Why is a Study Abroad Experience So Important?

The Sydney Opera  House, up close (Victoria Myers/UConn School of Business)
The Sydney Opera House, up close (Victoria Myers/UConn School of Business)

A few days ago I was asked by the associate director of Global Business Programs (Arminda Kamphausen) why I believe a study abroad experience is so important, and why I was willing to tackle both the logistical and fiscal challenge entailed in study overseas. After thoughtful consideration, I formulated my rationale:

Companies that are thriving today have an extensive range of diverse employees and a client base that spans across the globe. With this in mind, I believe it is necessary to be exposed to many different cultures before entering the workforce. The more knowledgeable I am about the world, the more I will be able to work cohesively with students at UConn, and eventually the employees of a diverse company. Also, corporations maintain international clients due to technological innovations that expand their global outreach. If I have a more diverse perspective, I can relate to a greater number of clients across the globe, which helps achieve my long-term career goal of being an international partner for an accounting firm. Studying abroad provides the opportunity to enhance my academic career by taking classes at a very strong international university, while at the same time transform me into a global businesswoman, setting me up for future success.

My time so far in Australia has met and exceeded my expectations. This past weekend I continued to delve into the culture of Australia and learned about the rich history of downtown Sydney. I participated in a tour led by UNSW which took its exchange students on a walk across the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

Walking across Sydney Harbor Bridge (Victoria Myers/UConn School of Business)

The views from the Sydney Harbor Bridge were truly spectacular, as I gazed out into the harbor, the Sydney Opera House, and the sprawling city skyline. As I soaked in the Sydney views, our UNSW guides provided insightful information about the Sydney landmarks. The iconic Sydney Harbor Bridge was built and finished during the Great Depression. During the Great Depression unemployment skyrocketed, however the Sydney Harbor Bridge has been regarded as the “iron lung” of the New South Wales economy because it continued to employ hundreds of men during the economic downturn.

Sydney Harbor Bridge (Victoria Myers/UConn School of Business)
Sydney Harbor Bridge (Victoria Myers/UConn School of Business)

Shifting our attention towards the Sydney Opera House, our tour guide noted that though the Sydney Opera House is a world-renowned destination that brings in significant revenue for the tourism industry, it was initially not well liked by the locals. The opera house cost $95 AUD million more than expected, was 10 years overdue, and is known to have horrendous acoustics for performers. However, due to its worldwide popularity and its large revenue streams, this landmark was able to garner the love of the Australians who were initially disappointed. Walking across the Sydney Harbor Bridge was an experience that I will always remember when I reflect on my time in Australia. What I found even more remarkable was learning the local perceptions towards these landmarks and the landmarks’ roles in the economy. I strive to view Australia not from a superficial tourist lens, but through a lens that is passionate about understanding the complex socioeconomic, historical, and political issues and events that weave together to form the true identity of Australia.

Victoria Myers
Student, UConn School of Business
Hello UConn! My name is Victoria Myers and I am a junior accounting major with a minor in economics. In my free time, I play on UConn’s club field hockey team, volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and I am also a member of the UConn Consulting Group. A fun fact about myself is that I was born on Halloween; however, ironically, I am terrified of horror movies and the scary aspects of Halloween. View Posts