Back home in Indiana people are officially on their Summer break. However, for me it is Fall in Australia or the Aussies say Autumn. Either way I’m a little jealous of seeing all the pictures of my friends celebrating finals being over. I’m also a little jealous that everyone from study abroad is home except for me. Don’t get me wrong I love Australia, but I miss home a little bit.
With graduation being tomorrow it’s weird to think that a lot of my friends are graduating and will be doing ‘real life’ things, but I’m so proud of each and every one of them. I know they will make us all proud. It’s even more weird to think that in one year that will be me, but I don’t want to talk about that right now!
To say this school year has been a whirlwind would be an understatement. Last Fall was one of my hardest semesters. It was even more difficult knowing that Australia was just months away. After a brutally cold winter and experiencing a completely different side of recruitment for Greek life along came the almost two month wait before Australia. I thought I was going to lose my mind, but it came faster than I thought. Coming to Australia has by far been the best experience in my time at Butler.
I’m enjoying every moment I have here, but I can’t wait to go back to Butler. I can’t wait to see what will happen in my last and final year. Until then I’ll still be blogging while in Australia just so I can keep track of all the shenanigans I have been doing. However, the bloggers just like everyone else takes a break during the summer time so if you don’t see much from them anymore that’s why!
I would just like to thank everyone for such an amazing academic year whether back home or in Australia. It’s truly being an amazing year. To the seniors I already wrote something on my Facebook to you guys, but I’m so proud of all of you! Congrats! Also congrats to our senior blogger, Andre, I will miss your craziness and shenanigans! You are awesome!
When I was thinking of where to study abroad my first thoughts were obviously Europe. However, after thinking things through I wanted to go somewhere I have never been before. No, I have not been to every country in Europe yet, or even seen all the countries I would like to see in Europe, but I knew Europe would be an easy win. Not saying for those who went it’s not worth it. I just know that you can always find someone who wants to go to Europe. I wanted to think of place that no one in my family would really go to at least my parents wouldn’t go to. That left me with Australia. When looking at places I just figured Sydney would be the best bet, but I never really researched why. Now I can honestly say that I picked an amazing city.
I love my city back home. Living in Indianapolis is awesome, and it’s one of the cities that is definitely up and coming for new graduates. However, Sydney is awesome for so many different reasons. The main reason is that you can go an hour to two hours outside of the city and experience beaches, caves, and mountains, which is exactly what I did this past weekend. My boyfriend and I went to the Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves. It was insane to think that the amount of time it takes me to get to Cincinnati back home I was able to see caves and mountains all in that time.
The Three Sisters on the left at the Blue Mountains
The Jenolan Caves are so pretty. We took a tour through the ribbon cave, which they don’t show often because they can only take 8 people at a time in the cave. You never realize how beautiful some things are until you are right there and see it for yourself. The same is true for the Blue Mountains. I saw pictures from magazines and travel guides and saw how beautiful it was, but it’s completely different when you are standing there overlooking the entire area. While it was definitely a dumb idea for me to just wear shorts and a sweatshirt, it was still worth being cold just to see everything I saw.
Ribbon Cave of the Jenolan Caves!
So while I love Indy, I will miss Sydney. I will miss being able to go to the beach in under 30 minutes or seeing mountains and caves in under two hours. Looks like I’ll have to do more traveling in the states!
While mindlessly walking through Melbourne was a lot of fun I really wanted to see something that I have heard so much about and seen so many pictures of. So on my third day in Melbourne I went to see the Great Ocean Road and the Twelve Apostles or what is left of the Twelve Apostles. The Twelve Apostles is a group of limestone stacks that were formed by erosion. However, there are no longer twelve. Instead, there are now eight due to stacks falling.
Twelve Apostles. The rocks that are directly in the front were once large stacks, but have now fallen leaving only 8 of the 12 left!
Whether eight or twelve they are still amazing. All day I saw different viewpoints of the Twelve Apostles. With each view my pictures became more and more beautiful. I absolutely loved it. It was a bit windy on the day we went, but we lucked out. At the start of the day it looked like it was going to be a rainy day, but our tour guide assured us that it would all go away and that it would be sunny. He was right. By midday we had all sun!
In between viewpoints I did a lot of other things as well. One of the things I did was hold a King Parrot! Our tour guide had bird seeds so we fed the birds all around us. Two landed right on my arm to eat out of my hand! While others had birds flying all around them my bird decided to stay on my arm the whole time. I guess my new calling in life is to be a bird whisper. However, I will not be leaving Butler to pursue this goal. The crazy thing is that these birds on the black market go for $40000!
Decided to name the bird Larry, only to find out it was a girl… #awkward.
I loved Melbourne, but being able to get out of the city was just what I needed!
After visiting Cairns for a week I went to Melbourne for my last week of mid semester break. Melbourne was amazing and I’m pretty sure I like it more than Sydney. Sydney is all over the place. What I mean is that Melbourne is on a grid system so it is a lot easier to find streets whereas Sydney not so much. More than that Melbourne just seemed way more cultural than Sydney and I really enjoyed that.
Unlike Cairns my roommate and I didn’t have much planned, so we went with the flow for the most part and tried to look for things we were interested in. On the first day we went to St. Paul’s Cathedral and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. They were both gorgeous. St. Patrick’s is extremely big. The photos I have don’t give it justice in the how big it was. Each cathedral had such amazing history and background so it was really cool to see that in the middle of Melbourne.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
I also went to the Olympic park and saw the many different stadiums Melbourne has to offer. Melbourne is huge in sports so it kind of reminded me of Indianapolis! It’s insane to me how crazy cricket is here. They had a stadium larger than Lucas Oil for cricket! On the other side of things I also got to see a lot of art. In Melbourne there are two streets you can go to that are solely for graffiti artists. Some of the graffiti was a little creepy, but for the most part everywhere you looked there was something new to look at. I absolutely loved it.
Hosier Lane in Melbourne.
The maze of Melbourne is awesome. Every corner you turn there is something new to find. Some new pub or restaurant or store that can bring a whole new experience to you. My next blog I’ll share with you guys my day tour to the twelve apostles! I hope everyone back home is making it through finals!
While I stayed in Cairns one more day after this, Day 3 was my final day of touring places! On Day 3 I went to the Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation, and on a Crocodile river boat ride. However in the start of the morning we went to an animal habitat. Finally, I saw a joey in a pouch! It was the cutest thing ever. I also saw huge pelicans, which I didn’t know they could get that large! The habitat was really cool because it had animals that I haven’t seen at other animal places I have been to.
Large and in charge pelican!
After the habitat we made our way to the Daintree Rainforest. The Daintree is huge and so beautiful. There I learned a lot about the different plant species that are in the rainforest. My tour guide knew so much about the area so it was nice to hear more about it that I probably would have never known. No matter where you go in the Daintree it doesn’t matter because everything is gorgeous. While the Daintree was beautiful I obviously wanted to see Cape Tribulation!
Cape Tribulation is a beach where Captain Cooke landed. He called it Cape Tribulation because it is where he started to come across a lot of problems, so probably not the best name for a place. However, it is gorgeous there. The beach is absolutely amazing, and the day we went was so perfect. I couldn’t have asked for better weather.
After Cape Tribulation we then traveled to our final destination which was a river boat cruise back home to see some crocs. We didn’t see that many crocs but the ones we did see were scary! Our tour guide said that sometimes the crocodiles will get used to the boat coming around and will inch closer and closer. When that happens they move the crocodiles up the river so that they don’t potentially hurt someone! If it seems like I’m going through this quickly that is because our day went extremely fast! It seemed we just went from stop to stop to stop. However it was a great experience to see all these beautiful places.
After two weeks my mid semester break has come to an end. However, there is a lot I need to catch everyone up on, so for the next two weeks I will most likely be blogging every other day about my adventures since I didn’t have much wifi the whole time. Last time I wrote to you guys I had just come back from Cairns. This week I just finished seeing Melbourne, which is in southern Australia! However, there is still so much to share about Cairns!
On Day 2 of my tour adventures I went to the village of Karunda and rode on the Skyrail/Karunda Scenic Railway. On the railway I traveled through the World Heritage Rainforest. It was so amazing and gorgeous. The railway has a large history behind it and so while driving along the rainforest I learned a lot about the railway as well as the different villages that I went through. In Karunda I shopped a lot for souvenirs! Trying to cover everyone is going to be extremely difficult!
Just being a kid at the Karunda Railway Station.
I spent the majority of my day in Karunda. The best part was that I got to hold a KOALA! There are only certain places in Australia where holding a koala is ok. This is because these places need special licenses! My koala’s name was Fred and he was so soft. Going to Karunda just for that was well worth it. Besides koala’s I got to eat a German bratwurst so my life was made in Karunda. Don’t ask me how German bratwurst got to Australia…
Cuddle time with Fred the koala.
On the way home we used the Skyrail which is a cableway that takes you above the rainforest and shows amazing views. You can stop along the way to see different viewpoints of the Barron Falls! While Karunda did not top my experience in the reef it still was amazing to see everything in the rainforest from so many different perspectives! Next up I’ll let you guys know about my last adventure day in Cairns!
A look at Barron Falls from one of our viewpoints off the Skyrail.
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!
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.
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!