2018-01-10 / News

Hello from Down Under

BY EMILY KOVAC
Lexington

I’m Emily Kovac, and I’m excited to soon be sharing with you, my friends in Sanilac County, my study abroad experience as I travel to Australia and New Zealand.

First, a little about me. I grew up in Lexington and graduated from Croswell-Lexington High School in 2016. Not only have I grown up in the area, but I am also running a small business called ‘Student Painters’ out of my hometown. Currently, I am a sophomore at Michigan State University majoring in advertising management and entrepreneurship.

I’m headed to Australia for the next term to study political science as part of MSU’s study abroad program.

My purpose in going to a foreign country is to become familiar with its form of government, culture, and, of course, the people of Australia and New Zealand. During my stay, I will be in Australia’s capital city of Canberra, and travel through some of the country’s other major cities such as Sydney. My program of study includes a stay in the Outback, and a visit to New Zealand.

My expectation is the Australian culture and lifestyle will prove to be quite similar to our own. I will be interested to see if the people there are as work-driven and corporate-oriented as we Americans are.

Seeing how people there interact with one another and discovering what they value promises to be enlightening. I am particularly interested in learning how those of another country treat Americans. I intend to try and assimilate. I love people and am hoping that most of them are friendly to American travelers and are open to developing friendships. The fact that English is their official language ought to help.

Having only been out of the United States twice, once to Canada and once to Mexico, I am nervous about boarding a 22-hour, mostly transoceanic flight, from Detroit to L.A. and then on to Australia. Fortunately, I will be travelling with my college roommate. Two scared girls are better than one.

The decision to study abroad was easy because I am interested in seeing new places, doing new things, and meeting new and different people. I also hope to gain a fresh perspective on my own life. This is a good time because upon graduation, in just two short years, I will enter into the business world nose-to-the-grindstone fulltime.

Australia interested me above other possible destinations because it offers a youthful culture with an endless array of new experiences, and it is English-speaking. Although East Lansing is a great place with lots of fascinating people, I am anticipating expanding my horizons.

When I return to the United States I hope to have gained a better understanding of different people and the dynamics behind their social values and interactions. I also hope to apply what I have learned about people to my painting business this summer.

It excites me greatly to be going and I relish the opportunity to share with you my experiences over the coming weeks.

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