Wednesday, February 23, 2011

So...I actually have to study?

It's been awhile since my first post and I've been getting some nagging from home, so I'm here to fill you in on my classe and what I've been up to the last few weeks.

I had enrolment, registration, and orientation this past week. I was told before coming this process would be very easy and I would have lots of help-whoever told me that was completely wrong! After being shuffled from building to building and standing in infinite lines, I finally filled out my proposed classes form and learned how to fill out a timetable. I just needed to get my advisor's signature and I would be good to go. Unfortunately since my major of sociology is apparently very rare, my academic advisor decided to take the day off. After walking across campus multiple times and getting lost, I convinced a professor to sign off on my sheet. By the time I got this done, most of the times I wanted for classes were completely full so I had to do a bit of revising- and I still have not completely figured out my class schedule. International orientation was up next-it was interesting to say the least. I have never seen so many Asians in my life. Most of them just spoke their native languages to one another and ignored anyone else- but I got a free meal out of the day!

I am taking four classes this semester- 12 credit points. For each class I have one or two large lectures and a small group tutorial. The classes I am taking are: Intro to Social Science, Drugs Across Cultures, Intro to Linguistics, and Australia and Global Societies: An intro to sociology. My schedule ended up working out well. I have classes on Monday through Wednesday and Friday. Wednesday is Ranch Night ( college bar near by) so it works out well not having class on Thursday! (Sorry parents...)

I am still learning the Australian way and slowly but surely feeling more settled. To say I haven't missed everyone from home would be a lie, but I'm having a great time here and am so happy I decided to come. I received a letter from home at the beginning of this week and it reminded me of how much support I have back home.

I'm quickly learning that a job is highly necessary. I've completed my resume and have some connections through my flatmates at some local stores, so fingers crossed something works out! I joined the gym this week and realized I now have no excuse to be lazy! I paid enough for the membership so I might as well get something out of it!

Some Randoms:
- Australia has assigned seating at the movie theatre. When you receive your ticket, it gives you a seat...the people I went with thought it was strange that America didn't have this!

- Realized I need to change my spelling of some words- apparently most professors don't like seeing American spelling in papers

- My flatmates think its strange I eat sandwiches with peanut butter and jam on it- I told them it's the American way!

I'm going to try and do a better job of keeping you all informed- I've had a lot of nagging and hints dropped from Mom about updating my blog. I'll try and get some pictures up soon of my apartment and campus etc.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I finally have my Internet connected, so I can update all of you on my first 3 days in Australia. I happened to arrive on the hottest day Sydney has had since 2004. 108 degrees. When I left home it was about 5 degrees and covered in snow- so it was quite a shock when I stepped off the plane in jeans and a sweatshirt! After getting through security I went to get my bags- all 4 of them. It was quite a workout getting all of my suitcases off the luggage carousel. When I walked out of international arrivals, Tawnya was there to greet me- and take a picture of all my bags. After a quick change into cooler clothes, we got a taxi and found our way to check into my apartment. We found the apartment, showered, and then headed off to get some things for my room. Hopefully I can remember what all we did the rest of the weekend- Tawnya kept me very busy!

The rest of Saturday was spent walking (a lot) and seeing the sights of Sydney. The Opera House and Harbor Bridge looked amazing lit up during the night. We found a restaurant and had some wine and pizza- Yes I can finally legally drink! But after about half a glass I was exhausted and nearly fell asleep at the dinner table.

On Sunday we headed back into the city to go para sailing. A train and ferry ride later, we found out we needed a reservation. So we decided to make the best of the day and go to beach near Manly. After soaking up some sun and getting into the refreshing water, we ate lunch and had drinks at the Manly Wharf Hotel. For dinner we met up with some of Tawnya's friends. I had a great time hearing about all of her world travels! Unfortunately my jet lag caught up with me again and I barely made it through dinner.

Monday we headed back to Manly to go para sailing. Tawnya and I have had this plan since we went to Mexico in 2006- para sailing over Sydney was much better than para sailing anywhere in the Midwest! We forgot to tell them that we didn't want to get wet, so we got soaked and nearly fell out of our harnesses when we hit heads. That night Tawnya flew back to Melbourne and I was left to go grocery shopping and find my way back to my apartment (quite a feat with my directional sense) Grocery shopping was quite an adventure as I didn't know where anything was or what type of foods they had. No worries- I found what I needed and took the right bus back to my apartment.

Things I've learned since arriving:

-Public transportation is an essential- I really need to figure out all the different stops!
-Sydney has 4 seasons in one day. The weather changes very quickly here so I now always carry an umbrella
-Ketchup is called tomato sauce- and tomato is not pronounced how we say it
-At crosswalks, I now need to really look in both directions because I always forget which way the cars are going to be coming
-Grape jam or jelly does not exist

Up next- Orientation week and classes!