If you’ve found yourself wearing green and yellow, and saying things like “Go Pack” while watching a Football game you don’t fully understand, you could be an Aussie abroad in Wisconsin….
Americans love all their sport like Aussies love footy. Between NFL, baseball, hockey, and basketball, most people are extremely fanatical about at least one, and they’re usually loyal to where they’re from, so almost everyone around you goes for the same team. Often families pass down the tradition of supporting a certain team for generations, as I found out last week when Campus became alive with screaming Cubs fans after the baseball team won the World Series for the first time in 108 years.
Another thing American’s are passionate about is politics. From my experience it’s best not to get involved, but as an outsider, being in a 600m long line to see Donald Trump speak while protestors yell at you can be quite entertaining.
A BIG difference for me has been the food. Takeaway is everywhere, and the serving sizes are huge. I’m loving the abundance of Mexican Burritos, and tacos, but I’ll admit it took a solid month for my stomach to learn to deal with the overload of grease and sugar in EVERYTHING. That’s just the price you have to pay when you’re lucky enough to end up in Wisconsin, the land of cheese.
Being an Aussie in Eau Claire has at times felt as if I was a celebrity, with people constantly coming up to me asking “Do you have an accent? Say ‘put another shrimp on the Barbie’” or “Do you have a pet kangaroo?” Some of these people have become great friends. I’ve also met some incredible friends from other parts of the world, and we often gain a bit of a following from Americans wherever we go, just because we are different.
I love Eau Claire, and its campus - for sure the prettiest campus I’ve ever seen, with the river running right through it. The Professors are super nice and helpful, and especially accepting to me as an international student, since they know the workload is quite different from home. I’m so happy that I have gotten to experience the amazing fall colours, and I’m excited for the coming snow, which are both experiences I have not really had at home.
I was fortunate enough to spend a little time in the United States before Uni actually started, and I used this time to travel. Seeing tourist destinations such as Hollywood, and Universal studios were big highlight of my trip so far, however I also thoroughly enjoyed spending time with friends, exploring North Carolina, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. I’ve seen so many beautiful places, and had many wonderful experiences, and I’m stoked because I know there are still plenty more to come!