Kurt's Excellent Australian Adventure

Release Date: 11/7/2012

Even though Kurt Shemanske, a junior from El Reno, Okla., is only about half finished with his semester abroad in Sydney, Australia, his life has been already been irrevocably changed by his experiences there.

Kurt Shemanske with a Koala bear.

Kurt Shemanske got an up close view of a Koala bear during his study abroad trip to Australia this semester. Shemanske’s study abroad experienced is being funded by the university’s Academic Enrichment Fund.

As a management major at Ozarks, Shemanske began exploring study abroad options with the help of the Academic Enrichment Fund, monies set aside specifically to assist Ozarks students with broadening their educational experiences.

"I am currently attending the International College of Management (ICMS) in Sydney," he said. "I chose Australia for three reasons. First, I had always wanted to visit Australia. Second, the culture, as unique as it is, has many similarities to that of the U.S., especially the English language. Not having to overcome a huge language barrier has definitely made my time abroad easier."

"Lastly, and probably most importantly, I chose Australia because over 600 multinational companies have chosen Sydney as their regional headquarters, and this presents an excellent opportunity for a future internship after college," he said.

Shemanske, who is taking four courses at ICMS, has greatly benefited from his exposure to international education, particularly his management classes.

"I am currently taking Cross Cultural Management, Business Forecasting, The Innovation in Sports Management, and Global Trends in Tourism. The best part about my classes is that I am the only American, so I am often asked by my professors for my opinion on the issues because the U.S. has such a big impact throughout the world," he said.

Shemanske has spent his time in Australia learning about more than international management.  He is also involved with the Event Committee at ICMS, which organizes fundraisers and entertainment events on campus.  He also participated in the Bridging Cultures program his first week in Australia, which helped introduce him to Australian culture and lifestyle.

"The first week we were in Cairns, Australia, and we experienced so much," Shemanske exclaimed. "The first day we went scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef. The second day we went to a national park located in a part of the rainforest where we were introduced to the Aboriginal culture. We also played with kangaroos and koala bears and went on a nature walk. The third day was our free day, and I chose to go sky diving."

Kurt Shemanske skydiving.

Kurt Shemanske, a junior management major from Oklahoma, recently took time out from his studies in Australia to go skydiving. Shemanske is taking classes at the International College of Management in Sydney as part of an Ozarks’ study abroad program.

Shemanske knows his time in Australia is about more than learning from new professors and having exciting adventures. His time abroad has given him a much broader view of the world and small glimpse into a global economy.

"In the short time that I've been here, I have gained a new understanding on my outlook on life," Shemanske said. "The United States is a huge country, but there is so much more outside of our country to experience. Attending a college on the other side of the world with students from all over the world allows you to expand your own world views. The friends I have made in such a short time will be life-long friends, and my experience here will continue to impact the rest of my life long after I'm back in the States."