Australia: Out of My Comfort Zone

Submitted by Cassidy Pieper on the 2020 winter session program in Australia and Thailand sponsored by the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics…

This week, we traveled to Sydney, Australia, the final city of our time abroad. We started our week filled with fun adventures on Monday. We toured the Sydney Opera House. We learned about all of the architectural pieces, the history of how the design was chosen, and the challenges that were faced when building the iconic building. Later that evening, we did the Sydney Harbor Bridge climb. This was my favorite cultural excursion of the week! It was the most enjoyable for me because it was both mentally challenging as well as an adrenaline rush. I would have never done that on my own, but it was beneficial for me to get out of my comfort zone and try something new. Our tour guide, Catie, taught us the history and facts about the bridge and how difficult it was to make. It was also a bonding experience for my small group of eleven who climbed together. Some of us were more comfortable than others during the climb and each of us supporting one another was a special moment for me. A couple of days later, we explored a wildlife park where we learned more about the history of the Aboriginal people. We were able to see actual artifacts in caves and paintings on cement form by them. At the park, we also were able to hang out with animals such as pythons, kangaroos, and koalas.

Throughout the week, we also went on multiple company visits. My favorite of the week was a presentation from Merlin Luck, the Vice President at Salesforce. He not only told us about how Salesforce continues innovating and how they became a pioneer in the industry, but he also gave us career advice and told us how to become successful. The personal messages he gave really resonated with me and I will remember them as I choose my path after college.

Almost to the top of the bridge!
Sydney Harbor Bridge climb
After our tour of the opera house, looking at the bridge we were to climb later that evening. Sydney Opera House


Meeting the animals in the Walkabout Park!