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"Neutrality is not dead," said the Swiss Ambassador to the United Nations, "It is just not so relevant anymore." - New York Times > TOMARKEN INTERVIEW SERIES > THE TOMARKEN INTERVIEW SERIES: Our Young Ambassadors Abroad (02-05-03)
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“The Uni Lodge”-Where the Ambassadors Stay
Our Young Ambassadors Abroad

10.22.02-Sydney, NSW-AUSTRALIA

The second interview of our newly fangled series is of an undeputized ambassador representing the United States of America—you know one of those college students studying abroad? Ever wonder what they hell they’re really doing out there? Maybe you didn’t have the funds or the time or the desire, but you knew someone or maybe a group of people who went abroad their Junior year of college. What was it really like for those courageous sojourners that returned with all of their experience? We introduce "Scott"…a junior from Layfayette College. He has been studying this Fall at the University of Sydney, New South Whales, AUSTRALIA. TOMARKEN.COM Where are you from?
Scott: New York

TOMARKEN.COM Where are you from in New York?
Scott: Manahattan Island…maybe you’ve heard of it?

TOMARKEN.COM I see, why did you come to Australia, to the Sydney ‘Uni’, to study this fall?
Scott: I wanted to get out there and have the experience of living abroad. The junior year is when you’re supposed to go abroad in college. Oh and I’m not 21 yet, and in Australia, you can drink legally.

TOMARKEN.COM Where do you live here and what’s that like?
Scott: I live in this place called the ‘Uni’ lodge. Its kind of like a hotel, but its not. Its really just like a nice dorm. We live in doubles in these loft type units. My floor is totally filed with Americans who are doing the same thing as me and that’s generally who I hang out with. This place also has tons of Asians, but they don’t really talk to us and they’re always studying. They get in the way when I’m coming out of doors and into and out of the elevator and stuff.

TOMARKEN.COM What do you think of Australians?
Scott: I think they’re generally quite unfriendly and self-absorbed, they hate Americans

TOMARKEN.COM That’s quite strange that you would feel that way Scott, Aussies, have a world-wide reputation for being some of the most friendly people on the planet…you know ‘no worries’…have you heard of this?
Scott: They have no desire to do anything. This whole country’s a wasteland. They’re slow, they steal our culture but they won’t admit it and they have no desire to create anything. They’re stupid, there’s no choice here and the people here are not in control of their own destiny.

TOMARKEN.COM How many Australians do you know?
Scott: Australians are really hard to meet because they walk around in groups made up only of Australians.

TOMARKEN.COM Scott, but you live at the UNI Lodge, you don’t know many other Australians, all of your friends are Americans that are the same age as you that live on your floor, do you travel in groups?
Scott: Its not the same thing. We’re friends and we live together. We’re away from home in a foreign country!

TOMARKEN.COM Let me put it to you this way, You are in Australia, land of Australians. When they are walking in their land don’t they have to walk together in groups whether they even know each other or not? When you walk around Manhanttan Island, New York, do you generally walk around with one foreigner at all times?
Scott: Well, in New York we have all sorts of different people that we are forced to confront every minute of every day. There is no place on earth more diverse than New York City.

TOMARKEN.COM Hmm, that’s an interesting point….What are you learning here?
Scott: My classes are stupid and I have a lot less of them than I do back home. They don’t even count. Look, I came here to have a good time and to get away from things.

TOMARKEN.COM So if Manhattan Island, New York is such a larger cultural experience, would it not have been cheaper, and in fact better to have just stayed home?
Scott: You don’t understand, you see I AM living in a foreign country. I am experiencing what its like to live in a foreign country away from home during my junior year in college.

TOMARKEN.COM You know, Australia has a reputation for having some of the best natural, untouched places on earth. Are you planning on doing some traveling after your classes are finished?
Scott: I’ve gone to Bondi Beach and Coogi here in Sydney a few times and that’s cool. I also went down to Wollongong and saw some things. But no, I’m almost out of money, its almost the end of November now and I got here at the end of August, so I’ll be ready to go home in a few weeks.

TOMARKEN.COM Would you live here…I mean do you like the system here better than the one that you’ve only known at home?
Scott: America is the best, hands down. I can’t wait to get back there. But I could come back here someday, you know on business or something.

TOMARKEN.COM What is the first thing you plan to do when you return back to Manhattan Island, New York?
Scott: I dunno, maybe smoke some weed or eat at McDonalds? Its been almost impossible to get hooked up here.

TOMARKEN.COM Thank you for sharing your educational experience with us Scott.
Scott: Would you maybe know where I can get some weed?
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