Fostering Peace and Understanding
2014 US Australia Exchange – one student’s view

2014 US Australia Exchange – one student’s view

I went to Australia on a student exchange trip in June 2014. I stayed with a host family, in Upwey, Australia for 2 weeks. While there, I went sight-seeing at Sovereign Hill, rode on Puffing Billy, visited the cities of Melbourne and Frankston and went to the beach. I saw lots of different wildlife at the Healesville Sanctuary (zoo) and Crystalbrook. I got to go to a professional Australian football game as well as my host student‘s footie games.

I attended Upwey South Primary School while in Australia. I had the opportunity to present our cultural show and teach the Australian students about the USA, Cincinnati, and Nativity School. The Australian students very interested in learning about sports in America.

I learned that Australia and the United States have many similarities. We are both English speaking countries that started out as colonies of England. Both our countries have people of different races, religions and nationalities. Australian culture is similar to that of the USA. Day to day life includes going to work and school, doing homework, spending time with family and friends. Kids in Australia like to play sports and video games like kids in the United States. Australian stores and shopping is also similar to stores and shopping in the USA,

Although Australia is an English speaking country, they have different accents and use some different words than we do. Australia is surrounded by water and is both a continent and a country. While the USA is part of North America. Australia has some different wildlife, plants, nature, and landscape than we do in the United States, Ohio in particular. The most popular sport in Australia is footy-Australian football and the most popular sports in the United States are football (American football) and baseball.

Visiting Australia was an amazing experience. I learned that we are more similar than we are different. The most important things to Australians are the same as the important things to Americans, like family, friends, education, working hard to accomplish your goals and dreams and having fun too.

This has changed how I think about other people and other countries. I think I can change the world by teaching my family and friends what I have learned from this experience. I’ve realized that even though the world is a big place, it probably doesn’t matter where you are from or where you grew up, the same things are going to be important to you. We should pay closer attention to our similarities than our differences and be thoughtful and respectful of our differences.

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