Joanna O’Hara Miller - 2015 Program Participant
Enjoying the sun but not the wind at Geelong Beach!
What inspired you to intern abroad?
At first, I thought I was just applying so I would have a good reason to come spend time with my boyfriend, who is Australian. Once I got here, I realized what I really wanted was another international adventure and the chance to explore another country I'd never been to! I've also discovered that international work experience is really informative, and it happens to look great on a resume, too.
Why did you choose InternOz?
I definitely wanted to go to Sydney, and InternOz appealed because they gave examples of prior internship placements in my field, which is quite specific. After that, I just got really lucky that the first position they found for me was a perfect fit!
What is your favorite part about Sydney?
Sydney is one of the best cities in the world to live in, and my office is right in the heart of everything. My favorite part is how I'm constantly surrounded by the arts; there's live music in the city center, at restaurants, and on street corners. I also love going to the theater, and it seems there's a performance on every night. After a brilliant night out, there's always a great bar or restaurant open nearby so I can end the night with snack and a smile.
Making new friends across the city
What makes Intern OZ programs unique?
The program is unique because the intern placements are so varied. I work in the arts, but other interns are in science, fashion, even film making! I'm impressed that Intern Oz found positions to suit so many different interests.
How supportive are local Intern OZ staff members?
There has been one intern event since I arrived, as well as a Facebook group for Sydney based interns. I've never used it (nor was I able to attend the event), but it's nice to know it's there if I need it.
What is one thing you wish you would have brought with you?
It got cold here much sooner than I expected (not that I expected it to ever be cold), so I really wish I had brought some warm clothes!
Describe what a typical day is like for an intern in Sydney.
Three or four days a week, I'm in the office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On days off, I work at my part time jobs selling baked goods at markets around the city or helping to usher for events at the theater where I intern. Some afternoons, I take public transport to a part of the city I haven't seen before or check out a new museum exhibit. Most weekends, I take the bus to Canberra to see my boyfriend, but if he's coming to visit me in Sydney, we'll try a new restaurant or go to a performance I've read about online. There's always something to do here, the only trouble is finding enough hours in the day!
What do you enjoy doing on your free time in Sydney?
I love going to outdoor markets around the city. Vendors sell exotic foods and gorgeous second hand clothes and books, so you never know what you're going to find or who you're going to meet. I've made some great friends at the markets, and I can't wait to go back!
Visiting one of Sydney's markets
What was your accommodation like in Sydney?
I found a room in a flat that was advertised on Gumtree. I made friends with all six of my flat mates and found it to be incredibly close to my internship and all of the best parts of the city. It was also much cheaper than many of the other options for housing in Sydney, so I was satisfied with my choice, even if my bedroom was a lot smaller than what I was used to back in the U.S.!
How has interning abroad in Sydney impacted your life?
Here's the fun part: I love Sydney so much that I'm not leaving! I've been accepted to a masters program at the University of Sydney and will stay here to study for another 18 months. This abroad program has permanently impacted my life; I'm going to to have international work experience as well as a degree from an international university. I learned that lots of Americans live abroad quite happily, and that it's possible for anyone, even if you never planned on it when you first left home! I'm learning more here than I ever thought possible, both about my professional field and my personal interests, and I'm so glad I came. Six months in Australia has turned into a life changing two year experience!