Students can become global citizens thanks to UCLA partnership

23 April 2013

Last year 42 of our students took part in the UCLA Study Abroad program.
Last year 42 of our students took part in the UCLA Study Abroad program.

In order to further expand and diversify opportunities for our students to develop as global citizens, two University of Sydney faculties have joined forces with the United States Studies Centre to offer the chance to study in America at one of its most prestigious universities.

Last year 42 University of Sydney students experienced life at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) during their June-July winter break, as part of the inaugural United States Studies Centre's UCLA Study Abroad program.

The program was made possible thanks to a unique partnership the Centre has created with UCLA, which was placed 13th in the latest Times Higher Education rankings and is one of the most renowned institutions in the world.

The students not only gained invaluable international experience but also received credit for the subjects they studied there, accelerating their University of Sydney degrees. With hundreds of courses to choose from, students are able to explore diverse subjects ranging from Afro-American studies to cinematography, from US politics to earth and space sciences.

This year the United States Studies Centre is offering the program again in conjunction with the University of Sydney's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the University of Sydney Business School. An information session will be held this week to inform interested students on how to apply.

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences student Blair McVicar participated in the program last year. He said the program gave him the chance to witness the idiosyncrasies of the United States as it prepared for its presidential election.

"The UCLA Study Abroad Program was my own 'American dream'. In essence, the experience created a microcosm of the greater United States, and confirmed America's values, the nation's greatness, and its contradictions," Blair said.

"Being given the opportunity to study in the United States placed my understanding of the country on a whole new level. It provided a perspective that is simply not possible in Australia. Regardless of one's feelings about the United States, it is virtually impossible to not be affected by the decisions the country makes, and the economic, social and intellectual prosperity that it produces."

Far more than an educational experience, the program offered the opportunity to trade-in the Sydney winter for a Californian summer and enjoy all that LA and the United States' West Coast has to offer. Students were treated to trips to Disneyland and an LA Dodgers game on the 4th of July, as well as a reception held in their honour by the Australian Consul General to LA Karen Lanyon.

Commerce/Law student Thomas Farmakis said that using LA as their base, he and other students would spend weekends jetting up and down the West Coast, making it back just in time for class and, of course, the vibrant campus social life.

I think some of us never really left UCLA - many of the Sydney students were back there in January this year!" he said.

Bachelor of Arts student Cassidy Loane said that the UCLA program was "truly the best thing you can do at university."

"The program allowed me to fulfil my dream of studying in the US while developing strong, lasting friendships with my Sydney cohort and international students. I have developed lifelong connections in America that will aide in my future plans of working and living in the US. Anything can happen in Los Angeles, it's truly a city of dreams!"

To learn more about the 2013 program interested students can attend the following session:

Event details

What: UCLA Study Abroad Information Session 

When: 12 to 1pm, Wednesday 24 April

Where: Lecture Theatre 101, New Law Building, Camperdown Campus 

Registrations essential

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