So much to say..
First off, hey guys and welcome to my blog! I’ll be sure to post here just about every Monday and Thursday (yes I know it’s Tuesday).
I would first off like to thank www.gostudyinaustralia.org and their blog http://gostudyinaustralia.wordpress.com for giving me not only the idea but the opportunity of blogging for all of you to see what my experiences are bringing me in Australia!
Now straight to the juice I’ll try to sum up what these past few weeks have been like. The first week was pretty awesome, I mean, I’M IN AUSTRALIA was the only thing on my mind really. My buddy Karl picked me up from the airport and showed me around until I crashed at his place for the night. After that I proceeded to move into my room in Roberts Hall, which is satisfactory for a dorm room i suppose! I met a whole lot of people, surprisingly a lot of Americans on exchange and nothing less than a hall full of Australians for me to meet! Essentially it was orientation week at first so there were some boring moments yet many more fun ones such as the Monash Dash, which was a spoof of the Amazing Race within Monash. That helped me know the campus!
I became familiar with the way things are done and the slightly different more active lifestyle over here in Australia. I attempted to join some clubs but didn’t bring any cash with me so I failed a little over there, but I did manage to get a lot of free food the first two weeks, which was really sweet because everything here is just about twice the price!
I found out what the local bars were and what nights people go out to them, such as Tuesday is Cheers and Thursday is the Nott. I was pretty happy to notice while going out that I actually knew more people than I thought I did! Unfortunately I’ve found out what Goon is; cheap wine sold in a box (with an aluminium bag inside) that these people claim as their National Drink. I hope it isn’t.
That sums up the first half of the month of july, now for the second. Classes started up on Monday the 25th and it was the typical drill of first week classes. Teachers pretty much read out the course outlines and told us how we were going to be graded, essentially not much teaching was done for the first half of the classes, but my classes do seem pretty awesome. If you’d like to know, I’m actually taking 5 (which is 1 more than the full load here at Monash, but 5 is standard in Canada) classes and they are the following: Australian Idol, Italian Studies 4, The Criminal Mind, Victimology, Addiction Studies. All of those are really sweet classes and I look forward to learning what they have to offer.. although I did already read the book assigned to my Criminal Mind class 🙂
Week two of classes; Green Week, which is sometimes considered the beer olympics. It’s a week where people rally up into teams to see how many points they can get in the various activities. Luckily for both me and you, I didn’t participate. Instead I had planned months before leaving that the second week would be a GREAT time to visit New Zealand as it was VERY unlikely that I’d have any homework or exams due this early into the semester. So how about I tell you all about how that went.
So, while my peers were participating in Green Week, I managed to make a week of Awesomeness out of it instead. I landed my first morning in Wellington. I spent the day alone wandering the city, marveling about the beauty of the city. Luckily, while looking for a hostel I ran into a kind woman who drove me to the summit of the closest mountain so I could get a spectacular view of the city. After that I visited the world famous Te Papa museum which was just mind blowing, so informative and beautiful I spent the majority of my day there. At night, my mate Sunny showed up and we had a few beers before calling it an early night.
DAY 2 NZ; We got up early enough to probably aggravate our hostel-mates but we didn’t have a choice, ferry at 8 am was not something we could afford missing. We rushed out, got some Mc Donalds and caught the ferry in time to enjoy our McMuffins aboard. Apart from our first taste of the country’s beautiful scenery on the ferry, we landed in Picton only to be greeted at the door by our car rental company. After figuring out logistics and switching our car to the Nissan Sunny (you can figure why SUNNY and I chose to opt for that car) we hit the road for Abel Tasman. A couple of hours and New Zealand meat pies later we landed in Motuega, the closest city to Abel Tasman National Park to book our excursions for the following two days. We had a little bit of wine and called it a night sleeping in the car
DAY 3 NZ; Un REAL. Abel Tasman was just crazy. Luckily for us the guy on the phone accidentally told us to show up an hour earlier than we needed, which got us some really sweet sunrise pictures and up close pictures of the secluded beach and birds in the morning before human life decided to show up. We jumped on the sea shuttle, unable to describe the scenery, backdrop of mountains, giant rocks. Everything one can ask for on a vacation. We encountered some seals before being dropped off at Bark Bay where the hike began. We walked a couple of hours, at a very good pace making really good time even while stopping at every possible detour sign just to see what it may show us. Making it to Torrent Bay two hours ahead of time, we decided to hang out, eat some food and I took a swim in my very first Tidal Beach. After that we walked to Anchorage, taking the scenic route rather than the shortcut (due to low tide you can cut through what would be 3 METERS of water a few hours later) and ending up at the remarkable Cleopatra’s Pool. We ended up at Anchorage half an hour early according to what the same guy at the start of this story told us (we got there at 4:15 he said pick up was at 4:45) and found out we were actually 30 minutes late! Luckily while leaving they say us, turned around and picked us up. After the awkward ride back we got into the car and I drove the 6.5 hours to the town of Franz Josef.
I rambled a little bit over here and I know you guys want to know about Australia! I don’t want to make this post too huge so I’ll finish the New Zealand trip in my next post (Thursday) and after that it will be all Australia.
New Zealand Rocks ———>