Features & Profiles

International Students’ Guide to the Universe

By Maram Sharif ’22

Diversity is highly valued in The Frederick Gunn School community. There are more than 60 international students that represent 22 different countries. They all come from beautiful countries – some might not be on people’s Must-Visit lists – but here is why they should be. 

For this edition of International Students’ Guide to The Universe, we asked two students coming from Hungary and Brazil, as well as Ms. Dea, our new Director of International Recruitment from Australia,  to tell us about their favorite place at home.

From Hungary, we have Anna Damosy ‘24:

“One of my favourite places in Hungary is the Víg Theater. Budapest has a lot of theaters, many in the heart of the city, and outdoor theaters are common too. Watching plays in the evening is a much loved activity, even among students. Hungarian theater companies perform amazing plays during all seasons. This particular theater is right next to the river Danube, and is very easy to access. The building itself was constructed in 1895 and it features baroque and golden decorations. Its frontal outdoor area is also used by students as a gathering place, and has hosted volunteering and cultural events as well. The most often used tramline in Budapest, The 4-6, drives in front of it. The tramline provides a beautiful view of the building for the passengers.”

Photo courtesy of MTI Photo

From Brazil, Livia Correia ‘23:

“Brazil is a country that has wonderful beaches. I love to go there with my friends and family to hang out. There is one, by the way, in front of my house. It is in Busca Vida, Camaçari.”

Photo courtesy by Livia Correia

Finally, from Australia, Ms. Dea:

“There are so many wonderful places to go and visit, but I think it would have to be Kakadu National park in the Northern Territory. Kakadu National Park is located in the Northern Territory. If you think of a map of Australia it is in the middle, right up at the very top. It was the first National Park in the world to be recognised by the The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage site for both its People & Culture and its Flora & Fauna. The Northern Territory is almost twice the size of Texas, but has a population of just 240,000 people – it has more crocodiles than people. 

Kakadu National Park is the same size as the country of Wales. It is home to more than 1/3 of Australia’s bird species. During the winter it is home to birds from as far away as Russia. The climate, land, and wildlife are harsh and unforgiving. For this reason, it is also very beautiful.

I lived in Darwin, which is a 4 hour drive away, and was able to experience Kakadu at all different times of the year. I witnessed major floods, the driest time of year, and everything in between. I used to take students there on 3 or 4 day hiking trips. The mosquitos feel like they were big enough to carry off a small child. The flies are so thick and relentless you feel as though you may go completely mad. The heat is so brutal it felt like you were melting into the earth. But when you summited those escarpments to watch the sunset over the floodplain, listening to a didgeridoo sounding off in the distance, it made it all worth it.”

Photo courtesy of Ms. Dea

While the universe is vast and there are endless places to visit, we highly recommend putting these wonderful places on your list. Cultural immersion is necessary to understand one another and make progress as nations. 

There is no better way to fully immerse oneself in a culture than to connect with those surrounding us who come from different backgrounds. While being with a specific type of people that are very similar to us is comforting and convenient, we learn much more from those we do not necessarily share similar lifestyles and cultural backgrounds with.

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