Day 7: International Communication – Easy. International Money – Hard

I didn’t have any sessions to attend this morning, but I still had a lot to take care of. The money situation has been a lot to deal with, and I don’t really understand why. I can talk to my friends and family like they are in the other room when I’m actually on the other side of the world, but transferring money overseas is expensive, takes time to process, and is a pain in the neck! Bank of America wants to charge me $35 for each International transfer, and Westpac will charge me another $10 AUD each time! That doesn’t quite seem worth it to me. And when I thought I could use an ATM with no foreign conversion fee, I found out Redwood Credit Union is still charging me 1%. While that doesn’t seem like much, it is a hassle to call all of the banks, especially when I haven’t been receiving consistent information. Once I have these things taken care of I’m sure I will feel more relaxed and will be able to get out and see more of Sydney.

In the afternoon I attended a session with Karolina called “The Aussie Workplace.” We were hoping for information regarding finding jobs, typical attire, and more concrete information than they provided. The work atmosphere seems very similar to the US, so I don’t think I will have a problem. I think the session was aimed more at East Asian cultures because they emphasized communication difficulties like understanding humor, acting assertive, and being involved in the social aspects of the workplace. One tidbit I found interesting was that 70-80% of jobs in Australia are not advertised. They emphasized the importance of networking, which is very similar to the US. I am still not sure if I will attempt to work for an Australian company, but I know it would be very beneficial to have international work experience.

To go along with the Aussie Workplace social scene, our next event as an international students cocktail party! This was a fun event with free food and drinks, another thing we all made sure to attend. It was great to meet more international students along with Australian peer networkers, and after we continued our socializing at the Loft. These events were a lot of fun and really helped us start to make a community of friends at Uni.