WARNING: If you already hate me for being in Australia then do not read this blog.
Because while it was snowing in Indiana I was laying out on the beach. Right now it’s considered the end of Summer or the beginning of Autumn (not Fall, Aussies do not say Fall) in Australia. However, I wish I could just be at the beach all day everyday. The worse part is that I really can’t share my excitement of gorgeous weather with anyone back in Indiana. This is due to the fact that the other day I checked the weather back home and it was snowing… again.
Picture perfect at Manly Beach
At this point I’m starting to think when I return in July it will still be snowing. However, for those of you in Indiana I’m turning into one of them. One of the Australians that thinks 70 is cold and 90 is perfect. Yes, I will admit today when walking to class I thought it was chilly. I could only imagine how all my friends at Butler would be punching me right now for saying that, so I take it back. It has been rainy lately so no beach for me. Just all around sad times here in paradise.
This past weekend we went to Bondi Beach which was gorgeous. So far I’ve only been to Bondi and Manly, but I just read a fun fact that if I wanted to see every beach in Australia it would take me 27 years… so I’m just going to try to see as many as possible. I’m going to stop talking about beaches now before I get angry messages about this blog. Right now everything is going great! My roommate and I are planning our “Fall/Easter Break”. We plan on going to Melbourne and Cairns,which is where the Great Barrier Reef is! Can’t wait to experience more of Australia!
IT FINALLY HAPPENED. I got to touch a koala and feed a kangaroo! You could say I have accomplished everything I ever wanted to do in Australia… just kidding! Anyway this past Friday my friends and I went to an animal park and wine tasting at Hunter Valley. It was everything I could have wanted.
Hunter Valley. Wine Country in Australia!
First we went to the reptile park. While it was mostly a reptile park there were kangaroos and koalas as well! Koalas sleep almost all day except for three hours out of the day. Thankfully the koala woke up while we were there, but I don’t think he was too happy about it. We walked around the park some more and were able to see birds, snakes, spiders, and everything else you could think of!
After walking around for a bit we finally found where all the kangaroos are! The park sells food for $1. You can feed the kangaroos and hang out with them. My Aussie friends laughed at me because here kangaroos are nothing special. They are basically like deer to us back home. However, I don’t care how much they made fun of me because I loved every minute of it!
Finally getting to pet a kangaroo!
Once the reptile park was done we went to Hunter Valley, which in Australia is wine country. We went to three different wineries and got to try amazing wines from Australia. Hunter Valley was beautiful and way different from the city of Sydney. While I love Sydney it was nice to see some countryside for a while. All in all it was a pretty good day, but I was exhausted at the end! I slept almost the entire car ride back home. Next for me is hopefully a trip to the Great Gatsby mansion!
Today I gave my first presentation for class. Needless to say I was the most nervous I’ve ever been. The idea of people thinking I’m a dumb American girl keeps coming to mind. On top of that my presentation was over Indigenous themes seen in film and TV. Let me break this down for you a bit.
1. I didn’t even know Indigenous vs non Indigenous people was still an issue here
2. We never discuss Australian indigenous topics in America
3. I initially thought the presentation was a group presentation not solo.
After realizing I was going to be on my own for this presentation I started to have a massive panic attack. Back in the states presentations are not that difficult for me. While I do get nervous it was nothing like how I was today. Presentations in the states is something I do a lot because of my major. We have to present our ideas and what we think with different campaigns. This was different. I don’t know much about aborigines nor do I know much about Australian film and TV so combining the two caused me to freak out.
I honestly think I made it way more difficult than it was, but either way I finally completed it. I really wanted to start out my presentation by saying “Hi I’m American… please be nice to me” Instead I went along with what I had planned. I think everything turned out pretty good. I saw the nods from my tutor as he seemed pleased by what I was presenting. It was the biggest weight lifted off my shoulders when I finished. Now I can listen to everyone else present as I relax. Thank goodness.
Just an update about events, tomorrow I’m going to go wine tasting in Hunter Valley and pet koalas and kangaroos! Obviously I will be posting pictures of that! Until then I’m jealous of all of you who are able to watch March Madness. Watch for me!
Where I’m going tomorrow!
I love being near such a large city like Sydney. I can’t imagine there’s anyway I will see everything in Sydney, but I think so far I am doing a pretty good job. This past weekend my friends and I went to the Sydney Westfield Centre. I believe it is one of the tallest towers in Sydney if not the tallest. On the top is a place called the 360 Bar and Restaurant. It is exactly how it sounds 360 degrees of amazing views of Sydney. Did I mention the entire place spins?
It was a lot of fun to get dressed up with a lot of my friends. We went out to celebrate our friend, Chris, birthday. Chris turned 21 and even though the drinking age in Australia is 18, 21 is still a big day in Australia too because it means you are becoming an adult!
All the girls with Chris!
When we got to the bar it was amazing. The views there are unlike any other that I have seen so far in the city. One of the guys in our group just so happened to stumble upon the general manager without knowing and so we got free food! All in all if you are ever in Sydney it is a place you definitely must go and see. Grab a nice drink and take in the city around you.
This week my friends and I plan on going to the mansion where the Great Gatsby was filmed and we have a wine tasting/kangaroo/koala petting day on Friday! I swear I am going to classes! Something that I am thrilled to announce is that I accepted in the PACE International program. This means I will be working with 3 others on building a marketing campaign for India:Restless Development. I’m so thrilled to be able to say on resume and to others that I helped create an international marketing campaign!
Thanks to everyone back home who is keeping up with my blogs. To all the potential Butler students and to those of you who have recently accepted your spot in the Fall, I hope one thing you see through all my blog posts of Australia is the insane opportunities you will experience while at Butler. On top of that the support you will get from a small school in Indianapolis to a large one in Sydney, Australia.
I think it is normal for any girl to fall for an accent. It is no different in Australia. I’m pretty sure a guy could tell me I’m ugly and I would still be falling over their accent. Side note: Dad I’m not getting married or anything! I just enjoy their accents here. However, accent or no accent I’m struggling sometimes to even understand what people are saying.
Obviously Aussies speak English. It’s just that they have their own meaning for words or in my opinion make up words. Here are a couple things I have started to notice. A truck here is not what we consider a truck back in the states. Trucks here are actually what we think are semi’s home. Here in Australia they call their pick up trucks utes and their semis are called trucks. Speaking of cars gas is called fuel or petrol. To add to the madness I am also realizing that Aussies add u’s and spell things with s’s where we use z’s.
I also misunderstand what Aussies are saying. I think I hear one thing when actually something else was said. In reality it’s not too bad. Once you learn some of the words you start to catch on. However, I’m going to continue calling a truck a truck and not a ute. Sorry. But I love learning all the different words. It may not be a different language, but I can’t wait to share some of the words I’m learning with people back home. Especially considering my friends know I already use some pretty out there words to begin with.
Before I sign off today I just want to say a huge Happy birthday to my dad! Thank you so much for allowing me to come to Australia. I’m so grateful for everything you do for me. I hope your day is filled with sunshine and nice weather like mine was today! Love you and miss you so much dad!
Happy birthday dad!
I have officially been in Australia for almost two weeks now. While I love being here there are some things that I’ll just have to get used to in comparison back home. I’ll share a few with you here but there are many more that I’ll just have to explain later!
There’s no late night food
Typical me, I care about the food. However, back home if you want something to snack on at 1 AM after a night out with friends you can easily go to McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Steak n Shake, order a pizza, etc. Here everything closes really early. You might be able to find something open until 9 PM, but that’s debatable. This is working really well in my favor for staying healthy though, which now makes so more sense why people here are actually in shape.
$1 and $2 are coins/No taxes
I constantly keep thinking I have no money, but then I realize that actually I have a ton of money in coins. I’m sure eventually it will be second nature to know that I have money just in coins. It’s also hard to get used to the fact that if something is $2 then it’s $2, no tax!The no tax thing is amazing and I love it.
My university has a bar
The drinking age in Australia is 18 so a little younger than in the states. My university has their own bar called the Ubar. To understand this it is almost like if Atherton Union had it’s own club. Last night there was a summer party and in two weeks there will be a toga party. It’s a little bizarre compared to back in the states where I’m pretty sure this would never happen. Did I mention people sometimes go after class and grab a drink? At least they were the last time I was there.
Those are just a couple things that I have tried to get used to. I’m still looking both ways on the street because I want to be extra safe and I keep forgetting that Aussies drive on the opposite side of the road than we do. I also have to get used to the fact that some Aussies think I say: Aussie, Australia, and other words in a weird way. However, all these differences is exactly what I wanted. So bring it on Aussies. Teach me your ways!
If you were not aware I am currently living in the future. It’s March 5th here in Australia at 930 AM. I started school on Monday and I feel like a freshman all over again. I haven’t had all my classes yet, but for the ones that I have experienced it is way different from Butler.
At Butler I have never experienced a class bigger than 20. Here I have lectures of 100-150. This my not seem that dramatic to people at bigger schools, but for me on the first day of class I am used to so many different things at Butler. On the first day of class at Butler there is actually attendance taken, icebreakers done, and you actually know at least half the class from previous years. At Macquarie it is the complete opposite. Almost all of the lectures at Macquarie are provided online so you technically do not have to attend the lecture. Actually one of my classes yesterday was an iLecture, so I’ll never go in for the lecture.
I guess I’ll experience smaller sizes when we have tutorials. Tutorials are smaller group discussions where attendance is usually taken. These meet after lectures or sometimes later in the week. It is really weird for me but I’m sure I will get used to it. So far I love my classes. Although it is funny when your Australian professor tries to explain something American. Or like yesterday when my professor used a quote from another professor from UNC (University of North Carolina) and had to explain to my class it was a university in the United States.
In one of my classes I am the only American which is really cool. However, some of the students have found out from none other than my voice and started to bombard me with questions about America.
I will say one thing is for sure Butler definitely prepared me for a lot of things here. In one of my classes I am applying for a program called PACE International Stream, which will allow me to work on a marketing campaign for a non profit in India. If chosen I will be able to experience interactions with international company and hopefully they will use the teams’ campaign idea. At Butler I did something similar and when asked about the skills I had so many through my classes at Butler. It took me a million miles to realize how thankful I am for everything I’ve learned at Butler.
I’ll keep you guys posted if I get into the program! Other than that everything is great! It’s weird to say this, but I almost forgot that I came here for school so it’s probably a good thing it started back up.
Here’s a song that I loved when I heard back in the states, but in Australia is super popular!
Before I explain why there is glitter everywhere I would just like to start out by saying no one in Australia has yet to hear my real voice. Ever since I’ve gotten to Australia I have this terrible itch on my throat and have lost my voice. I will probably post reactions of people to my real voice, because right now I sound like a man.
Anyway, yesterday was Mardi Gras! It was insane. In Sydney, Mardi Gras is huge for the LGBT community. When I say there is glitter everywhere I’m not joking. I have never seen so much glitz and sparkle in my life, but it was amazing. It was quite the experience that I don’t think I’ll ever experience in the states.
Dressed up for Mardi Gras!
Sydney was packed with people from all over just excited to celebrate and see the parade. My friends and I couldn’t find really good spots to see the parade so we didn’t stay that long, but it was cool just to be there. Everyone supported the parade even the Queen Elizabeth on the Sydney Harbour!
Happy Mardi Gras from Queen Elizabeth!
My goal today is try to get off the five billion pounds of glitter on me as well as get rid of this annoying cough/scratchy throat. Classes start tomorrow so I’ll keep you posted on how that goes!
The past couple of days I have been settling into my surroundings. It has been a challenge to get used to looking the correct way when crossing the street as well as figuring out that buying a ton of groceries at once probably isn’t ideal when you have to walk back to your apartment. However, it is gorgeous!
Yesterday we had orientation at our uni (Aussies shorten university to uni). I never realized how large Macquarie was until yesterday. This will be quite the experience because not only have I never been to Australia I have never attended a large school. At Butler I’m used to class sizes of 15-20. Here I could possibly experience lectures of up to 400 people, so that will be interesting.
After orientation we had a hippie or hipster themed party on a boat on the Sydney Harbour! It was so cool. Being able to see the opera house and the Sydney Harbour bridge at night was amazing. I also was able to learn a lot from some Aussies about places to go and things to do so that was really nice.
On the cruise by the Opera House!
So far the only thing I have to complain about Australia is how expensive it is, but other than that it’s so pretty and the people are so nice. I have yet to try Vegemite but that also might be something I complain about.
My first day in Australia was exhausting. Fun fact I can’t sleep on planes, so I was basically up for an entire 48 hours. My flight was 4.5 hours from Indy to LAX and then 14 hours from LAX to Sydney. On top of that I basically missed Sunday, and also I didn’t go to sleep last night until 1130 PM. I tried to gun it out as much as possible so that I can get used to the time change here.
Anyway Australia is amazing. I haven’t seen much yet, but I’m really excited to explore. My university here is extremely different from Butler. It’s way more city than I expected. In all my pictures I saw it seemed like I would be in the suburbs and a lot of green space. Butler is in the city, but you don’t feel that way because a lot of our campus is a park setting so its really pretty. However, after moving into my apartment i’m starting to see how Macquarie is so different than Butler! I am in a suburb of Sydney, but it’s super busy and there’s a lot going on all the time!
Yesterday I went to the shopping centre that’s only a 5-10 minute walk from my apartment. It is insanely huge and I got lost. It also has an ice skating rink, which I find bizarre, but I guess Aussies need Winter too!
Macquarie Shopping Centre!
I haven’t taken any photos yet, but when I do I will be sure to share with you! Today I’m going to go grocery shopping so I’m sure that will be an experience. Tomorrow is my orientation day where I actually figure out classes and things like that so I’m excited!
Oh and one last thing it’s 82 and sunny here