Cornell University

International Programs

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Student Profile

Deanna Hall, Brooke & Glenn Grindlinger Award Report

Michelle Kizer in Australia!UNSW, Sydney, Australia, Fall 2013

Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Grindlinger for your generous grant towards my Deanna Hallstudy in Australia. As an exchange student at the University of New South Wales, I completed courses toward my ILR degree that spanned across the UNSW Law and Business schools. Moreover, I explored a continent that would come to enhance my life and learning in general. In hindsight, I cannot overstate my appreciation for the opportunity to discover and eventually fall in love with the most beautiful place on Earth.

Economics and compensation courses grounded me in Australian business and workplace studies, providing the familiar ILR coursework I was expecting from an Exchange program, while finance and religion classes allowed me to pursue other academic interests and receive elective credit. The professors took a more globally oriented approach to teaching, which made the material easy to understand and apply. The UNSW campus is open and inviting, providing the option to study outside with Aussies or the hundreds of other exchange students.

My greatest experiences and lessons took place outside the classroom. Living off campus in the Coogee Beach community gave me the archetypal “Australian” experience, where I tried to surf and discovered the coastal walk to the world-famous Bondi Beach was more fitting. Living with other exchange students and chatting with native Sydneysiders gave me insight into how rich of a culture I was so eager to embrace. I could quickly adjust to walking on the “wrong” side of the sidewalk, or calling McDonald’s, “Macca’s”, and proceed to take advantage of all things distinctly Australian. It felt surreal to hug a kangaroo and see a live Tasmanian devil, or see little penguins march from the Arctic Ocean onto the shores of Phillip’s Island in Southern Australia. As I watched The Melbourne Cup at a pub or rooted for the home team in the famous Australia-New Zealand rugby match, I grew more comfortable with calling the land down under “home”. Studying in Sydney made a Spring Break trip to South East Asia possible, where I had unforgettable experiences in Thailand and Singapore before returning to Sydney to complete finals.

With the free time I had and free spirits I was surrounded by during my semester exchange, I was able to contribute a new perspective to the classroom at Cornell. I am now able to analyze discussion topics in more depth by considering the lifestyle and viewpoints of citizens across the globe. I cannot be more thankful for this invaluable skill I inherited from my time in Australia. I would like to thank the Grindlinger’s once more for helping make my dream of learning in a place so magical, a reality.

- Deanna Hall, Brooke & Glenn Grindlinger Award Report