Kristyn Wilbanks, July 14th, 2017
Applying for the 2017 Global Immersion in Accounting Australia Field Trip will forever be in the top best decisions I made throughout my college career. I was absolutely thrilled to be accepted along with 9 other students who were ready to gain global experience. The journey started with an 18-hour flight, literally, across the globe. By the time we arrived in Sydney, we were ready to start our adventures. I must say, this was was the beginning to the lack of sleep we all experienced, as these two weeks were absolutely packed with activities, office visits, and traveling around Eastern and Central Australia.
Starting in Sydney was a great call, as many of our office visits were here. I was most excited about seeing EY’s office, as I recently signed to join EY full-time after graduating in May 2018. It did not disappoint and it was so amazing to see just how global the firm is. We saw other big 4 offices as well, and we saw local companies making an impact on the way Australia does business, as a whole. It was also great to see the major University located in Sydney, the University of New South Wales. It was here where we learned about the sustainable accounting research being conducted at the business school. Along with the professional side of our time in Sydney, we were able to experience many tourist-driven things, such as the Sydney Opera House and climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It was a hard debate but my favorite part was probably making our way along a famous 3-mile walk along the gorgeous coast of Australia, the Bondi to Coogee Walk.
From Sydney, we flew straight to the Outback where we learned much about the Aboriginal people and their sacred view of the land around. It is in the Outback where we got to ride camels and take a hot air balloon ride. I still vividly remember seeing a pack of kangaroos run below us while we were about 1,500 feet up in the balloon. Following this, we flew to Cairns. I can’t say much more about Cairns other than the fact that it was just breath-taking. We took a full day to dive the Great Barrier Reef. I think the most memorable thing was to see the effect climate change has had on the reef and to talk with my dive master about how coral bleaching increases every day throughout the reef. We did other adventures up here such as spear-fishing and waterfall tours – all of which we learned so much about the culture and the land.
Our final flight was to Brisbane, where, from there, we drove to Byron Bay. I am now set on making sure I retire in Byron Bay, as this was my favorite part of the whole trip. Our entire team stayed in a beautiful house, and we bonded so much there. It was in this part of Australia where we got to meet with a green energy supply company, Enova, and a solar company, Rainbow Power Company. It was these companies that gave us the biggest insight into the direct ways Aussies are attempting to be green. I learned so much from our time in the Byron Bay area in regards to sustainability. Of course, we had many fun activities here as well, such as surfing and kayaking in the ocean. It is no wonder why everyone I talked to upon my return was so adamant to express their jealousy of the experience my team and I had.
Overall, this was one of the best trips I have ever been on, and a part of me will stay in Australia forever. Nothing could ever open one’s eyes to a new culture and land other than delving into it and soaking up every bit possible. I hope I never forget one part of this trip, and I can only hope to make it back to Australia as soon as possible.
Categories: Australia Accounting