Home

 

Getting Experience

- # of # Filtered -

Architectural Adventures in Australia

Q&A with Steph: Study Abroad in Australia
Share this
Print this
Steph
Study Abroad in Australia
Carleton University
Her thoughts on Taking It All In
Work hard so you can travel on your spare weekends. Traveling and school-based learning go hand-in-hand when you're abroad.
Her thoughts on Boosting Your Career
Learning abroad is important to me, and I believe it helps develop important skills for aspiring and practicing architects.
Her thoughts on The Right Attitude
Because of my local friends, I was able to get the insider's perspective on Adelaide and its culture.
Her thoughts on Boosting Your Career
Networking is important for building future clients, and I made lots of connections. My network now stretches across America, Brazil, Germany, Netherlands, England, Thailand and Australia.

Where did you study abroad? Did you have a study focus?

I’m a fourth-year architecture student at Carleton University. Last February, I was fortunate enough to travel from Ottawa to Adelaide, South Australia on a semester abroad program. My semester was four months long, but I chose to travel to Hawaii before school and to Asia after the semester ended. I was enrolled in a full-time architecture course at University of South Australia (UniSA) which included studio, technology and construction management classes. I can highly recommend UniSA’s architecture program for all architecture students. They provided a welcoming, inspirational atmosphere and organized environment. The unique surrounding architecture (the Jeffery Smart Building, for example) acts as a live learning space for student architects. My construction studio was heritage home-based. I learned a variety of new things in regards to designing, retrofitting and constructing a home. In contrast to Carleton’s conceptual and art-based studio classes, my work in Australia was was construction and technology driven.

What made your study abroad experience abroad a success?

I could not have experienced Australia without the friends I made while abroad. My international friends and I traveled together, dealt with the unavoidable homesickness, studied at the library and shared tips on where to go in Australia. I built long-lasting friendships and hope to visit their hometowns in the future. My two close friends from Adelaide are named Kane and Jordan. When I arrived, they welcomed me with open arms and by the end of my stay, even their moms felt like family to me! I was invited into their homes and experienced their culture first-hand. For example, Kane invited me to a friend's 21st birthday party and to a traditional Australian BBQ, and Jordan invited me to his home regularly for meals and studio sessions. Once I was even able to try some grilled kangaroo steak -- it was delicious! The boys gave me tips on what architecture was the best in town, took me camping, on tours, and invited me to events. Because of them, I was able to get the insider's perspective on Adelaide and its culture. 

What was your return like? Do you plan to go abroad again?

My return home was pretty crazy. After my last exam, I traveled to Melbourne, Singapore, Thailand and then Bali. A friend and I spent ten days in Bali. At the beginning of our stay, a volcano erupted on a nearby island, Java, causing flights to and from Australia to be canceled for days. I stayed hopeful and adventurous, certain that the ash would clear up in time for me to fly back to Adelaide, pick up my luggage and head back home to Canada... and I was right! Everything cleared up. On the day of my overnight flight back to Adelaide, my friend and I went on a beautiful bicycle tour of Ubud, Bali. We saw rice terraces, toured a coffee plantation and the monkey forest, saw traditional Balinese buildings and villages, and socialized with the locals. But alas, during dinner I received an email… The volcano had erupted again, and my flight was canceled! From this experience, I learned to leave more than one day of buffer time while traveling! In the end, I stayed in airports and airplanes for 46 hours straight in order to make my final flight back home, traveling from Bali to Adelaide to New Zealand to San Francisco, and finally to Toronto. I can honestly say all that travel time was worth it. I experienced and learned so many things along the way. I'd definitely go abroad again, and next time I'll be prepared for things I wasn’t the first time.

What cultural differences did you notice, if any?

Social culture in Australia is very similar to Canadian culture, actually. The people were extremely welcoming and friendly while I was on exchange. People enjoyed life outside of work and school environments, and they were very excited about rugby and Australian football. While I was there, I strengthened my social skills and made lifelong connections with people from around the world.

What is your number one tip for anyone hoping to follow in your footsteps?

Work hard so you can travel on your spare weekends. Of course I went abroad to further my education, but traveling and school-based learning go hand-in-hand when you're abroad. Sometimes, I traveled around Australia to see particular buildings that my professors had mentioned. For example, my technology class did a project on the Advanced Engineering Building at Queensland University, Brisbane. This building is very sustainably built, using passive systems, enviro-friendly materials and designed to suit its location. I've never seen a building like it in Canada. I walked around the atrium, classrooms, timber structured lecture hall and got a personal tour of the underground labyrinth walls that acted as a natural air cooling system. The experience of being in that building and seeing how it functions was unforgettable and professionally inspiring. Traveling was so interesting for my architectural studies. As a Canadian architecture student, the way I learn to design a building is different (building codes, weather limitations, style, materials, landscape) than an Australian student. Traveling to see Australian architecture opened my eyes to their methodology.

I also made lots of connections with travelers and locals. In architecture, networking is very important for building future clients. My network now stretches across America, Brazil, Germany, Netherlands, England, Thailand, and Australia it even grew in Canada.

What did you miss most about home?

I missed my family and my golden retriever, Charlize. Luckily I had an app called Fongo that allowed me to have a Canadian number so that we could stay in contact for free online. The 15-hour time difference was hard to work around, but we made daily calls to each other in my mornings, their nights. I also FaceTimed with my dog! When I reunited with my dog, she was so excited and came running to me. It was so cute! I believe that my family and I bonded over this six-month period. I appreciate them so much for helping me have the experience. The trip also made me realize how much effort it is to cook, clean and live on my own.

Describe an experience from your time abroad that made a particularly strong impression on you.

Sydney and its iconic Opera House is a particularly fond memory from my time abroad. I was in Sydney during a major storm, when all their beautiful beaches were swept onto the roads by strong winds, and everywhere was flooding. I decided to take my touring inside and see the interiors of beautiful buildings. The Sydney Opera House tour showed me all the theatres, backstage rooms and foyers. This elaborate building did not disappoint. Our guide explained the hardships of the architecture and engineering of the building. Even as they were constructing the building, they weren't sure how the building’s magnificent curves would stand. In the end they used a rib system with puzzle-like cladding to form the building's shape. Seeing this theatre was very inspirational. My previous studio project at Carleton had been a theatre, so I was particularly interested in this type of design. During the tour, I also got a sneak peak of a ballet rehearsal as they prepared for an upcoming performance.

What are your future plans for going abroad and for your career?

I plan to earn my master's degree. This year, I'll be applying to universities in Canada and England, as well as New York and Michigan in the States. Learning abroad is important to me, and I believe it helps develop important skills for aspiring and practicing architects. I'm currently working for my dad’s practice and I hope to start my own business as well. Architecture is so different all over the world and I would love to see as much as I can!

Advice from MyWorldAbroad
Jean-Marc Hachey, Publisher, MyWorldAbroad

Steph’s Q&A highlights her professional passion for architecture. We congratulate her for seamlessly integrating her career interests with her personal development while in Australia! This is a fantastic approach to travel and cross-cultural study, and one that students from all disciplines should take on. Steph clearly has an adventurous spirit and an open mind when it comes to travel, so we’d recommend that she consider applying to master’s programs in additional international destinations. Lots of non-English-speaking nations actually offer English-speaking master’s programs, and the cross-cultural value of being in a completely foreign host country is huge. Imagine the value of completing your degree in a fascinating non-Western nation, where you could earn your degree, see vastly different architectural styles, and make even more cross-cultural connections.

Steph also mentions her network connections in Thailand, Brazil and Germany, among other places. With these connections already in place, she could also consider taking on an international internship after finishing her undergraduate degree and before beginning her master’s abroad.

We wish her the best as she launches her global career! Check out the articles below for some related tips and inspiration:

Steph's Next Steps
Advice from MyWorldAbroad
by the founder of MyWorldAbroad
Jean-Marc Hachey
Want to Have the Same Experience?
In a Rush? Read These Articles First
These carefully chosen articles will lead you to our most important go abroad strategies!
Discover the Career Value of Going Abroad
Get the facts! See surveys and stats linking your experiences abroad to future career success.
Sample Application Documents: See How Others Did It!
Get inspired by actual documents that real students used to apply for internships, volunteer positions and other go abroad experiences.
The World Online
Want to stay in touch with the world? Check out these top (and sometime quirky) links!
Quick Guides! Our Most Popular Go Abroad Topics
View, print or share our easy-to-use guides available in English, French and Spanish.
Are You Prepared for the International Job Search?
How much do you know about international jobs in your field? Get ready for a targeted job search!
Do You Have Enough International Experience?
Have you maximized your international experience? Are you ready for the international job search? Find out!
What's Your International IQ?
How much do you really know about living and working abroad? Take this quiz to find out!
Quizzes: Your Master Scorecard
Check your scores for all quiz categories: international skills, experience & the job search.
Career-Boosting Strategies for International Students Studying in North America
What does it take for an international student to succeed in North America? We’ve got tips to help you thrive!
Earn $50 Gift Card & Submit Your Story From Abroad
Been abroad? Want to share your story? Submit your Q&A today to see your experience online!
Self-Evaluations: Think Analytically About Going Abroad
Keep track of your evolving international skill set before, during and after your international experience. Be ready to apply for jobs in the global economy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to all your questions about MyWorldAbroad by diving into our Frequently Asked Questions section.
Your International Resume & LinkedIn
Write your international resume first, and then create that all-important LinkedIn profile.
Top Tips on Going Abroad & Your Career
Scan our top tips in 40 go abroad subject areas: international skills, getting experience, finding work, and the professions.
International Skills: Be More Than Just a Tourist!
International people have a unique skill set. Learn the terminology and get professional about describing your time abroad.
100+ Career-boosting Strategies While Abroad
Discover enterprising, innovative ideas for how to demonstrate your international skills to future employers.
12058
- # of # Filtered -
  • 90
90
9773
Independent In India
1
9765
Simpatico In Florence
2
9767
Beyond The Call Of Duty In Africa
3
9776
Soaking Up Japanese Culture
4
9742
Take-Charge Travel: Germany And Beyond!
5
10230
Getting Caffeinated In Bolivia
6
11467
Stepping Outside the Box in Sweden!
7
10204
Across Europe In A Caravan!
8
11468
Learning While Teaching in Beijing
9
10145
Real Stories And Real People In Mexico
10
9787
A Spring Semester In London
11
9771
Learning To Love London
12
11645
A Love Affair with Shanghai
13
11845
Hospitality and Hosting in the DCR
14
9781
A Hospital Helper In Costa Rica
15
11996
Daring to Go Solo in Ireland
16
9762
American Freshman In London
17
12058
Architectural Adventures in Australia
18
9766
Short-Term Trips For Long-Term Gain
19
15327
An Open Mind & Open Arms in Spain
20
15387
Bliss on a Budget in Brazil
21
9803
Ten Years Teaching In Seoul
22
9769
Getting Sporty In Switzerland!
23
9791
Making Contacts Count In The UK
24
10851
Tips From Tasmania
25
15405
From Daydream to Reality: Teaching Abroad
26
15401
From Korea to Oman: Teaching English Around the World!
27
15383
Hustle and Bustle in Vietnam
28
15347
12 Months, 12 Countries!
29
15333
A Literary Education in the UK
30
14594
Growing Abroad: Hong Kong & South Korea
31
9770
Contributing To Change In Ghana
32
9760
Getting In Sync In Nairobi
33
9799
Getting Settled In Seoul
34
10258
Encountering Cultures Across Europe
35
9772
Learning To Go With The Flow In France
36
10218
Adaptation And Appreciation In Japan
37
9785
Motivated In Madagascar
38
9786
Kids And Culture In Korea
39
9748
Adventure In The Alps
40
9788
Business And Pleasure In Australia
41
9744
Food, Fun And Festivals In Germany
42
9747
Fun And Friends In The Netherlands
43
9750
Host Hospitality In Morocco
44
9754
Building Memories In India
45
9752
Giving In Guatemala
46
9775
A Year Of Feeling French
47
9777
Into The Wild In Alaska
48
9759
From Cold Feet To Confidence In Germany
49
9779
One Summer, Two Internships!
50
9753
A Season In Sweden
51
10923
Insight And Education In Korea
52
11557
Un stage au Cambodge (Français)
53
9812
Caring And Career Skills In Belize
54
10157
Changing Course In China
55
9740
Sports, Study And Fun In France
56
9778
Study And Adventure In New Zealand
57
9755
People, Places And Passionate Volunteering In Peru
58
9738
Living For The Moment In Valencia
59
11850
The Warmest Welcome in Guatemala
60
9783
Off The Beaten Path In Africa
61
9757
Teaching And Learning In Tanzania
62
9741
Adapting To Work In Peru
63
9746
A Cross-Cultural Co-Op In West Africa
64
9789
Loving Life In Lyon
65
9784
Skill-Building In Bonn
66
9774
Gaga For Ghana!
67
9745
An Unforgettable Adventure In Nanjing
68
9792
Rolling With The Punches In Seoul
69
10188
Now Or Never In Colombia
70
11904
Enthusiasm, Education and Experience in Greece
71
9807
Fast Friendship In Korea
72
9790
Design And Dining In Korea
73
9758
Learning The Local Ways Of Addis Ababa
74
10163
English Teaching In Eastern Europe
75
9768
Going Solo In Spain!
76
14483
Finding Home, By Teaching Abroad
77
9743
Hooked On Volunteering!
78
10153
China, South Africa And Beyond!
79
14088
An Eye-Opening Experience Teaching in South Korea
80
9751
A Canadian Globe-Trotter Visits The US
81
9737
Passionate About Panama
82
10192
Out And About In Paris
83
9780
A Year In Marvelous Mexico!
84
9763
A Professional Visit To Vietnam
85
9764
Do It Yourself! A Proactive Intern In Rome
86
10143
A Warm Welcome In Mexico
87
9756
Springtime In Spain
88
9782
Making The Most Of Milano
89
9761
Communicating Creatively In Spain
90
12058
All Job Boards
461
All NGOs
1433
Au Pair Resources
39
Awards And Grants Resources
52
Business Directories
17
Canadian Federal, Provincial And Territorial Government Profiles
60
Canadian Government Resources
28
Children And Families Abroad
16
Consulting, Economic And Finance Job Boards
63
Country Guides
73
Cross-cultural Skills
79
Engineering Job Boards
59
Engineering Resources
81
Expatriate Networking Sites
32
Foreign Students Working in the US
9
Freelancing Abroad
27
General Job Search Books
15
Global Education And Social Action
44
Health And Medicine Job Boards
48
Health Career Resources
67
International Associations With Clubs on Campus
44
International Development Career Resources
75
International Internship Organizations
271
International Internships And Student Programs With Canadian Governments
31
International Internships With The US Government
37
International Job Hunting Resources
13
International Law Careers Resources
113
International Law Job Boards
26
International Student Exchanges
2
International Studies In The US And Canada
13
International Trade Resources
25
International Volunteer Organizations
489
Internship Directories And Advice
43
Internships With The UN And Other IGOs
156
Language Careers
29
Learn A Language
106
Licensed Teacher Abroad Job Boards
29
Licensed Teacher Abroad Resources
31
Loans for Studying Abroad
18
Low-cost Travel
63
NGO Directories
33
NGO Job Boards
47
Re-entry
12
Regional Job Boards
102
Relocating Abroad
27
Resources For International Students Studying In The US Or Canada
48
Stories From Abroad
90
Study Abroad Resources
184
Teach English Abroad Job Boards
99
Teach English Abroad Resources
64
Tools for Travelers
73
Top International Blogs & Podcasts
84
Travel Health And Safety
39
UN and Other IGOs
266
UN And Other IGOs Job Boards
26
UN And Other IGOs Resources
73
US Government Profiles
76
US Government Resources
36
Visas and Passports
25
Volunteer Directories And Advice
52
Women Living And Working Overseas
18
Working Holiday Resources
74