As I am sitting in the hostel common room waiting to head to the airport to begin my journey home, I reflect on the past two and a half weeks I have spent traveling to and around Australia. Ever since I was a kid I have dreamed about visiting Australia. Once I saw that Professor Dervan was offering a Legal Globalization course on white collar crime in Australia, I could not pass up this kind of opportunity.
I began my journey on Christmas day traveling from Jacksonville, Florida to Chicago, where I would depart the next morning. As I was buckling my seatbelt I was informed over the intercom that my connecting flight from Nashville to Chicago was cancelled. Instead of arriving in Chicago at 9pm I was forced to rent a car and drive the 7 hours. Luckily I was given a brand new Dodge Challenger (which was sweet) but it was so foggy it was nearly impossible to see at some points throughout the night. Eventually I arrived in Chicago at 4am and departed the next morning for Shanghai, China. I only had a 36 hour layover but I made the most of it. I was able to explore the Bund, the Shanghai Museum where they had exhibits on ancient Chinese currency and jade sculptures, the Fabric Market where I was to bargain with a lady to have a custom suit made, and I made sure to taste as many different types of food as I possibly could.
I departed Shanghai and had a quick layover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and in case you were wondering a double sausage and egg sandwich meal from McDonalds cost $2.80USD. I arrived in Australia around 9pm. I found my way through customs and hopped in an Uber to head to where I was staying. It was quite different sitting on the “wrong” side of the car and driving on the “wrong” side of the road. During the next couple of days in Sydney we were able to check out Manly Beach, Bondi Beach, Luna Park, see New Years fireworks with the Harbour Bridge close by, tried kangaroo and crocodile, and only was a little sun burnt. We then caught a flight to Cairns for a couple of days where I was able to do a little fishing and snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef.
After three days in Cairns, I flew back to Sydney to begin the class portion of the trip. This week included a trip to the Blue Mountains, a Harbour Cruise, a traditional Australian Aboriginal welcome dinner, visits to EY, Pwc, the U.S. Consulate, Baker&McKenzie, and a visit with a local judge. During these trips we learned the multiple roles these firms play in an expanding global market where crimes are becoming more complicated. It was interesting to learn how lenient punishments are for such serious crimes in Australia and how every person we spoke to agreed that the punishments need to become more severe. Overall the trip was worth all the travel and the headaches that came with traveling. 10/10 would recommend.