My name is Liam Hauck, I am a marketing major and my global theme is Natural Resources and Sustainability. For my beyond the classroom experience I chose to study abroad at La Trobe University in Melbourne Australia. I was looking forward to learning more about the theme of Natural resources and Sustainability while I was in Australia. Climate change has had a significant impact on Australia. The Great Barrier Reef is continuously being negatively impacted by climate change and I arrived in Melbourne just as the last of the severe bush fires were being put out. So, it seemed like there was a lot to learn from Australia in terms of natural resources and sustainability and how the natural world can challenge a nation’s sustainable practices.
However, it was only about two weeks into my semester abroad that I had to return back home to Seattle to finish my studies online due to COVID shutdowns. Fortunately, I had arrived in Melbourne about a month before my program started and I got to stay with my Uncle who lives in Melbourne. During this time I was able to explore Melbourne, see Elton John perform, and even took a week-long trip down to Queenstown, New Zealand (where I got to skydive)
The majority of the times where I found myself growing as a leader and simply as a person were when I had to continue my studies online back in Seattle. I left Australia on March 26th and finished my semester on June 15th. All of my classes had to be attended live via Zoom, in Australia time. Which meant that most of my classes were at night, with the latest class starting at 9 pm and ending at 11 pm. It was very hard to find the motivation and fortitude to attend these classes and do all the work at late hours. Yet I persevered and worked as hard as I could through those 2 ½ months of late nights and I certainly developed skills that I will take with me into my professional career. While this experience of course was not the one I wanted, it was the crazy one that I got. I am definitely thankful for the time that I had down under.