By: Emily Dale, agricultural science major
Outside of the Campus Market Starbucks, I found myself talking to a friend about the study abroad program she was applying to in Australia. I raved about how jealous I was, how I always wanted to go there, and that the program looked amazing. Going into my senior year like a lost puppy looking for a purpose, Paige miraculously persuaded me to apply. So without telling my parents, my siblings, or any of my friends I applied. Six months later, with only a carry on and a backpack, I found myself on a plane to Adelaide.
The 7-week program focuses on Wine and Agricultural Business and a whole lot of Aussie fan favorites like cricket, kangaroos and BBQ’s. The highlight of which includes wine tasting in the different wine regions each week. Yes, Cal Poly paid for us to go wine tasting and gave us credit for it.
The program wasn’t all fun and games, folks. In fact, in the first week we spent in Australia we took a strenuous course on the art of wine tasting. In all reality, this was probably one of the most useful life skills I will have learned in my four years at college.
At each winery, we also got deluxe tours of some incredible winemaking facilities. We
saw the process of winemaking from the vineyard management to the sale of a bottle. At some of the wineries, we met with the marketing and sales teams and discussed their strategies for increasing the sales of their products. Our favorite strategy was the ‘heavy pour’ in tasting rooms.
What I loved about Australia the most was not what we were studying, but the culture we were surrounded by. As I think back on my authentic Aussie experience, I’ve come to appreciate some things about my experiences.
- Australians are some of the nicest people you will ever meet.
- Everyone is your mate.
- Cheers can be used interchangeably with thank you, see you later, or as a greeting.
- The Asian cuisine is outstanding, the Mexican food is not.
- Driving on the left side isn’t that difficult until you come to a roundabout.
- All of the beaches are beautiful.
- THEY PUT ICE CREAM IN THEIR ICED COFFEE!!!
- Kangaroo is delicious.
- Snakes, Spiders, Salt Water Crocks. Scary. Real.
- They make 50 SPF for a reason.
Nothing sums it up better than a cheesy quote which our Cal Poly group came to love, “I didn’t come to Australia to not have the best time of my life.” And also, I got a selfie with a kangaroo.