I know it’s been a while since I’ve last blogged, but so many things have happened. This week I will be posting blogs about my adventures in Cairns. I did a three day tour of different spots there and it was some of the most amazing places I have seen thus far in Australia.
Cairns is in the northern part of Australia. I’m starting to realize that I was completely oblivious to the size of Australia when I was in the states. Australia is comparable to the size of the states, so going places either means long car rides or flying. Cairns is a three hour flight from Sydney, so not too bad. One of my roommates and I left Monday night to start our adventure. Lately in Sydney it’s been a little cold (high 60′s low 70′s). I know it’s pathetic that I now think that’s cold. However in Cairns it was so pretty and mainly in the high 70′s low 80′s.
For our first day of adventure we went to the Great Barrier Reef. I am not smart and didn’t bring a water proof camera, but I did meet someone on the boat who is sending me pictures, so no worries I will share those with everyone ASAP. The Great Barrier Reef has been my favorite thing thus far. It was the most amazing place I have ever experienced, and as my title shows I FOUND NEMO, and Dory. On top of that I got to see a shark, giant clams that I got to watch open and shut, and I got to hold a sea cucumber, which was disgusting. It was gorgeous day on the reef when we went so I was definitely lucky considering two days before we left for Cairns they experienced a cyclone.
Fishes by our boat before snorkeling!
You never realize how amazing the world is until you see things like the Great Barrier Reef. While I was snorkeling it was one of the most peaceful things I have ever experienced. I felt like I was in a different world. If I snorkeled away from others and it got really quiet you could hear the fish getting food from the coral. However, I almost it my face against the coral because I started following fish and not paying attention to everything else. I’m still alive everyone so no shark kills here! Next time I’ll share with you guys my adventure to Kuranda which is a village in Cairns. I wish everyone could be here with me to experience these amazing places.
The Great Barrier Reef
Living in Australia has introduced me to a lot of music that I probably would have eventually found out about but not as fast as I find out about it here. Australia doesn’t really listen to much of the music we listen to, or maybe it is just the people I’m hanging out with. There doesn’t seem to be much country (even though Toby Keith is coming to Australia?), and rap doesn’t seem to be that big either. On top of that no offense to Australia but their rappers aren’t that great. Either way I’ve been loving most of the music I hear, which is typically super hyped and mostly dance music! Here are a couple of songs that I’ve been listening to lately in Australia!
Summer – Calvin Harris
I love this song and Calvin Harris. A lot of clubs here play this song because it starts out pretty chill and then the beat drops and you can’t help but dancing. Most clubs here are dance clubs so the type of music that usually plays in clubs back home wouldn’t really work here. That’s also mainly because we go to bars back home! Either way this song is perfect for a sunny day.
Rufus – Take Me
I’m so excited that I actually get to see Rufus while I’m in Australia. They have this really chill vibe that once again I can’t wait to listen to in the states with the windows down in my car. You are probably starting to see a theme with music in Australia that it is mostly dance music, but I’m ok with that! In the states they have had to change their name to Rufus du sol I believe but you can still YouTube them under Rufus and find their videos!
Sam Smith – Money on my Mind
If you haven’t heard of Sam Smith you are missing out. Right before I left for Australia they were starting to play more of his songs on the radio back in the states. Now he’s starting to come out with so many more songs and they just keep getting better. If you think you like this song check out the song Latch. Even better he has acoustic versions of his songs that are just as beautiful as the original.
There’s a little taste at what I’ve been listening to Australia. Let me know what you think!
Ok so maybe not the best of both worlds, more or less I really just wanted to use a Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) song as my title. However, going to a big school in Australia has me really missing my small school back home. Either way school is school so I’m not going to say I absolutely adore going to class, but I do enjoy some of the classes I’m taking. However, it is a lot different from Butler.
I’m taking four classes while I’m here. They are:
CUL 120: Living Culture
CUL 221: Australian Film & TV
CUL 322: Ab/Normal Bodies
ICOM202: International Communication Campaigns
Don’t let the class numbers fool you. While one of my classes is a 100 level class it is starting to become one of my more difficult classes. This week I’ve been swamped. I’ve have something due everyday this week in every class. However, even with all the madness I really enjoy all of my classes except Living Culture. The lectures drive me insane.
This is where I’ve been spending most of my time this week with all my assignments. At least my university has an awesome library!
This is where the differences from a big school to a small school come in. When applying to schools as a freshman I knew that a big school wouldn’t do it for me. Now that I’m a junior I’m reminded as to why I thought that. Here at Macquarie you go to a lecture and then later you go to a tutorial which is a smaller setting. However, sometimes in tutorial you only talk about the readings required for the week not the lecture that was discussed earlier. At Butler your class is a lecture/tutorial combined. You get lectures but with that discussion based setting behind it, which in my opinion is way easier to learn.
The biggest thing is that you know when you hear teachers say “However many credit hours you should be doubling for work outside class” Well here that is the truth. Back home there are so many assignments/assessments that while it is necessary to keep up with readings and such you almost don’t realize it because the assignments and assessments are keeping you up to speed. Here you never have assignments and very rarely assessments so at that point it’s all up to you. While it’s nice to have freedom I’m way more structured than that, so it has taken some getting used to.
I’m glad I’ve waited until junior year to study abroad, because I honestly don’t think as a freshmen and even a sophomore I would have been mature enough to have fun and focus on what I’m here for, which is still school! I’m sure there are others that have more self control than myself. Anyway my mid semester break starts next week and I can’t wait to share with you guys all of my trips!
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!
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.