Conversations on Studying Abroad

Why You Should Intern Abroad if You Have the Opportunity

Aug 28, 2017 12:30:00 PM / by Julie Ritz

A CAPA Alumna Interview: Bailey Bradford

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Meet Bailey Bradford, a Business Administration major and Psychology and Philosophy minor who studied abroad in Sydney during spring 2017. Below, she talks about why she chose to intern abroad, explains the cultural differences between Australia and the US, and shares with us some of her favorite memories from her program.

CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about yourself.
 My name is Bailey Bradford and I'm going to be a rising senior at Augustana College. At Augie, I’m majoring in Business Administration and double minoring in Psychology and Philosophy.  On campus I’m the goalkeeper of the varsity women's soccer team and an active member of Greek Life. This past winter I had the amazing opportunity to intern abroad in Sydney, Australia, where I was able to confirm my aspirations to work in human resources. 

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CW: Talk about your pre-departure experience. How did you finally make the decision to go abroad? How long before you left did you start preparing? What was the process you went through? What were your worries?
One of the benefits of attending Augustana College is the huge emphasis they put on traveling and experiencing other cultures through studying abroad, but I knew I wanted to do something a little different. The Australia program really stood out to me because you could not only study but experience the work culture and environment in another country. I started preparing after finding out my acceptance right away, (don’t get me wrong, I didn’t start packing right away), but I started to get an idea of what I needed to do before I left. Augie prepared our group by helping us get our resumes and cover letters together so CAPA could help us get the best internship to fit our career goals. Then our Visa’s need to be cleared to be able to intern in Australia. My check list consisted of getting work clothes, packing what was needed for the next couple months (but not going over on the weight limit, easier said than done!), and making sure I had enough money to spend while in Sydney! This all sounds alot easier post abroad, but prior I was worried about doing well at my internship and budgeting enough not to go broke!

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CW: Did you feel prepared for the cultural differences that you found in Sydney? What were some of these that stood out for you? What can future students do in advance to help minimize culture shock?
Culture shock can be faced less in Sydney than in a lot of other countries, but there were many times I found differences. They have different terminology, the technology (aka Wifi) isn’t as readily available, and the food is much healthier down under. I think the best way to minimize culture shock is to embrace it and learn their fun phrases, and I promise you will bring home a few of them. Cheers, Mate! :)

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CW: Describe an area of the city that surprised you and tell us what it was about it that you didn’t expect. How did this change your perceptions of the city as a whole?
I think what surprised me the most was how different each town in Sydney was. The culture and people from The Rocks to Newtown had so many different things to see and experience.

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CW: What was it like to study abroad in Sydney specifically as a Business Administration Management major? What would you recommend in terms of things to see and do  for someone with an interest in your field?
Being a business major and being able to experience the workforce outside of the United States allowed me to see and be a part of a culture that has different values and principles.  A big thing that stood out to me is that in Australia I feel that they have a better work life balance, which the States could take notes on adopting.

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CW: Tell us a bit about your internship that you completed while studying abroad, your duties and accomplishments. How will this experience help you in your future career?
I worked at the Four Seasons Hotel located in The Rocks as the Human Resource Intern. I helped in screening and reference checking potential employees, employee of the month, and the first day of onboarding for new employees. This internship was perfect for me. I couldn’t have asked for a better placement. It allowed me to see and experience the career field I want to pursue post graduation.

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CW: Explain a day (or week) in the life of a CAPA intern.
BB: A day in the life of a CAPA intern consisted of waking up, commuting to work (walking to the train, getting on the right train, and walking to the hotel), followed by work, then commuting home to workout, finally going out to dinner or making it at the student accommodation. However, each week was always a little different. Sometimes going to the beach, experiencing night life, a field trip planned by CAPA, or a weekend trip to visit another part of the country would happen. Every week we would have an assignment, which allowed us to reflect on our experience to better understand some of the differences we faced culturally from the States. The field trips allowed us to experience native things in  the country such as better understanding the aboriginal people and the sacrifices they made and the presence they still have in the foundation of the land. They also provided us the ability to see native wildlife, which we wouldn't be able to see anywhere else.

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CW: Beyond Sydney, which other parts of Australia were you able to explore? How was your experience in these places different from the city? Any tips for future CAPA explorers?
A group of us took a weekend trip to Cairns to see the Great Barrier Reef. The greatest tip is to use AirBnB, because hostels aren’t for everybody. I wish I knew before hand how expensive that area is in regards to taxi’s because there are no Ubers there in the city. So if you plan another trip besides seeing the reef see if the trips provide pick up. I also took a weekend away to see some family who live in Melbourne. Depending on how much time you have in Australia I would try to go as many places as you can with friends from or made on the trip. Traveling is so much fun when you get to experience it with others!

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CW: What changes have you seen in yourself since you began your study abroad program? What has your experience taught you about yourself and the world around you? Has it highlighted any particular global issues in a different way?
BB: It’s inevitable that going abroad changes you. You learn a great sense of independence and personal growth. You learn that there is so much more to the world around you and what it has to offer if you let it. I learned that there is so much to learn by doing and experiencing.

Thanks, Bailey!

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Topics: Interviews, Sydney, Australia, Sydney Interviews