Norwegians, Chinese, Germans, Americans, Italians, Canadians… you name them, I’ve met them, but Aussies? It’s been few and far between. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been great meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds but I chose Australia for a couple reasons. One of them was to meet Australians! Of course I interact with Australians in town and have met some Australians, but for the most part on campus at my University (Griffith University) I was initially mostly meeting international students.

Griffith University Campus

Meeting mostly Australians was an expectation of mine that has turned out to be false. It never even came across my mind as a possibility that I would mostly be meeting international students. Curious, I went on the Griffith website and it turns out they have a lot of international students from over 150 countries. Additionally, international students tend to take classes that other international students take. So it now all made sense as to why I wasn’t meeting as many Australians as I have expected. With this conclusion I felt defeated. But then… I found them! I found the Aussies! Well, they weren’t really hiding at all.

Recently there was a day to sign up for cultural clubs and sport clubs. At every single booth I met Australians who were promoting their clubs. Some clubs that really interested me were the Scuba club, Badminton club and the outdoor adventure club. All of the representatives of these clubs were very inviting and easy to talk to. Interestingly enough I felt that being an international student made it a lot easier for me to talk to them. This was something that was not an expectation prior to coming to Australia. For some reason I thought it might be intimidating to approach Australians. This not being the case has already made my experience far better than I would have expected. I have only been here for a short time and I have already learned so much about myself. I am quickly realizing how my culture back home has shaped me and how experiencing a new culture is giving me a whole new perspective living my life.

Alex Greenberg is a student at Champlain College and a TEAN Featured Blogger. Alex is currently studying abroad with TEAN on the Gold Coast, Australia.