Old Boy Henry Harland (2015), pictured above right with his parents, is a 2018 recipient of the Churchie Foundation ‘Overseas Study Scholarship’ for Old Boys. Henry recently attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has penned the following recollections of his experience.
An exchange to the US is something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while now, it even played a role in my university selection. I wanted to experience a college town, a place overrun by students where the culture and passion that existed at Churchie may live on. The University of Wisconsin – Madison did not disappoint, in a town of only 250,000 crowds at the football reached nearly 80,000. The highest paid government employee in the state is the football coach, earning twenty times more than the governor! The atmosphere at the game was electric, people in the student section did not sit down the entire game with seemingly continuous chants and games to be played.
Once the Saturday football was over it was time for Sunday football, and then Monday football, the sheer volume of sports on offer was tough to comprehend and made it even more difficult to get my studies done. However, once I pulled myself away from the sports it was time to do some study. During the semester I had to knock off four of my compulsory Civil Engineering courses so it wasn’t going to be cruisy. Thankfully the two other Australians that I was staying with (both Brisbane boys) had the same issue and we shared several classes, so we managed to get each other on track occasionally. I found university in the US a very different experience to Australia. For me it felt more like high school with homework given out and checked as well as near mandatory attendance in most classes.
During my time in the US I managed to duck away on a few quick trips to Chicago, New Orleans, Nashville and even a mate´s place in New Jersey for an authentic American Thanksgiving! Despite not making it through even half of the turkey Thanksgiving was an awesome experience and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Living out of home for the first time was also a great experience and although we made it through the entire semester without a vacuum cleaner, mugs or a kettle I´d say we did pretty well for ourselves and managed to keep the place in a decent state. The only exception to this would have to be when we managed to cram nine people (mates coming up to Madison for the weekend) into our three person apartment, that was chaos.
I met so many good mates during my time in Madison, friends who hopefully I can convince to make the trek to Australia and show around here. I couldn´t recommend an exchange highly enough to anyone else considering it, it’s the trip of a lifetime and the only downside is that you have to say goodbye to all the great friends you´ve made.
In 2019, Churchie Foundation is again awarding the Overseas Study Scholarships for Old Boys. Applications are now invited from Old Boys and current Year 12 students wishing to attend colleges or universities in the UK or USA. The application process will close on Friday 31 May. To find out more information, or apply for a scholarship, please click here.