So I’ve now been in Australia for over a month!! It sounds insane to say that i’m already 1/12 of my way through my year abroad so here’s a little overview of what I’ve done so far…
- Been to the beach MANY times. Now this might not sound like something impressive enough to add to my list of activities on my year abroad, but it’s quite significant in my life. Those who know me well can confirm – usually, I HATE beaches, with a passion – but seeing as studying abroad is all about new experiences, I decided to put the differences that beaches and I have aside and try to enjoy every single part of my year abroad. Granted, it is winter out here right now so I haven’t been on a beach in 30+ degree heat, but I’m slowlllllly transitioning into not hating them – study abroad 1 : Emily’s random hatred of beaches 0.
- Started classes. As Australia has a strange (but actually quite logical if you think about it) school year, my classes started on 23rd July, and yes, you have to call them classes as if you say modules then it confuses the hell out of everyone. My lectures and ‘tutes’ (coz Aussies have to abbreviate everything) are going really well, and it’s a completely new experience as the forms of assessment are so different to how they are at home. One of my assignments that was worth 25% of my grade was to go on a ‘treasure hunt’ around the State Library of South Australia, taking the tour of the library and researching the local history through parliamentary papers and old newspaper reels – I know this sounds super boring, but as a certified history nerd who knows very little about Australian history, I had an absolute field day!!!
- Skyped my friend. (I do have more than one friend, but I’ve only skyped one of them!) This was difficult to arrange due to the 8.5 hour time difference, which you get VERY good at mentally calculating much faster than you’d think, but was so worth the effort even for an hour long chat. I can’t emphasise enough how important talking to people at home is, as it can make you feel better about anything – and it’s still great to catch up even if you don’t need cheering up as you’re having an awesome time abroad!
- Enjoyed the fact that the wildlife isn’t just pigeons. I have nothing against pigeons, but they are a bit boring compared to all the amazing wildlife you have on your doorstep in Australia. Even on my walk to class (through the literal forest in the middle of campus) you can see so many fancy birds in every colour of the rainbow. Koalas also hang out in the trees, though you have to be up super early to see these so thank you 8am gym class.
- Started exploring. Whilst it’s important to remember that you are here to study and experience life at a foreign university, it’s too special an experience not to make the most of it. Australia is a massive country so there is so much to explore, and when one flight takes an entire day of travelling (and a week of jetlag) and costs hundreds of dollars/pounds, it would be a wasted opportunity if I didn’t explore as it’s not a trip you can make all the time! My first trip is to Melbourne which is the closest big city to Adelaide – its only 726.9km away – which I’m really excited about as all my Aussie friends have told me that no two places in Australia are that similar as they’re all so far away from each other. After that I’m going to Kangaroo Island which is going to be insane – both these trips are happening in September so I shall update you all on them then, but for now I am back to my tutorial readings!