The biggest misconception I’ve found people have about Australians is that they’re very different people with a foreign culture that not many Americans are educated on. Instead, what I’ve learned from studying abroad there for a semester, is that Australians are actually very similar people and have a culture that is very much like our own in America, but with some significant differences. Although the country of Australia is much different in some ways to the United States, the people there are very friendly and welcoming, and I was easily able to get along and become great friends with many of them while I was there.