Visual Journalism in Australia?
Worth the Trip!
Though studying abroad is something I’d recommend to anyone, my semester at Wesley Institute in Sydney, Australia was especially enriching for me as a Visual Journalism student.
I was able to do an in-depth study of a typeface of my choice in Applied Typography, refine my layout and logo design skills in Graphic Design Studio V, and get personalized training in professional studio lighting in Photography Studio III. The professors for these courses were all highly engaging and successful professionals in their fields. The Aussie students at Wesley are also extremely talented at what they do and I learned a lot by working alongside them.
As part of our “View from Australia” and “Indigenous Cultures & History” classes we traveled to some very extraordinary places. A few of our adventures included a week-long Outback trip, a visit to the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in the Nation’s Capital, and a week-long trip to New Zealand to experience the indigenous culture of the Maori people. Naturally, these trips brought with them many wonderful photographic opportunities. Everywhere we went there were stories to be told and people willing to share them in any way possible -- a journalist’s dream!
We didn’t always need to go far to find stories, however. Sydney itself is one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world-- and a willing and vibrant photo subject-- but few Americans know about its darker history. With that in mind, I would encourage anyone embarking on a semester in Australia to engage with the culture in such a way that it feels uncomfortable. To quote André Gide, “One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” Having never been out of North America prior to my semester abroad, this quote rang quite true for me both literally and metaphorically. I wouldn’t trade that semester of new discoveries for the world.