Jarinn Settsu is a senior studying Kinesiology through the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, and an international ambassador for the Office of Global Opportunities. Last winter/spring semester, Jarinn traveled to Sydney, Australia, on an OSU Exchange Program for the adventure of a lifetime. Read on to learn about his favorite aspects of studying abroad in a new culture.
“My most memorable experience while studying abroad in Sydney, Australia, was definitely – as cliché as it is – having barbeques by the beach. During the barbecues, I had the unique opportunity to try food native to Australia. I’m not talking koala burgers or quokka sausages, but I am talking about Kangaroo steaks and emu burgers. The reason why these barbeques were the most memorable experience of my time studying abroad is because it gave me the opportunity to interact with people who lived in Australia their entire life, as well as with people from all over the world.
At these barbeques, there were people from the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Florence, Italy, Beijing, and countries in between. It allowed me to learn not only about my culture and the Australian culture, but cultures all over the world. It’s amazing to see how, no matter where you may live in the world, there are always things you’ll have in common with someone. The differences you may have, whether it be cultural or specific interests, are ways to learn about cultures from people who actually grew up in that culture and get a first-hand account of their life and rich history of their culture.
Words can’t begin to explain the Australian culture, but I’ll try. The Australian culture is centered around the history of the native Aboriginal people. Because of this, it only seemed right to dive right into trying to learn the history of the Aboriginal people. One way I tried to immerse myself in the Australian culture was through the playing of the didgeridoo. Let’s just say I’ll stay in school. It was an amazing way to learn the stories and history played through the didgeridoo. Although we may come from all backgrounds, countries and religions, there are some things in the world that people can bond over, whether it be, food, music and the desire to experience new cultures outside of our own. We need to be open and willing to take the time to learn about cultures other than our own, and I believe studying abroad provides the opportunity to do so.
I came to Australia wanting to learn more about the Australian culture, but I left with the experience of learning about cultures all over the world. That’s something that would take years of studying in the classroom, but I was able to in a matter of 15 barbecues.”
Learn more about international opportunities at Oregon State University.
This story was originally published by OSU Abroad.