My experience in Australia has been everything I dreamed it would be. I have learned so much from traveling and from studying halfway across the world. Before arriving to Sydney, I always assumed that Australia was pretty similar to America when it came to the amount of women in fields such as engineering. And I was right, more or less. Just as in the United States, Australia has a shortage of women in the STEM workforce, but they are trying hard to change that. I myself am a hispanic woman studying in the STEM field in the areas of computer science and mathematics. I have made it my personal responsibility to make a difference in my life with this field. I am inspired by my grandparents who, many years ago, immigrated to America wanting to make a better life for themselves. I also want to make an effort in making sure minority young girls know they can achieve anything they set their mind to, regardless of their identity or where they come from.
Here in Sydney, I had the opportunity to take a data analysis class, where I was able to meet many other girls in the same field as me. My professor was also a woman, which was all the more inspiring. My study abroad experience has granted me the opportunity to meet other women all the way across the world that are just as driven as me to change the face of the STEM workforce for future generations. I was able to meet my personal goal of broadening my horizons and putting myself out into the world. I wanted to experience everything within the culture of Australia.
Also, being able to live and study in Australia has given me the chance to explore new foods, customs, traditions, and social atmospheres. While technology has become a part of our every-day lives and has brought people together by making the world “smaller”, it doesn’t allow us to really know other people’s stories. I was able to open the windows into the diverse lived experiences of others to gain new perspectives, especially in the world of STEM. Most importantly, I have the ability to challenge those stereotypes that are ascribed to many of our identities and set an example for others to come.
Caroline Cannon is a student at the University at Alabama. She is an ISA Featured Blogger and is studying abroad with ISA in Sydney, Australia.