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
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!
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 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!
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