Student - October 12, 2017

Australians really are relaxed

Echica van Kelle

Who? Mirte Lindhout, MSc student of Health and Society
What? Internship at the University of Newcastle
Where? Newcastle, Australia

‘In my first few days in Australia I often asked myself what I was doing there. It was raining when I arrived, I didn’t know anybody, I had terrible jetlag and no room. In the hostel I wondered what I had let myself in for. But after a few days I was living in a big international house, I had got to know some people and I had started on my internship.

I worked on a PhD study of sports and exercise programmes at secondary schools throughout the state of New South Wales. The programmes offered strength training, mainly making use of your own body weight. I researched the barriers and enablers for sports teachers who were implementing those programmes. To find out what they were, we interviewed the teachers.

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Office job

I emailed the research centre in advance to tell them what my interests were, and they soon had a suitable internship for me. Then all I had to do was arrange a visa and a flight – so the preparations were very easy. I worked at the office from nine to five, which took some getting used to. Sometimes I prepared interview questions or attended a meeting, but I also did a lot of auxiliary work. The most valuable thing about it for me was seeing for the first time how a research project works in reality. I found out how you plan and implement something like that, and I learned a lot from that.

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Nice housemates

I had never been outside Europe and I wanted to go to an English-speaking, developed country. The relaxed mentality in Australia attracted me a lot, and luckily there was plenty of that around. Actually, all your ideas about Australians are right. They say ‘cheers’, they barbecue and surf a lot, and they go to the beach. I was there from September to January, so it was the middle of summer in Australia. After my internship I spent a month travelling and in that period it was sometimes too hot to do anything in the daytime. But most of the time it was just lovely weather. I went out and about at weekends, and that made Australia the perfect place for me. And the fact that I met my boyfriend there – one of my housemates – increases the chances of me going back.’

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  • Dori van Gisteren

    Misschien opnieuw een Australische zomer? Want je weet, in Nederland, "winter is coming"...!