David Thomas Studies Abroad in Australia
During my time at WKU I have always been interested in doing a study abroad trip and this January, my wish came to fruition in the most unbelievable way possible. For three weeks I traveled throughout Australia with 15 other WKU students, sightseeing and learning about various economic aspects of the country. I earned 6 credit hours for International Sports Economics and the History of Economics in Australia. It was very interesting to learn about a culture other than my own, especially since this was my first time out of the U.S. Although Australia is not as different as some cultures, it was still something to get used to. Words had different meanings, lifestyle was more relaxed, and some Australians weren't so fond of Americans. Through this cultural interaction I am able to better understand how different other cultures are from our own and to respect these differences to coexist, something that will prove invaluable in my professional life.
My three weeks in Australia were somewhat of a whirlwind. We visited five cities: Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, and Gold Coast, which left us only a few days in each city before we had to pack our bags for the next stop. The history of Australia showed us how their start as a penal colony played a major role in the formation of the country by providing labor to develop the abundant natural resources in the country. We also examined different aspects of trade and what supported the Australian economy, which is doing very well at the moment. They are major exporters of coal, iron, and other natural resources. Our sports economics class examined how revenues were used and collective bargaining agreements of the league structures. Many of the sports had very different ideas on profit and ownership. Australian sports teams are generally owned by thousands rather than just one person and they are not striving to make a profit.
There were so many unbelievable sights and memories from the trip I will cherish for a lifetime. Seeing the Sydney Opera House, petting a kangaroo, and making 15 new friends to share this adventure with honestly proved to be the trip of a lifetime. Without the Gordon Ford College of Business, this trip never would have been possible for me. It was sponsored by the economics department and the professors worked to make sure everything went smoothly for us. I would like to thank Dr. Wilson and Dr. Strow for everything they did planning the trip and making it such an amazing success. It truly was the experience of a lifetime and something I will be telling stories about for a long time. Cheers!