Anne-Marie during her time abroad in Australia

"I learned a lot in a relatively short time, about spontaneity, making contact with wild strangers and self-reliance." Curious to read about the Australian adventure of our copywriter Anne-Marie? Read along!

  • Adventure
  • Internship Abroad
  • Studying Abroad
  • Living Abroad
  • Working Abroad
  • Australia
  • Sydney
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Hey! Who are you and where are you from? Where do you study/live/work?

Hey! I'm from a village in the Netherlands called Ermelo, I live in Utrecht and I study Journalism in Tilburg.

What was the first thing you thought when you arrived in Australia?

Where do I have to go?! It was the first time I traveled so far on my own, everything for the trip was prepared but on arrival I had no idea what to do. I still had Euros in my wallet, did not have the address of my host family (and this was the time before Wi-Fi) and it was around 00.00 in the evening. Fortunately, it all went well.

What was the most shocking difference between the Netherlands and Australia?

How nice and helpful everyone is, it sounds very cliche but there really is a "no worries" and "everything will be fine" atmosphere.

What does your daily work day look like?

I worked in a restaurant and it very much depended on what kind of shift I had to do. The bar often opened around 5PM and then I would help refilling all the fridges, building up the bar (connecting barrels, getting the chairs from the table, assisting the kitchen etc.) then taking orders, serving food and drinks and keeping everything organised.

How is the working atmosphere at your internship company?

A lot of hard work but at the same time also very relaxed. When you were working extra hard you also received the appreciation, that was very nice.

Have you ever been homesick? How did you handle this?

No, fortunately I have never had to cope with any homesickness.

Do you feel at home in Australia? Why (not)?

Yes absolutely, everyone was so nice and hospitable, the weather was lovely and there was so much space. It was the perfect country for me to go abroad for the first time. Plus the accent, I mean ...

Is there a typical local dish that you really can not eat (or really like)?

Kangaroo and crocodile, this actually just tastes like steak or chicken. And of course Vegemite, which was very nasty.

Give us tips on who to become friends with abroad. The Russians? The teachers? The Chinese?

Australians! They're wack but fun, always in for a party, just like the British and Scandinavians. With Americans you almost always have a standard conversation about 'the meaning of life' but they are easy to make contact with (and they're everywhere). Sorry for the generalizations haha.

Describe the people of Australia in three words

Welcoming, Friendly and Patient

What did you learn from your experience abroad? Was it the beloved community that you liked? The cheap cocktails? The beautiful nature? Or was your experience less than expected? Details, we want details!

For me it was the first time that I went abroad without parents and also the first time on the other side of the world. I learned a lot in a relatively short time, about spontaneity, making contact with wild strangers and self-reliance. You can actually do a lot when you are forced to solve things yourself and then you notice that there are helpful people everywhere, that is a nice experience. The space and nature in Australia are great for me as a Dutchman to see. We would find the distance between places in Australia very long, but here it was hardly anything. Everything is relative.