United States Studies Centre students have just returned from a two-week tour of the United States, meeting major players in the Australia–US relationship. The trip was part of the inaugural American Insights Tour, held in association with the Australian government's G'Day USA program, which promotes Australian capabilities and interests in the US.
Nineteen students from a diverse range of arts and commerce backgrounds were selected from a field of 45 applications to participate, with $25,000 awarded in scholarships to program participants.
Beginning in Washington DC and finishing in Los Angeles, the tour featured visits to major corporations and tours of some of America's most iconic government institutions in the national capital, along with a reception hosted by Australia's Ambassador to the United States Kim Beazley.
While in Washington, the students attended the Centre's Alliance 21 conference, where they met with Australia's minister for foreign affairs Julie Bishop. In New York, the group discussed the Australia–US trade and investment relationship with American Australian Association president Frances Cassidy, while in San Francisco they had a session with Australia's minister for communications Malcolm Turnbull, focusing on co-operation on digital security (pictured below).
Over the course of the two week tour, students visited the offices of The Washington Post, Rio Tinto, Westfield, Warner Bros and San Francico-based start-ups Lyft and Salesforce. They also got to experience a range of cultural activities and social events, including a visit the iconic Hollywood sign, a networking evening in Los Angeles and the Australia Day Ball in San Francisco.
Eva O’Dea, a Master of Chinese Studies student at the University of Sydney who participated in the program, said the program exceeded her expectations. “The American Insights Tour was a fantastic experience,” she said. “The [United States Studies] Centre provided us with unparalleled access to political leaders, senior business representatives and top policy minds who are shaping the future of Australia-US relations and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.”