Study Abroad - Australia

 O-Week at RMIT Village

Posted on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 @ 01:01 PM

by Alxyis Flaggs

OchellaNow that I am all settled into RMIT Village, it’s great! My roommate finally came, and she’s super cool. Her name is Chelsea and she goes to Rutgers in New Jersey. I was hoping to have a foreign roommate, but she’s great and we have so much in common!

I also started to decorate my side of the room, which makes it a lot cozier now. I definitely advise anyone studying aboard to pack pictures of your friends and family, it makes you feel more at home…if that’s possible.

Any who, this week will kick off O-Week at RMIT Village, which is just a cool name for orientation week.  This year’s theme is "Coachella" so that should be pretty fun. It’s so funny how an American festival is a party theme all the way across the world in Australia. So pretty much O-week consists of five days of events to kick of the school year before classes start.

Ochella_1

Monday’s was the “Welcome Party BBQ” and then there was “Gender Bender Speed Dating”. I’m not the most outgoing person but I feel that Australia just brings me out of my comfort zone, which I am slowly starting to accept.

The “Gender Bender Speed Dating” consisted of the girls dressing up as guys and the other way around for guys, and then you just talk for a little. Just like speed dating but as the opposite sex, this definitely took me out of my comfort zone, but I really enjoyed it and had a great time! I can’t wait to see what this week has in store with all the different events and I can’t to meet more people!

Tags: study abroad, orientation, Australia, Melbourne, LIM College student, RMIT Village

Learning to Surf

Posted on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 @ 11:26 AM

by Nicole Porras

Nicole_Alyxis_Surfing-1Learning to surf was probably one of the coolest, most fun things I have ever done in my life. Before coming to Australia I knew that surfing was something I had to learn to do while I was here because, not only would it make for an awesome story, but it is a country known for its surf culture.

Back at home a lot of people advised me to think twice about this idea because of the dangerous waters of Australia (sharks, jellyfish, stingrays, etc.) However, I am so glad that I did decide to do it despite my fears of what may lurk in the water.

First, Alyxis and I signed up for the “Learn to Surf” trip through RMIT Link, a program through RMIT University that sets up various discounted trips for students. We went to Anglesea Beach, which is very close to the Great Ocean Road, where we met our surf instructors.

Nicole_SurfThey taught us some safety tips, and how to properly get up on a surf board. Within minutes, we were in the water with the instructors trying to catch some waves. It took many, many tries but I finally stood up on the board and felt what it was like to surf. The water was nice and warm and the waves weren’t too big or too scary. It also made me feel safe that we all relatively stayed within the same area of the water, especially since it was my first time surfing.

After surfing we all sat around and had lunch and enjoyed the beautiful scenery around us. It was definitely a day that I will never forget. I am officially addicted to surfing now. I can’t wait to go again and practice some more. I already told my parents that I wanted to buy my own surf board when I got back home as well, HAHA!

Tags: study abroad, Australia, LIM College student, Surfing

Aussie Phrases/Words/Lingo

Posted on Thu, Jun 18, 2015 @ 06:23 PM

by Nicole Porras

CrispsAustralia, is a country known for shortening almost all of their words and for using phrases that pretty much only make sense to Aussie’s. I am almost halfway done with my trip, and I have already encountered so many phrases and words that I was not use to prior to coming to Australia.

Below I have listed a couple of Aussie phrases that I have already encountered while studying abroad and how they translate to us Americans. 

How ya' goin? = How are you? 

G’day = Hello 

Mates = Friends

Thong_cake

Good on ya' = Good job or good for you

Fortnight = 14 days, or 2 weeks

Capsicum = Peppers

Coriander = Cilantro

Avo = Avocado 

Arvo = Afternoon

Woop-woop = middle of no where

Thongs = Flip-Flops

The boot = The trunk of the car

I’m pissed = I’m drunk

Brekkie = Breakfast

Tea = sometimes used to refer to dinner time 

Biscuits

Chips = French Fries

Rubbish bin = Garbage Can

Biscuits = Cookies

Crisps = Chips

Measly = Granola

Keen = Excited

Cheers = Thank you

No worries = You're welcome

Heaps = Tons or a lot

Do ya' reckon? = Do you think?

Chips

I’m sure there are so many more that I can’t think of at the moment, but some good advice if you are planning to study abroad in Australia would be to go on YouTube, and on the internet and start familiarizing yourself with the Aussie lingo. That’s what I did prior to coming here, and it really helped prepare me for all the new terms and words. I hope to go back to America using some of the awesome new words and phrases I’ve learned since I’ve been here. I love Aussie English! 

Tags: study abroad, Australia, RMIT, Melbourne, lingo

Finally! RMIT Village and Meeting with the Girls

Posted on Thu, Jun 18, 2015 @ 05:34 PM

by Alyxis Flaggs

australia-672578_640The day has finally come…the day I move out of Yarra House! I thought this day would never come!

As an LIM student studying abroad in Melbourne, Australia I will be moving into RMIT Village where Ali and Nicole (other LIM students) have already arrived. I am definitely excited to move into RMIT Village and it’s a lot closer to Uni so now I can get a few extra minutes to sleep in, and it’s a lot closer to the city! 

My friend from Yarra House is helping me move all of my belongings to the village, which is great because I definitely would not be able to carry all of this by myself. At the dorm it was slightly sad to see everyone and his or her parents moving in all of their stuff. It definitely made me miss my parents, but I got over it soon enough and had to drag all of my luggage on the cobblestone path through the courtyard.

Now that I have gotten my room key and my paperwork, I am off to level two, room 226. By this point I am exhausted and was ready to meet my roommate…but unfortunately she had not arrived yet. Which is kind of a good thing as well, because now I can pick what side I want. The first thing to do though was to put the fan together since there is no air conditioning system and it’s Australia in the summer!

I was placed into a two bedroom studio that has a balcony, and there’s pretty much everything in the room. There’s a TV, microwave, refrigerator, stove top and of course a bathroom. 

Although the room is pretty small, it’s still nice that everything is in here. Since I did the study abroad package they also give me pretty much everything one would need, such as linens, cooking utensils, pots and pans, a trashcan and even a toaster! I am excited that I won’t have to buy any of that stuff. Now that I’ve somewhat unpacked I am off to the grocery store so I can finally get some food that I can cook, since I didn't have any cooking utensils before.

Later that day…

I’ve completed all of my errands and I’m ready to catch up with the girls! And, surprisingly, Nicole and I are next-door neighbors and Ali is three levels above us in a massive triple. It’s so nice to see some familiar faces around, and to talk to some Americans! Everyone seems pretty nice here. I’m happy to see how things will go here!

Well, we are off to dinner. I’ll keep you updated on next week’s adventure.

Tags: study abroad, Australia, RMIT, Melbourne, LIM College student, RMIT Village

LIM College Students Abroad: Day Trips from RMIT

Posted on Wed, Jun 10, 2015 @ 03:18 PM

by Alyxis Flaggs

RMIT_trip

RMIT University sponsors various trips and activities that are typically on the weekends and can last the whole day. So I have signed up for three trips so far, and absolutely loved the first one. During the trips you are able to get a guided tour of many different sites throughout Victoria for a great price, in addition to meeting other international and local students.

So far I have gone to Mornington Peninsula, Grampian National Park and Torquay. Another thing about these trips is that you don’t just go to that one particular place. You make stops along the way, and so you are able to utilize the whole time.

RMIT_Trip_3

My first trip was to the hot springs in Mornington Peninsula. To our surprise we went to four different places in total.

The first stop was Arthur Seat, a beautiful hiking trail that overlooked Port Phillip where we had morning tea. After Arthur’s Seat we went to Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm, and snacked on the freshest strawberries possible and walked around the farm.

Up next, was Cape Schanck, which was absolutely breathtaking. The pictures don’t even show how beautiful and serene it really is. The water was so beautiful and the rock formations so detailed and exquisite. I literally could spend everyday there because it was that peaceful and superb.

After that we headed back on the bus and stopped at a park to eat lunch. I can’t recall the name of the park, but we had salad rolls and chips, which are very similar to American subs. Now we were off to the last stop of the day, which was the hot springs.

I was under the impression that it was a natural hot spring that would be in the middle of nowhere in some forest or something. Well, it was the complete opposite. It was actually a spa. Although it wasn’t your typical spa, since the water was supposed to have all of these important minerals in it. There were these little pools similar to Jacuzzis, which were spread out outside. Although the hot springs were a bit of a disappointment, I still really enjoyed the trip and I can’t wait until the next one.

RMIT_Trip_2

 

 

Tags: study abroad, field trips, Australia, RMIT, Melbourne

LIM College Students Abroad: Taking classes at RMIT

Posted on Tue, Jun 09, 2015 @ 02:24 PM

by Nicole Porras

RMIT_Building_dayGoing from LIM College to RMIT University was definitely a big change. At LIM, the classes have about 20-25 people and at RMIT I have lectures with over 300 people in them.

Although it’s different from what I am used to, I love it. At RMIT University I have met people from all over Australia and even the world. Each of them studying different things such as Engineering or Professional Communications.

While I'm here in Australia I am taking three marketing electives and a Market Research course. In all I am taking: Foundations of Public Relations, Service Quality, Intro to Advertising and Market Research.

As we signed up for classes one thing I found different than back home was that you have to enroll in both a lecture and a tutorial for each class. The lectures are usually 1-2 hours depending on the course, and tutorials are also 1-2 hours depending on the course.

I was so nervous on the first day of my Service Quality Lectorial (A class that combines the Lecture and Tutorial in one.) because as soon as we started, the professor began to talk about different service businesses in Australia that I was not familiar with. Then he began asking random students questions about these businesses. The last thing I wanted was to have to say “Sorry, I’m American. I don’t know what that is.”

So I kept googling every company he mentioned in the class. It was a funny experience looking back at it now, and as time went on I definitely felt more comfortable in each of my classes. Also I’m learning a lot about different businesses native to Australia.

The professors ask that you call them by their first names, which I find very hard to do because I am so use to calling professors by their last name. Uni is definitely an adventure all on its own, but the work load definitely feels doable to me. We don't get homework assignments every class, but there are assigned readings. The only grades or “marks” as they say here, are the group projects and the exams. So, in each of my classes there are just those two big grades for the whole semester.

It's a nice feeling to be a part of the RMIT University community. It’s such a large, fun group that embraces creativity. I am so grateful to be able to experience something so different than what I am used to back at home.

Tags: study abroad, international LIM College student, Australia, RMIT, Melbourne, classes

LIM College Students Abroad: Werribee Free Range Zoo

Posted on Thu, May 28, 2015 @ 01:14 PM

by Nicole Porras

Werribe_Nicole_300While spending a semester abroad at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia, some friends and I decided to go to Werribee Zoo, which was unlike anything I have ever experienced before. My friends (from LIM College and elsewhere) and I have the spirit of 10-year-old girls so we were pretty excited to experience Werribee, which is known for its African theme and animals.

We had to take public transport to Werribee South (where the zoo is located) and it took about an hour of traveling to arrive at our destination. The first thing we did when we got there was hop on the Safari Bus Tour and needless to say, I felt like Eliza Thornberry. We saw so many beautiful animals including giraffes, rhinos, hippos, antelope and more. It was truly such a great experience.

Weribee_Rhinos

Throughout the bus tour, there was an Australian tour guide telling us the history and facts about all of the animals. I remember passing this lonely ostrich and the tour guide told us that the ostrich was on a timeout because he loved to chase tour buses. I thought that was really funny. The weather was perfectly sunny, and it felt refreshingly new to enjoy so much natural beauty.

I think what really moved me the most was the fact that the animals looked so happy and healthy. The animals had so much space to roam and live freely, which really made me appreciate this zoo even more. It was an amazing feeling to be so close to these large, precious animals. It reminded me that there is so much to see in the world, and it reminded me that there is so much beauty all over the world.

It really made me want to go to Africa and other countries that I haven’t seen yet. There is so much to see and do, and I hope to experience more not only here in Australia, but in other countries around the world as well. Life is good my friends!

           

Tags: studying abroad, Australia, RMIT, Melbourne

Staying at Yarra House Before Heading to RMIT

Posted on Thu, May 21, 2015 @ 02:50 PM

by Alyxis Flaggs

Yarra_snakeWhen I first got to Australia I was staying at Yarra House while waiting to move to RMIT Village because the dorms were undergoing renovations. So where do I begin with Yarra House… the snakes or the long walks to the bus stop?

Well, Yarra House is student accommodation that is in Fairfield, a suburb outside of the city. The overall atmosphere of the accommodation is great. Everyone is so friendly and accepting. Yet on the other hand, it seems so far from civilization, especially coming from New York. 

Unfortunately though, there's nothing to do that is remotely close and doesn’t require walking AND waiting for the bus, which is rather slow. One day the bus was 20 minutes late, and it doesn’t even run on the weekends.

Yarra_Peacock2

The building is pretty old and has one lift that you can't use unless you have a key. Of course I was living on the third floor…so I guess I got a good workout while I was there. 

There was also A LOT of wildlife around since the grounds are surrounded by a nature trail, which is slightly frightening. I kept seeing this peacock over and over again that tended to make an appearance as soon as the sun began to set. Oh yeah…and one time as I walking back to Yarra I could hear a snake, which could’ve easily killed me with its poisonous venom.

Needless to say, I could not wait until I moved to the Village!

Tags: studying abroad, Australia, Melbourne, wildlife, Yarra House

White Night Melbourne

Posted on Thu, May 21, 2015 @ 12:45 PM

by Nicole Porras

White_Night_Melbourne_1aWhite Night Melbourne recently took place and ran from dusk until dawn, 7 pm to 7 am. It was a night to celebrate food, art, music, and most importantly, LIGHT!

A couple of friends and I walked into the “city” of Melbourne since the trams weren’t running due to the anticipated crowds. They were right to do so because there were in fact tons of people, food trucks, and street performers.

However, the most prominent of all things happening during this event was of course the light and illumination displays. I already knew that Melbourne was a place known for its art and culture, but after seeing the intricate light shows displayed on buildings across the city, I was absolutely blown away.

It must have taken a lot of time and talent to create these displays. It was as if someone had painted murals on the buildings. The art was so realistic and intricate. On some buildings there were even light shows displaying pieces of work with inspirations from stories such as Alice in Wonderland, and Little Red Riding Hood.

My friends and I journeyed through the streets of Melbourne while enjoying some chips (french fries) and wandered down to the banks of the Yarra River where there were live musical performances. The city was filled with lights and music and I truly felt like I was at home as I overlooked my new skyline in the warm summer air.

White_Night_Melbourne_2-300
White_Night_Melbourne_3_300

Tags: study abroad, international LIM College student, Australia, RMIT, White Night Mebourne

Classes at RMIT

Posted on Tue, May 19, 2015 @ 03:28 PM

by Alyxis Flaggs

RMIT_BuildingSince RMIT has a Fashion and Textile Merchandising major it was very clear-cut and easy when deciding classes, although I could have taken liberal art courses that do not necessarily pertain to fashion. Yet, I decided to take the same classes that I would take at LIM. I am currently enrolled in Business Finance, Business Ethics, Global Fashion Marketing, and Product Ranging.

The Fashion Merchandising program is considered a two-degree major and it’s located at the Brunswick campus, which is where all of the art courses are. Therefore my Global Fashion Marketing and Product Ranging courses started earlier and are at a different campus than my business courses. My fashion courses consist of about 30 people per class, and resemble LIM courses in a way, except there aren’t that many assignments.

For my Product Ranging class, which is equivalent to Product Development, there is a lecture and a tutorial. The lecture is an hour where the professor typically goes over a PowerPoint and then in the tutorial we implement what we learned into a project, which we work on for about three weeks. The lecture has approximately 60 students and we break into two separate classes for the tutorial so we can get more one-on-one attention. My Global Fashion Marketing course, which is equivalent to Global Markets is a three-hour class and is very similar to LIM. Every week there are readings and quizzes on the blackboard. 

On the other hand, there are my business courses. So far I really enjoy ethics. This class is three hours as well, but it never lasts for that long. In ethics we discuss the different theories and discuss amongst ourselves what we would do if we were in certain scenarios. Since this class is at night there are only about 15 people in the whole class, which is great because everyone feels a lot more comfortable and participates more.  

Lastly there is my Business Finance course, which is definitely my hardest course. It consists of a lecture that is an hour long and there are about over 100 students. It is extremely easy to get distracted by all the people in the class.

I noticed that throughout all of my classes the attendance varies. Sometimes the class would be completely full and then the next week half of the class will be missing. So overall the classes are very relaxed and they meet once a week.

Students refer to the professor by their first name, and attendance isn’t very important. I do regret taking Finance, because it is extremely challenging. Especially being in another country, there are so many distractions that sometimes I tend to forget that I am actually in Australia to go to Uni (the Australian word for College), but for the most part the workload is very similar and even lighter than LIM’s.

P.S… It’s kind of hard to get a picture of a class without looking like a creeper. So above is a picture I took walking back from Finance.

Tags: business classes, Australia, fashion classes, RMIT, Melbourne, classes

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