This post is written by our guest blogger Stephen Morton, CHC librarian and fountain of knowledge.
G’day. I’m Steve, the College Librarian at Christian Heritage College (CHC) which is located in a leafy suburb of Brisbane which is “down-under” in Australia. Brisbane weather is (generally) warm and sunny with the occasional tropical storm or cyclone thrown in for good measure. There are wide open spaces, and the outback is just over there “beyond the back of Bourke”.
CHC has the pleasure of hosting the Australia Studies Centre through which the CCCU Best Semester program brings students from the States to Australia, so that these students get the opportunity to broaden their horizons through experiencing the cultural and contextual differences found in studying abroad.
Over the last few years, we have asked our American students to let us know where they are from by placing a pin in a map of the States to identify their home town or home college/university. We have enjoyed meeting American students from almost every U.S. state.
Some of the things that we soooooooooo appreciate about our American visitors are: their thirst to experience life in ‘Straya (Australia); the passion to deepen their experience and understanding of God; the wide range of accents that we get to hear (and try to understand); the way they introduce us locals to our own indigenous cultural heritage that is often overlooked when it comes to teaching and learning in our schools; that they arrive as visitors and leave as friends.
We like to tease them about the wildlife and dangerous creatures that are found in Australia (you should be visualising Steve Irwin and his “Crikey!” antics right now). When we tell our Americans about the “bookworms” that occasionally visit the library, and explain that they are actually green tree snakes or carpet pythons, the looks of horror are a sight to behold (they are non-venomous, though). But, we balance this shock with the wonderful experience of… (hopefully) meeting our resident koala,
our growing family of ducks,
and our wonderful sunsets that are best enjoyed from the bench seat at the front of the CHC library.
Then, you realise that coming down-under for your Best Semester at CHC is simply a great opportunity to experience another unique corner of God’s creation.
Come on down and share your life experiences with us, as we share our country and its stories with you.