July 5, 2022

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Through Education Matters

Matthew McConaughey goes shirtless in a throwback from days as an exchange student in Australia

Matthew McConaughey goes shirtless in a throwback from his time as a 19-year-old exchange student in Australia

Matthew McConaughey shared a throwback photo from his time as an exchange student in Australia.

The 51-year-old actor went shirtless in the snap, which was taken in 1988 when he flew halfway around the world and stayed for several months in New South Wales as a 19-year-old.

The performer also elaborated on his time in the country in his memoir, Greenlights, and added the book’s title as a hashtag in the post’s caption. 

Back in the day: Matthew McConaughey shared an image that was taken in 1988 during his time as a foreign exchange student in Australia to his Instagram account on Thursday

In the photo, the teenaged McConaughey sat on a beer cooler bearing the name of his host country.

Though the Dazed And Confused actor was shirtless, he did don a pair of form-fitting blue jeans and a set of light brown cowboy boots.

Matthew’s iconic long and messy hair was nowhere to be seen in the throwback snap, where he wrote his tresses high and tight.

The Academy Award-winning actor’s time in Australia was arranged after he was initially rejected as a Rotary Youth Exchange student in his early adulthood. 

Not giving up: Although the Dazed And Confused actor was initially rejected from an exchange program, he later met an Australian that helped him with the process

Not giving up: Although the Dazed And Confused actor was initially rejected from an exchange program, he later met an Australian that helped him with the process

Formative stay: The actor was eventually accepted as a student and spent just under a year in New South Wales

Formative stay: The actor was eventually accepted as a student and spent just under a year in New South Wales

McConaughey eventually met a native from Down Under who was able to place him in contact with an individual that secured him a place in the program.

The actor went on to spend just under a year in Australia and lived on a horse ranch for a portion of his stay.

The performer went on to return to the country during the promotion for his film How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, where he wished the families that took care of him during his stay well.

He later returned and lived in the country for several months during the shooting of the 2008 action comedy feature, Fool’s Gold.

McConaughey touched on his Australian experience in his memoir, Greenlights, which was released in October of last year.

Looking back: McConaughey reflected on his experience as an exchange student in his book Greenlights, which was released in October of last year

Looking back: McConaughey reflected on his experience as an exchange student in his book Greenlights, which was released in October of last year

Hard at work: The actor wrote the book in a period of just over 50 days while staying in a remote location that had no electricity

Hard at work: The actor wrote the book in a period of just over 50 days while staying in a remote location that had no electricity

The actor notably sequestered himself in a remote location for just over 50 days while working on his project, during which he had no electricity.  

During a sit-down with Rolling Stone, McConaughey spoke about the definitions of success that he discussed in Greenlights, and noted that part of the book’s function was to show his fans a more grounded side of his personality.

‘The world is already coming in with an idea of me. It’s why I went away to Peru or Mali. I want to go someplace where, when I leave, the hugs goodbye are all based on the man they met when I showed up,’ he expressed.

He also spoke about a period of time in his career where he began to move away from romantic comedies, during which his persona as an actor changed completely. 

The actor recalled, ‘It was like, “Where’d McConaughey go?” Then all of a sudden, I become a new, bright idea. “Hey, you know who’d be interesting casting?”‘ 

Inspiration: McConaughey wrote Greenlights partially at the suggestion of his wife, Camila Alves, who noted that he had kept a diary for several decades and should use some of his material for a book; he is seen with his spouse, children and mother in 2019

Inspiration: McConaughey wrote Greenlights partially at the suggestion of his wife, Camila Alves, who noted that he had kept a diary for several decades and should use some of his material for a book; he is seen with his spouse, children and mother in 2019

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