By Emilie McQueen, Staff Writer
Published in print Aug.27, 2014
“I have only been here for two weeks, and already I understand the true meaning of southern hospitality,” said Carla Brugliera, an international exchange student from Melbourne, Australia.
Brugliera is currently an undergraduate student studying Media and Communications, or Professional Communications, as it is referred to in Australia.
She has come to UNCG with the intent to obtain the American college experience, to see what it’s like to live in a smaller city and ultimately gain the knowledge of our media industry as she aspires to work in advertising and public relations.
According to Brugliera, classes are much more laid back in Australia, as attendance is not required and professors often record and upload videos of lectures so that students can view coursework from the convenience of their own home.
In regards to being at home, many or almost all students either commute or live at home at RMIT University where Brugliera studies.
“People here tend to find it shocking that I would walk fifteen minutes to go to the grocery store, or enjoy a morning train ride to school each morning.”
Ultimately, Brugliera believes that Americans need to adopt the Aussie’s outdoors culture.
However, that’s not to say that she does not love it here.
“I will truly miss the small-town, community culture of Greensboro when I return back to Melbourne.
The process of trying to apply to study abroad is difficult and confusing, but it is an incredible experience,” said Brugliera.
“Where are you from? You have a funny accent.” Tobias Reinholz, an international exchange student from Mannheim, Germany has grown accustomed to this question within two weeks of his arrival in Greensboro.
With two suitcases and his back-pack loaded with clothes, toiletries and just about anything else he could cram into his carry-on, Tobias arrived at UNCG as a graduate student hoping to obtain the international experience his friends had acquired during their undergraduate studies.
He studies at the University of Mannheim in Germany and is currently majoring in Mathematics.
According to Reinholz, the grading system is totally different in the United States compared to what he is used to in Germany.
At his university in Mannheim, the final grade for a student is solely based off of the final exam.
Reinholz was quite alarmed when he was introduced to all of the random assignments, quizzes, and multiple tests American students endure.
“I think in general, the USA doesn’t need to learn anything specifically from Germany, but from Europe as a whole in the essence of food,” said Reinholz, who doesn’t enjoy “southern-style cooking.”
Reinholz does, however, enjoy the friendliness expressed on campus and around town, as according to Reinholz, people in Germany are not known to randomly spark conversation while passing one another.
“Studying abroad is more different than one might think, but it’s an incredible experience, and everyone should take the chance to do it if they can.”
“People treated me so well and wanted to get to know who I was,” said Hannah Cogswell, remarking on her journey abroad to Australia.
Cosgwell is a student at UNCG who just returned from studying a full semester abroad in Australia.
An elementary education major, Cogswell went abroad with the intention of learning about the differences in the education system as compared to the United States.
Although Australia seemed a distant land to Cogswell, when it came to things such as food and music, she realized that those aspects of our everyday life were not so different at all.
Although the cost of living was indefinitely higher and Cogswell claims that the way people viewed life in general was different.
In regards to her classes, Cogswell had to adopt a new grading scale.
A failing grade was 49 and below, and instead of collecting letter grades, students received levels of distinction such as “high distinction,” “distinction,” “credit” and “pass.”
Aside from schooling, most of Cogswell’s time was spent visiting the various states and landmarks of Australia.
The coast, skydiving and meeting the locals were among her most memorable experiences.
“My advice to anyone planning on studying abroad is to enjoy yourself, go out of your comfort zone, and most importantly travel.”