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Students to explore career paths in Australia

December  08, 2010

Students en route to a dive on the Great Barrier Reef in 2009. (Photo courtesy Brett Anderson)

Sixty-eight Augustana students will study and work in Sydney, Australia, for the first two months of 2011. The international study program known as "Augustana in Australia" places students in career-relevant positions in Sydney and immerses them in Australian culture.

The students complete a five-week on-campus internship seminar and a class in intercultural communication before leaving for Australia on Jan. 2. In Australia, students will intern four days a week for seven weeks and use their remaining time to experience Australia.

"Employers are seeking entry-level employees with knowledge and experience of the world's diversity and cross-cultural understanding," said Karen Petersen, Augustana's director of business internships and program director.

Erin Christian, a senior music and mathematics double major from Aurora, Ill., will intern at ii-A, a finance and insurance firm in downtown Sydney. "This internship is exactly what I need to move forward from Augustana," Christian said. "I hope to find a job as an actuary or in the finance/insurance field, so being an intern at a company of this caliber will prepare me for obstacles I might face in the work world."

The students travel together with no faculty from Augustana, which gives them a lot of independence.

"Students in the program demonstrate maturity and the ability to depend upon themselves and their peer group to deal with problems and issues as they arise," said Petersen.

Students do receive on-site supervision by their organizational sponsor and their internship coordinator, the Centers for Academic Programs Abroad, and Augustana faculty or staff conducts site-visits about halfway through the internship.

Students will stay at a five-star serviced apartment complex in Sydney, along with Australian and other international students. During their trip, they will visit the ANZ Stadium where the 2000 Olympics were held, the Sydney Opera House and the Blue Mountains just outside of Sydney. They also may travel to New Zealand or areas of Australia including Melbourne, Darwin and Cairns, where they can snorkel or dive the Great Barrier Reef. Students return to Rock Island on March 4.

Read about students' experiences in Australia by visiting Augustana's Globablog.

For more information, contact Scott Cason, assistant vice president of communication and marketing, at or (309) 794-7323.