Student Reflections – Eric Wilber

I woke up this morning in my own bed and recovering from jetlag from another amazing trip to Australia. It is a place that captivates you, surprises you, and leaves you wanting more every time you go. The last time I went, I said it was the trip of a lifetime. Little did I know that just four years later, I’d have another trip of a lifetime with the SIU Law School.

This trip had it all. It was first and foremost a school trip, and was extremely educational in that regard. It was very interesting to talk to US Consulate enforcement personnel, lawyers, and consultants about the ways that international white collar crimes are perpetrated, and gave much insight into efforts to combat fraud and money laundering. It struck me how passionate all of the people we met with are about their jobs and the lengths to which they will go to bring these criminals to justice. I really enjoyed the Consulate visit, and may seriously consider looking at employment there after graduating. It was also educational from looking at the museums we visited. I was fascinated by the Police & Justice museum and its insight into the differences in the justice systems between the US and Australia, and how Australian law enforcement has changed over the last few centuries. As Australia was founded as a penal colony, the Hyde Park Barracks tour was also very interesting to see how the convicts would have lived.

However, the trip also had a lot of free time to explore the city built into the schedule, and that was a lot of fun as well. I especially loved going to Bondi Beach, with its breathtaking views and great waves. I will also never forget my 25th birthday, enjoying the sunset over Sydney at the Opera House Bar with a glass of wine. Finally, it was great to see my friends in Melbourne again, even if for a short time.

The trip as a whole came off without a hitch (except possibly the very end transportation to Carbondale). We had a great group of people go, and everything was very well planned out, making it easy to know where we were supposed to be.

Hopefully this is just one of several trips of a lifetime going to Australia. I think I enjoyed this trip even more than the last, just because it combined my interest of law with being able to explore Sydney more. Who knows, I may even call Sydney my home someday working with some of the people we met. For the last time, cheers mates!

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