I am back to the International House after whale watching today at Norman Bay. It was okay- we froze for 3 hours to only see a whale for 2 minutes! It was a little disappointing, but I know that whale watching is hit or miss. We did see a bunch of dolphins are we came back to the port so that was pretty cool. It was a gorgeous day so it was nice to be out on the water.
Classes start tomorrow so everyone is heading to bed early. It looks like I will only have class Tue-Thu! Yahoo! That means 5 day weekends which I'm very excited about because hopefully I will get to travel around. I really think I will just have no money by the time I get home, but I'm sure it will be worth it.
Just to explain more about my internship, I'm interning part time with the Australian Industry Group. They are a membership organization that represents 10,000 Australian companies. Since they are located in Canberra, I'm going to work independently from Sydney for about 15-20 hours a week and will just visit the office a few times during the semester. I'm going to research a few areas for them: the effects of the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement on bilateral trade, potential changes to regional trade flow in the Asia Pacific and Australia's defense procurement process. The Australia-US free trade agreement was very controversial (similar to NAFTA in the US), and it looks like over the past few years, Australia's exports to the US have decreased rather than increasing like it theorectically should under the FTA. So I'm going to do some research and interview companies to see if we can find reasons why this is happening. Then, since the WTO is not doing so well, there is a lot of discussion about regional FTAs and Australia's future trade relationships in the Asia Pacific. They want me to recommend steps for Australia to take in the next few years- I assume Ai Group will use whatever I find in their lobbying the Australian gov't. The APEC ministerial meeting will be held here in the beginning of September and that is where many of these discussions about these regional relationships will take place. Nothing I do will be used in these meetings-- it's just exciting that such a big meeting will be held right down the street!