Anna Morris, Adjusting to Australia
Over the past couple months, I have had the privilege to study abroad at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. Not only is it a beautiful city, but I am able to experience a different side of education. At Santa Clara University, typical class size does not exceed 35 or 40 students, but in Australia, the usual size for a lecture is 250 to 400 students. This became one of the first culture boundaries for me because I was not used to sitting in a classroom where the professor does not know me on a first name basis. However, the larger class size made me appreciate a smaller school that allows for professors and students to know one another. This is a relationship that I took for granted in the past, but now I know it is a privilege to sit in a class where the professor knows your name.
During my time in Australia, there has been one professor in the Business School who has gone out of her way to help me with getting used to a new school. She teaches my management tutorial, which is a breakout group for my large management lecture. Ironically, this tutor is originally from southern California and spent part of her education at Stanford. So in many ways, she knew what I was going through when it came to culture shock. She became an academic and general resource for me. I could even ask her the random questions about adjusting to a new school and life in Australia, specifically about how did she overcome the struggles when she first came here. The connection I have built with this professor is one I did not expect from abroad, but it is one of the aspects that has been the most beneficial to my success in a new and foreign school.