featured students

Brad Bornstein

Personal Discovery

Cultural Discovery

Social Discovery

Brad got involved with the University of Wollongong's Australian Rules Football club team.


Semester Abroad: February 2008

Host University: University of Wollongong

Home University: University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Academic Major: Wildlife Biology/Pre-Veterinary Medicine



Brad Bornstein went abroad knowing that he wanted to stay active and get involved in campus activities.  Brad attended the University of Wollongong's orientation and learned about the various opportunities that were available to him including Australian Rules Football (AFL).


How did you hear about the AFL?

I heard about AFL through the universities orientation week when the different clubs set up booths.


How did you get involved in the AFL?

I put my name and email address on a team list at the AFL club booth, and a few weeks later I received an email from the coach asking if I wanted to attend practice.  I decided to try it out, and a few months later I was friends with the entire team. 


What made you interested in taking part in the AFL?

I had watched AFL in the states when I was younger and it caught my attention, and when I learned of the AFL club I wanted to try it out.  I also wanted to stay active and meet Australian students, and AFL turned out to be the best way to do both. 


What steps or plans did you have to take in order to become a part of the AFL?

I just had to keep up email contact with the coach regarding practice and game times, transportation, etc...  I got rides to all the games and practices from teammates so it didn't matter that I didn't have a car.  Most importantly, I earned the respect of my coach and teammates (all Australian),  by showing up to practices, games and taking the sport seriously.


What did you gain or accomplish (personally/professionally/academically) from this experience?

I accomplished all that I wanted through AFL.  I learned about Australian culture, travelled around Wollongong and Sydney with the team, made local friends, stayed active, and got involved in my study abroad university.


Do you feel that joining the AFL helped you to adjust to life abroad?

Definitely, this was one of the best decisions I made, as it allowed me to meet and interact with local students and adults.  AFL provided an outlet for questions I had and I learned a lot about culture just by listening to my teamamates and coah talk to each other. 


Do you have any advice for future study abroad students who want to get involved in activities abroad? 

Take advantage of orientation week and any advice or activities planned by your host university, these are the best ways to get involved.  Don't be afraid to try something new, you will learn a lot and meet locals, and keep contacting the coach or coordinator of the activitiy you want to participate in as they are busy and may not respond right away.


Why did you choose the host university that you did?

I chose Wollongong because it was right on the beach, had an outdoor feel from the ocean to the rainforest and Mount Kiera.  It also had a smaller town feeling than Sydney, yet it was close enough to just about everything that travelling was not a problem. 


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