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!
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!
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!
Recently I got an email about registering for fall classes, and I almost cried. In the fall I will finally be a senior. It is so strange that when you start school in kindergarten you think high school is so far you don’t even think you’ll make it. Now it is strange to think that within a year I will be graduating from college. Not only that but a university that has given me more than I could have ever thought of.
One awesome thing though is that I thought going abroad would force me to take 18 credit hour semesters for senior year. After looking things over I only have to do 15 credit hour semesters, which is so relieving. While I am looking forward to the future in my career it’s still hard to think that the coming year will be my last at Butler. When I look back at everything I’ve done it’s crazy to think that it’s almost over. As a freshman everyone always told me that these four years would be the best of my life, but they would go quickly. They were right.
Next year I will be finishing up my degree in Strategic Communication with a focus in Public Relations, and hopefully will be receiving a minor in Media, Rhetoric, and Culture (I’m only three classes away!). However, Butler has been much more to me so far than receiving a degree. It has allowed me to meet an amazing group of women in my sorority, Pi Beta Phi. It has shown me a community of care through all the amazing people that attend Butler and work at Butler. Not only that it has taught me skills through the many organization I am involved with.
While it may be time to register for my final year at Butler it is not time to stop having fun. Obviously, I’m in Australia! Until graduation day comes I will be enjoying everyday I possibly can as a student at Butler.
Also I know it’s getting a little warmer back home, so here’s a song to get you pumped for the summer!
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!