Thursday, 6 June 2013

The impending study tour is now less than a few hours away.  Excitement and nerves are getting the better of me where my first trip outside of Australia is about to begin.  

It is to be expected that this trip will be challenging in several ways.  Firstly, I anticipate a strong sense of feeling overwhelmed during the first couple of days.  As material has indicated through the media and research, Sheffield is a foreign environment with different ways of life.  These unique housing characteristics, strong English accents and unfamiliar behavioural patterns could potentially create a cultural shock.  Secondly, the study tour programme highlights this trip to concur long working days where much of the program is connected to travelling throughout England which will be physically strenuous.  

The fun of travelling and the benefits of exploring a foreign country to enhance my academic merit far exceed the possible challenges that could occur.  I am very much looking forward to exploring Sheffield and various localities within England which the practical nature of the trip is to offer.  My excitement continues where I can establish my own perceptions and comparisons of Australians culture to the English culture. 

From a personal and academic perspective, Sheffield is expected to be a functioning city which has altered greatly overtime.  I expect Sheffield to reflect upon its rich industrial history.   A planning perspective could embark this through regeneration of past uses whilst the physical layout to be concentrated with a greater density housing system than Australia within the once industrial suburbs.  While a large population is supported, a greater networking system to other major cities is to be correspondent within Sheffield, having strong connections both regionally and globally through the provision of infrastructure and the service-based economy.  With a rich history and a potential prospective future, I am interested in exploring key themes associated within Sheffield including the past industrial history exploring planning outcomes and urban regeneration approaches to spawning a contemporary city it is most likely today.   

As much as I am nervous, I am confident that this trip will be a lifetime experience. The previous class meetings have supported my preparation and organisational management where I perceive the quality of this study tour to be high.  Essentially it will be a rewarding experience both academically and socially.  
- Taila Maher (Bachelor of Urban, Rural and Environmental Planning) 

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