10 hours a part, New Year’s Eve in Australia.

10 hours a part, New Year’s Eve in Australia.

Whilst we were celebrating New Year’s Eve in the cold Netherlands, one of our Asset | IB&M Members celebrated the same event a little bit earlier, in Australia! Because of all the students which are returning from, or leaving to, their exchange country, we decided to do a short interview with an exchange student. Have fun reading and a happy new year from yours truly, the Asset | IB&M Blog Committee!

Tell a little bit about yourself, who are you, how old are you, what are you studying, what are your hobbies etc.

My name is Amber Willemsen and I am 20 years old. I am a third year International Business Administration student at Tilburg University and I just finished an exchange semester at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. My hobbies are, surprisingly, travelling, reading, going out and hanging out with friends.

Why did you choose to go to Australia?

I have always been fascinated by the Australian culture because I felt that they were really laid back. Moreover, I love to travel and Australia seemed to be an amazingly beautiful country and since it’s so remote I figured that it would be an amazing opportunity to go there for a longer period than just a 3-week holiday.

How long have you been in Australia?

I have been in Australia since 12 July. I wanted to take advantage of the fact that our semester in Tilburg ended early. The semester in Australia also started a bit earlier compared to other exchange countries (1st of August) and I wanted to give myself some time before that to get used to the country and the people.

What did you enjoy the most/least about Australia?

I love how friendly the people are here. I always thought that we were friendly back home but compared to Australians we are really awful people. They literally say thank you for anything you do and they want to help you with everything. They always answer with: ‘no worries’, which I think is a great saying. I also like that the long period of time that I’m spending in Australia gave me the opportunity to travel to New Zealand and to also travel the Australian Coast, both are really beautiful. Besides that, going on exchange gives you the best opportunity to meet amazing people from all over the world! I have made so many good friends during my stay here.

What are the biggest differences you’ve experienced between your university here in the Netherlands and the university in Australia?

The university that I attended was more practical than Tilburg University. For one course I had to write an essay which seemed a bit scary at first but after I finished it I came to realize that it actually helped me to understand the topic better. Besides that, there are more assignments that you have to make and the final grade is less based on a final exam. They usually only account for 40 to 50%.

Did you experience any minor or major cultural differences?

I can actually only name a minor difference and that’s the formality towards professors. Here, everyone calls their professor by their first name! I once even walked to the train station with one of my professors and I think that would almost never happen back home (very rarely at least)

Are there any business-related subjects which are treated differently in Australia?

I have noticed that all the business courses are completely focused on the Asian markets.

Would you say Australia is more advanced than the Netherlands?

No, it’s similar.

So far, what’s your most memorable moment of your stay in Australia?

My most memorable day was celebrating New Year’s at the Harbour Bridge in Sydney with one of the most famous fireworks in the world.

We hope you had fun reading our first article and we’re looking forward to providing you with more interesting content this year! Till next week!

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