Bridging Cultures of Australia

Adam Desjardins is a student at the University of Maine and an ISA Featured Photo Blogger. He is currently studying abroad with ISA in Townsville, Australia.

The first day of being in Australia left me with many different feelings, I was nervous to be so far away from home but so excited to be in a country of palm trees and a place I have dreamed of going to since I was little. The picture above was a view that helped me settle those nervous feelings, relax and be excited for myself and the upcoming semester in this foreign land.

As soon as we entered the country there was a presence of a different culture. To me it seemed very laid back compared to the United States. During the Bridging Cultures Program it was apparent that there was a culture that I hadn’t yet seen but is very important in Australian society, and that is the Aboriginals. Aboriginals are the native people to Australia and thought to be the oldest continuing culture in the world. Mudjai, pictured above, showed us the ways of the aboriginals while playing a didgeridoo and showing off some dances.

An entrance to the beach just under the Byron Bay Lighthouse, to me it just looked so inviting and screamed tropical paradise.

The lighthouse that towers over the Byron Bay area, after taking this picture we walked down the path towards the beach which was filled with more views.

On the walk down from the lighthouse, this was one of the many views from the path. In Byron Bay, surfing is another big part of Australian Culture. To help us understand it better, we were given surf lessons by Mojo Surf.

I was able to watch the power of the waves as they crashed up against the shore. I just sat here for several minutes to just take everything in, the sound of the waves pounding the rocks and then retracting was extremely relaxing.

Nathaniel, shown above, is the owner of Mojo Surf and a little farm outside of Byron Bay. He showed us how they live off his farm and showed us a great time while surfing. “Hey Americans look at this duck face selfie!”

Baby Koalas could be found grabbing a ride at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary which was our last stop before going to our University. A camera is a must when going here because there are just way too many cute creatures to capture!

I’ll always be thankful I went on the Bridging Cultures Program. This program helped me get over fears of being alone in another country because I found out I wasn’t really alone. I got to meet some amazing people in these four days and have some amazing experiences that won’t be forgotten.

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