Caitlin Cridland is a 20-year-old sophomore biochemistry major from Australia. Australia is a large country where the majority of its citizens were born overseas. The beach is a lively part of the country and many people, about three quarters of the population, live within about 30 miles of the coast.
Cridland chose to come to America because she is able to pursue tennis while getting a degree at the same time. “There is no college sports system in Australia,” Cridland said. She chose Winthrop because of its good academics and the fact that the women’s tennis program has a good history.
Cridland said the things she misses from Australia are her two younger siblings, Jimmy and Matilda, as well as the food and year-round warm weather.
She said that culture shock was a major thing for her when she came to America. “The food, the accents, sense of humor and dominance of religion are major differences… Australian culture is a lot more laid back and relaxed where as I’ve found Americans are very polite, friendly and patriotic,” she said.
One thing Cridland said she has found to be very different here is that people walk and drive on the right side of the road. “I have also found the love of hunting to be very different as well, and people wear hunting gear to classes.”
Cridland said the only disadvantage she has found to being an international student is that people assume she has a limited knowledge of the English language, even though it is the national language in Australia. “There are a lot of advantages,” Cridland said, “like being able to experience a new and different culture and people are very interested in learning more about Australia and our culture.”
Her advice for students who study abroad is to make the most of it and experience as much as you can. “To keep the cost low, make sure you look into school scholarships or governments grants. Always budget and keep the cost of living and exchange rates in mind” she stated.
Cridland has been through Europe, Brazil, the United States and China.
Her hobbies include spending time with friends and family, going to the beach and watching the “Brisbane Lions”, her Australian Rules football team.
Facts about Australia
The capital is Canberra.
There is a population of 22.68 million.
The currency is the Australian dollar.
Instead of presidents, they have prime ministers.
The current prime minister is Tony Abbott.
The national language is English.
The biggest religion is Christianity.
The government is a federal/constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system.
The most important holiday is Australia Day, which marks the arrival of Europeans in Australia in 1788.