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Madeleine Phillips

Madeleine Phillips

Major: Political Economy

"Berkeley Global Internships is a great opportunity to enhance your college experience and help you further your career interests. You will definitely have a summer to remember with lots of stories to share afterward . . . just go!"

What led you to study abroad? Why did you choose your country/program?

After studying abroad in Israel for a semester in high school, I knew that I wanted to engage in more study abroad opportunities once I started college. During the first semester of my freshman year, I participated in the Global Edge program in London; it was an unconventionally-exciting start to my college career and truly a memorable experience. Following the program, I was determined to study abroad again, and it seemed like Berkeley Global Internships was an excellent opportunity to travel to yet another part of the world while experiencing the international workplace. I chose to take part in the program offered in Sydney, Australia because I had never been there before, and I was eager to explore the land down under.

Studying and interning abroad in Sydney with Berkeley Global Internships was the perfect opportunity to take upper division elective courses and make new friends while living in a new city and traveling the South Pacific!

What was the most interesting cultural experience you had abroad?

The most interesting cultural experience I had in Australia was visiting the Symbio Wildlife Park in Helensburgh (which is about an hour or so south of Sydney), where my friends and I were able to feed and personally interact with kangaroos! Although they seemed intimidating at first, the kangaroos and wallabies were actually very cute and friendly -- and we even got some cool photos with them!

What was the biggest challenge/concern of your study abroad experience? How did you respond?

The biggest challenge of my study abroad experience was communicating with family and friends back home across different time zones. Coming from California, the time difference was seventeen hours. Having this obstacle encouraged me to develop better time management skills in my day-to-day life and improve methods of communication with my friends and family.

Describe a typical day for you abroad.

After waking up at around 8 AM (my internship began at 9:30 on most days) and getting ready for the day, I would walk to Redfern Station in order to catch the T2 train en route to "City Circle via Town Hall." The station at which I had to get off in order to get to work was conveniently located right below the building I worked in, which was very convenient. At our lunch break, my co-interns and I would always check out a new restaurant in Sydney's Central Business District (or "CBD" as it's called there). After work, I would go out to coffee or get drinks with friends before exploring more of Sydney and its surrounding areas.

What coursework did you take while abroad? How did courses abroad compare with Berkeley classes?

The coursework I took abroad that was associated with my Global Internships program consisted of an online course -- UGIS 158: Global Citizenship -- and an on-site course at the University of Sydney titled "Learning in Outdoor Education." These courses inspired us to reflect on our time abroad as well as immerse ourselves in more of the nature surrounding Sydney. The courses were certainly easier than a standard course at Berkeley, but I feel like I learned just as much. For the on-site course in particular, our class would go on excursions to various sites in and around Sydney in order to experience its incredible nature first-hand and make the connection between the area's rich history and our surroundings.

What was the most memorable/meaningful aspect of your time abroad?

The most memorable aspect of my time abroad in Sydney was truly living as a local as well as making friends from abroad (from whom I learned my Aussie slang) and around the United States. I also loved taking the trains, buses, and ferries to different areas of Sydney -- through the city, to the beaches, and even throughout the suburbs. Traveling around the area was very easy and exciting -- there's so much to see in Sydney!

I also traveled to Canberra (Australia's capital city) and Melbourne on weekend trips, in addition to exploring Auckland in New Zealand, and Brisbane and Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia after the program ended. I highly recommend traveling to different cities in Australia and visiting New Zealand if you have the chance!

What impact did studying abroad have on you personally?

Studying abroad has changed me completely. Prior to my high school study abroad program in Israel, I had never been abroad and yearned to travel the world. Living in Israel, London, and Sydney has given me a new worldly perspective and has introduced me to a multitude of cultures, cuisines, and customs.

I'm excited to participate in further study abroad programs and international internships!

What would you recommend to students considering studying abroad, especially to your country or program?

Go for it! Living in a new country on your own inspires you to become more independent and to navigate your daily life -- both literally and figuratively. Also, Sydney is an amazing city with lots of sites to see and places to visit! Berkeley Global Internships is a great opportunity to enhance your college experience and help you further your career interests. You will definitely have a summer to remember with lots of stories to share afterward . . . just go!