Andrew Van Demark: Summer in the Land Down Under
In his first article as the new campus reporter for The Trojan Times, Andrew Van Demark gives us the lowdown on what it was like for him to spend his summer interning in Australia.
My adventures this summer were life changing. I spent the summer in both Melbourne and Victoria, Australia working as a marketing intern for French 3-D software company Dassault Systems. My job consisted of me taking part in various marketing related projects for the Melbourne branch. I was often tasked with lead generating, which entailed a lot of Google searches for potential customers in Australia and New Zealand. My flight to Australia departed a week after the spring semester ended and my return flight left a week before the fall semester began. Needless to say, I was keeping busy this summer.
During my time in Australia, I did my best to see as much of the county as I could. This included weekend trips to Sydney, Tasmania, and the Great Barrier Reef. It is hard to say what my favorite location was since they were all so breathtaking and unique in their own way. One of the best things about Australia, surprisingly, is the low cost of airline tickets. A flight from Melbourne to Sydney cost as little as $40.
The program that placed me in my internship also found me a host family with whom I lived during the duration of my employment. My host family’s location was ideally located on a direct train line to my workplace. My host family also had other international students staying with them throughout the summer. Many of these students were women from South Korea, China, Vietnam, and Brazil.
The first 12 weeks of my summer I spent working at Dassault in Richmond, a suburb of Melbourne. After my internship was over at the end of July, I spent two weeks traveling before returning to the States. My travels first took me to the Outback in the Northern Territory for 5 days. I did a 3 day 2 night camping trip at Uluru (Ayers Rock). On this trip, I met many other travelers from Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, the UK, Canada, Spain, Korea, China, and many other countries. In fact, it was very rare for me to run into another American during my travels.
After the Outback, I spent 11 days traveling across New Zealand. The first few days were spent on the North Island with 2 days in Auckland and 2 days in Wellington. The second half of my trip was spent on the South Island. It was a 6 day “hop-on, hop-off” bus ride that took us around the South Island to beautiful and untouched areas of nature. My time spent on the North Island could best be described as my “Lord of the Rings tour”, while my time on the South Island would be described as my “Nature tour.”
This summer was one of the most fun and rewarding summers I have ever had. Not only did I explore everything a new country has to offer, but I also gained valuable work experience and independence. I would highly recommend traveling to Australia and New Zealand at some point in your life.