Sorry for the lack of blogs on here, the Wi-Fi In Australia was lacking, let alone my apartment complex. I could barely access my email from my bedroom! Yet with that being said, I am back to update you on my travels through this amazing place!
As I had previously shared in my last blog post, the first couple weeks were drastically tough for me. Not only was I in a new country, surrounded by a whole new culture, yet I was completely alone. I had all sorts of feelings taking over my body. From fear to excitement, determination, to uncertainty. Every emotion possible succumbed my entire being. All feelings aside, I finally had to come to terms with the fact that this was my life for the next four months and it was time to get adjusted.
As one may assume, when you go abroad it’s all traveling, sight-seeing and meeting new people. That is wrong. The whole reason we go abroad is to attend a University. I had the pleasure of having about a week to let my feelings go crazy, get my sleeping and eating habits down, and get situated in my new life before classes would begin. As an American student, I simply expected loads and loads of assignments, quizzes, and exams.
Upon my first week of classes at the University of Technology in Sydney, I was pleasantly surprised that this is just not how the university is on this side of the world. Looking through the syllabus, and after my introductory classes I learned quickly that lectures were not mandatory, there was no homework; only self-induced reading, there were mid-terms and finals, and lastly that only a range of three to six assignments was graded for the total final grade. With that, if one of the few assignments is done poorly, the overall grade will plummet.
Despite the minimal graded assignments, and the fast ability to go from a high distinction to a failure, I appreciated the structure of the education here. With more individual responsibility, comes more success.
After four introductory classes, and reading through syllabus after syllabus I was confident I was ready to take on the new education system being handed to me. This structure allowed me to not only learn more as a student but gave me the ability to explore the wonderful city I was going to be living in for the next four months.
Koality time with Liz!
As I had mentioned, I lived in a house with seven other students, all of which I have nothing but positive things to say. My roommate Liz and I attended a Koala breakfast at the Wild Life Zoo in Darlington Harbor with a small group of other international students.
We had the chance to navigate through the zoo for about an hour, and then enjoy an Australian breakfast right in the Koala cage. Immediately after our breakfast, we got to get up close and personal with all of the koalas and take pictures which them. How cool! I’m so used to visiting zoos only to see goats and horses, but now I was standing only centimeters away from a koala!
The zoo provided us with pictures to take back home, which I have hung on my wall! I will say walking through a zoo in a country that is known to have the world’s most dangerous animals is quite an experience. From the spiders, snakes, birds, and to the largest crocodiles. Each one of these species can simply kill an individual in a matter of seconds. Yet to see them all with my own eyes and not on the television screen was quite a feeling.
Never in my life did I think I would be anywhere where this many animals could be surrounding me and at any moment be of a danger to me, yet here I am, spending almost half a year doing just that!