May 30, 2009

Vivid Sydney

Our group picked a great time to visit Sydney. Over the course of the next couple weeks, Sydney is hosting a festival of music, lights, and ideas all throughout the city. The Opera House is lit up every evening with a spectacular light show (from what we've heard from the locals, this rarely ever happens), and there are a number of other unique events throughout the city as well. The opera house is also hosting some very musical artists that are quite different from their normal bookings (like the symphony orchestra and ballet) including Ladytron and Jon Hopkins. Another classmate and I got tickets for tonight's show with one of my favorite musical groups Battles. It's our last night of the trip, so I think it will be a great way to end this experience. has a rundown on all of the events for the festival.

I'm headed back to the states tomorrow - it's been a great trip!

May 25, 2009

Diverse culture

Walking down the streets of Sydney and Brisbane, I continue to be amazed by how diverse the residents are here. I certainly expected to see people from all over the world crowding the streets, but once you see it first hand, you finally get an understanding of just how diverse this country is. (To be fair, however, our hotel is just outside of Chinatown which surely attracts a large Asian crowd. It also means that there's plenty of cheap food everywhere I turn.)

From Brisbane to Sydney

We arrived in Sydney yesterday and were met with beautiful weather in the city. We're all crossing our fingers that the weather remains nice during the rest of our trip considering that Brisbane was rather gloomy.

Our first week in Brisbane was wonderful. We attended lectures at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and went on a couple of site visits throughout the city. The focus on this class is on Human Resources Management so our lectures and site visits have all focused around this topic. Our first site visit was to an age care facility just outside of Brisbane. I think a few of us were confused as to why we were visiting an age care facility on the ride over, but once we made it to the facility and began our discussion, the intent became clear. This visit provided perspective on an aspect of human resources management that we were unable to discuss in class: the nonprofit sector.

Our second visit was to a training and development center for the mining community. This was a unique area of human resources management that plays a pivotal role in the training and development of employees. During the visit, we were able to test some of the virtual tools that new and existing employees may be required to use. These machines resembled large arcade video games, but it was clear they served a more technical purpose.

Overall, Brisbane was a very fascinating city with no shortage of things to do. But of course, our time there had to end. and it looks like Sydney is going to offer plenty of great opportunities for learning and for recreation.

May 21, 2009

We made it!

We arrived in Brisbane on Tuesday afternoon and unfortunately were greeted with overcast skies and dark clouds. The forecast for the week predicts lots of rain - our greeter at the airport said that Brisbane hasn't gotten rain in May for 10 years! Somehow, the day we show up is the day that rain decides to show up as well. Fortuantely, the poor weather hasn't had much of an effect on our group's spirits. After taking a train into the city, we arrived at our hotel. We knew this would be a great place when the sign for the hotel read, "The finest 3 star hotel in the city!" Our rooms are quite small, but we aren't planning on spending an enormous amount of time in them to begin with.

After settling in to our rooms, we went for a city tour with a couple of students from the Queensland University of Technology. They showed us some of the more popular and interesting areas of the city, but no matter where we went, everyone was in awe of this beautiful city. We had a great welcome dinner and are looking forward to a great week!

I'll post more updates as we continue through the week. We're all crossing our fingers for some sunny weather!

May 14, 2009

Gearing up

The past few weeks of my life have been absolutely crazy - enough to distract me from the fact that I'll be getting on a plane in only three days to go to Australia. With final projects, final tests, spring weather, and visiting friends my mind has been in too many places to appropriately get everything together for the trip. Thankfully, I have plenty of time (hopefully!) to take care of everything I'll need.

Today, I've set a list of things to get done:
- Bring shirts to the dry cleaner
- Figure out how I'm going to handle money
- Find another good book to read over the trip
- Pick up a few new albums to listen to (it's going to be a very long plane ride)

I'll hopefully update my preparedness sometime over the next few days!