USF World News
Tales and Tips from Abroad
February 11, 2011
“Clubbing in Australia is not very different from clubbing anywhere else in the world. Admittedly, Australia’s DJs tend to play music that was popular in the States four months earlier and play it often.” It’s advice like this that USF alumnus Felix Churchill gives in his recently published book, Study Abroad Australia: A Roaming Scholar’s Guide. Churchill spent 6 months in Australia from July to December 2008. (Available on Amazon.com)
Having experienced the common study abroad transitions from culture shock to making life-long friends he notes, “…at first I had a hard time getting my head around how a place so similar in appearance to America could be so different. But, after a few weeks I wore the place like a glove and enjoyed it immensely.” It’s not uncommon to experience culture shock; many USF students haven’t traveled abroad before are surprised at the differences in everything from meals to basic customer service. Noticing a lack of published resources and guides for students traveling abroad, Churchill set to out to tell his fellow study abroad comrades everything they need to know, from advice on aborigines to knowledge on the symbols of active gangs. The book leaves nothing out, including an appendix full of Aussie terminology like ‘meat wagon’ meaning an ambulance and ‘no worries’ which covers just about everything in Australia. As he mentions in his book, “No worries is very important. Doesn’t matter if you ask an Aussie friend for a small favor or the world is coming to an end. A true Aussie will always say no worries.”
Filled with common sense advice on dating, homesickness, cell phones, dangerous animals to avoid, the Australian university system and more, Churchill provides a lot information in a handy guide. He sums it up nicely, “You have to understand that it [study abroad] will not be how you expect it to be, and that is a good thing. Prepare your classes and your finances for the trip, but don’t expect to be able to plan for anything else. And pack lightly! –they do have malls in other countries”
Not only an author, but joint owner of Roaming Scholar (http://www.roamingscholar.com/), a media company focused on study abroad, Churchill spends his time writing and traveling. His next stop is Austria and he is currently working on his next book which is a general guide to study abroad. Additionally he’s preparing to enter the World Beard and Moustache Championships in Norway. All of his adventures can be followed on his blog at http://badtraveler.com/.
In the book Churchill thanks USF Education Abroad program coordinator, Rene Sanchez for helping introduce him to study abroad. Sanchez assists hundreds of USF students with the study abroad process each year. “Whether you’re studying engineering or sculpture, medicine or literature, the way we share knowledge and skills as a global community is one of the most important things USF students can learn how to do. Studying abroad is the act of pushing your comfort zones, reaching out to make new connections and learning different perspectives; it means seeking to see first-hand how the world fits together” says Sanchez. Sanchez, along with the entire Education Abroad staff, works to create a variety of study abroad programs. For more information about study abroad visit http://www.global.usf.edu/.