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Study Abroad - Australia

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Surfers Paradise = My Paradise

  
  
  
  

This past weekend was amazing. Some friends and I went to the Gold Coast. We decided to stay in Surfers Paradise. I can not even begin to express how beautiful this place is. Also, we barely spent any money for travel and accommodations. The weather was beautiful, the people were beautiful, and life was beautiful.

Surfers Paradise is very popular for its night clubs and theme parks. We all went to a really cool club called Vanity. Well, the club really is not that cool, but the restroom is phenomenal. There are multiple rooms in the restroom. There are women in there to do your make up and there is even a computer! It was truly an experience.
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Every day I woke up and went straight to the beach. I've never seen sand so white and water so blue. We also did some surfing. The fish and chips were amazing too! It was amazing to be out of the city and enjoying the Australia that I thought I was coming too. I wish we were doing our studies in Surfers! Also, the world is so small. Rita had a friend from Canada who lives in Surfers.

Who would think that you would be so far away and meet up with someone from home? The day I meet someone from Jonesboro, GA here I will die. Hahahaha. It really was a lovely trip and I am so glad that we went.

Once we returned to Melbourne it was cold and rainy! Booooooo! No worries though, because we are off to Sydney next weekend. It is still a little cold up there, but it is warmer than it is here.

Egypt in Australia

  
  
  
  

Well this past week we had our fall break. (It is so very weird to repeat fall over again in one school year!) I hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather in the States, as it gets pretty cold here. It is sad when you think 57 degrees is cold! Ha! That is nothing back home. For some odd reason though, it feels terribly cold here!
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Three of the other LIM College girls went on a trip of the east coast of Australia. Hopefully, when they return in the next couple of days they will have plenty of photos to share. I kept myself occupied in Melbourne during the break. I had a great time. It was amazing to take a break from class. (I returned today.) The break dates were pretty different than what I am used to. We started the break on a Thursday and returned to school on a Thursday. So the break was right in the middle of a week. Very different I say!

While I was here I had an amazing Italian night here in the dorms! Benedetta is an Italian friend that I met here in Melbourne and she had a pasta night. She invited other Italians that she has met here in Melbourne. Though I didn't understand most of the things they were speaking of, it was an amazing experience. The pasta was soooooo good. I almost died from happiness. Also, everyone was so nice and fun. Italians have a very keen sense of humor. I was laughing the entire time!

Yesterday I went with a group of friends to the King Tutankhamun exhibit here in Melbourne. It was truly magical. I'm a huge fan of ancient Egypt and it was such a pleasure to see all the artifacts. Everything was so beautiful. So much craftsmanship. Every piece seems to have its own personal powerful story to tell....

Well, next week has great things in store! GOLD COAST! We will be at Surfers Paradise!

Heaven and Hell

  
  
  
  

Oh man, was the week filled with heaven and hell!
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Well, I had three mid-terms this week. They were not too hard, but they were not the easiest mid-term exams I have ever taken. I got a B on my Marketing Research exam and I am waiting for my other results. Cross your fingers for me! There was also some horrible weather this week. I have never seen rain like this in my life. It was truly out of control. Also it was a little scary, but I survived as you can see!

The week was not just filled with unhappy things. RMIT Village had a mid-semester party. The theme was heaven and hell. So there you go.. the party was my heaven. All I had to do was walk to the downstairs courtyard and have a great time. Check out the photo! The other LIM College girls and a Canadian friend we made are in the photo. I was the only angel in group. I think that fits me very well. We had such a great time. It was nice to just let down my hair and enjoy the evening. School can sometimes take a lot out of you!

I have just a couple more days and it will be a week off from school. I'm very excited. The other three LIM College girls will be going on a big trip. I'm staying behind and relaxing. There is a huge surfing competition this week so I might go to that. I think I truly just want to take the week to enjoy some me time and relax. As soon as they return Rita and I are taking a trip to the Gold Coast. I'm soooo excited about that. Finally some warm weather!

I am missing home, but I do not have long here. I know when I do leave here it is going to be so sad. Endings are always hard to deal with. This has truly been an experience that I will never forget. I have made some amazing friends and discovered so much. There is only more to see! 

No Worries Mate!

  
  
  
  

Time is moving so fast here. I can not believe that I am already on my ninth week. So many things have changed for me, but I do not believe I will truly notice the change in me until I return to the States.
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This past week I went on a major detox. Just water, coffee, fruits, veggies, and green tea. I feel totally and completely rejuvenated. Sometimes being a student can really catch up with you! No more late night Mac attacks! It also helps that here in Australia it is illegal to put additives into food. My body is actually able to truly release itself from the toxins.

I've discovered that not only have I released physical toxins, but also behavioral ones. Before coming here I was a worrier of all worries. Everything was something that I needed to over-think. I always had to worry about the negative of a situation. The main thing that Aussies teach you is " No Worries Mate!" Now, that does not mean not to care, but just to understand that you can not control everything. Also, that even if something bad happens you will survive it. If you don't survive? Well mate, it was meant to happen that way! I love it... I feel free from all the unnecessary stress I had once put on myself. I'm truly loving my Aussie life!

Great plans coming soon! We have booked trips to the Gold Coast and Sydney, one right after the other. There will surely be LOTS of pictures and much to share. It's currently getting cold here in Melbourne, but don't worry, up north is lovely and warm. Beautiful clean beaches filled with great Aussie people!

A Birthday in Melbourne, Then Sydney in May

  
  
  
  

Well, this week was cold and fun here in Melbourne. I never imagined that I would be in Australia and need my mother to send my boots! (Thank you so much Mom for sending them. They are being put to great use.) It is officially fall here. Time even changed! Thank the heavens for an extra hour of sleep!

We booked Sydney this week! We were able to get a round trip for $75! Pretty amazing! I'm way too excited. The trip is in May so stay tuned for the photos. There are so many things to see in Sydney. I'm currently waiting on a reply from my mom about Fiji! Going to Fiji would top this amazing experience off perfectly. It would be amazing to escape the cold weather and lie on the beach once again!

Also this week was Jen's birthday! We had such a great time. She is so lucky to have her birthday here. Her birthday was celebrated for the entire weekend. On Friday we had Mexican food. It was very delicious! Then on Saturday we took her out to a local spot. So much fun was had! Since we had so much fun we have decided to celebrate everyone's birthday here! That is sure to bring a lot of stories and fun.

I'm finally used to school here. It is very different, but easy to catch on to. Had my first couple of test and assignments due. I was able to get all A's and B's on them. I'm very happy about that. Making good grades here gives me an extra boost of confidence.

Bad Weather, Good People

  
  
  
  

Well, this past week here in Melbourne was not the best. When the sun is gone it is hard to enjoy the community. The weather is changing into fall. I will surely miss the days at the beach and the pool. That is no problem though. With the sun going away it gives us the opportunity to explore the many other things that Melbourne and Australia have to offer.
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Also, there is a nasty little dorm cold going around and that surely did not help with the bad weather. I experienced my first stint of homesickness when I was sick. We all feel the same when we are under the weather. You just want your bed and your Mommy! After the cold was done I was just fine though.

One of the great things about being here is that you get to meet so many different people from around the world. We have made friends with a group of Canadian girls who are studying abroad here too! How cool is that? They do not live in our dorm. We just met them out and about. I know many in NYC are not used to strangers being so open, but that is just the flair here in Melbourne.

This past week has not been the most exciting, but don't worry. I will work on that this week! Jen's birthday is Saturday and we are going to the Zoo! Great pictures of the amazing animals are coming soon!

Mexican Food, St, Patrick's Day and Yarck

  
  
  
  

Busy busy busy week. A lot happened this past week here in Melbourne. I'm pretty tired from my long week, but now I have to find new adventures.
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In the beginning of the week Rita and I went to eat Mexican food. Now I know that does not sound special, but when you are this far away from North America it really is amazing!

We ate at Taco Bill. (No, it is nothing like Taco Bell.) Surprisingly, the food was good. It was not as good as Mexican food back home, but it hit the spot.

Next along on this long ride of a week was St. Patty's Day. The best way to describe it is to imagine a small version of the celebrations in NYC. It was a great time and we were able to see more of this beautiful city.

The highlight of the week was going to Yarck. A young man here in the dorms invited everyone to come to his farm there. It was BEAUTIFUL. It did not feel as if we were on the same planet. Yarck is an extremely small town. No more then 50 people live there, but everyone that we met was really nice. I was able to experience a real "bush" party. (Here in Australia they call the country "the bush.") There was even a deer cooking on a spit. The party was fun. It was not something I was used to, but I still enjoyed myself. It was truly an amazing experience.

When you finally leave the city and venture out it hits you. "I am really in Australia." This is a beautiful land filled with some really nice people.

Return to Torquay: School and the Pool

  
  
  
  

I need to make a correction to last week's blog entry. I misspelled Torquay (this is the correct way). I believe that Google has multiple spellings of it.

This past week was a very relaxed one. I decided to focus on school and going to the pool. Oh, do I live a beautiful life here in Melbourne?

Classes are very different here than back home. It has taken me some time to get use to the change. The pace is slower, but the student must be very independent in the learning process. There are many professionals in my classes furthering their education. Some of the younger students find this to be uncomfortable, but I'm sure it is a good thing. There is much to learn for individuals who are currently working in the field. It is a great opportunity to learn things that can not be taught in the classroom.

Now to the pool! At the dorm that I am staying at there is a heated pool. It is wonderful and the weather has been great for swimming. I try to swim every day to get my workout in. Soon I will not be able to do that because the weather is changing and becoming cold.

I also went to the movies here for the first time. The Aussie lifestyle is not big on movies like we are back in the States. It was really nice to get a taste of home for the evening.

We had a long weekend. Rita and I traveled to Turqauy beach for some much-needed beach time! That place is beautiful and like no other! The weather is beautiful and life is too!

Josie and the Aussie Dolls

  
  
  
  

This past weekend was the best weekend so far here in Australia. I went home with a fellow student. Her name is Josie and this is here first year at Uni (here in Australia they call College Uni, which is short for University.) She is currently studying Art Communication. Both of her parents are artists and her little brother is in a band.
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I really enjoyed this weekend because of her family. Everyone was really helpful and the were great hosts. I felt as if I went home to my own family for the weekend. Josie lives at Torque Beach. It is the most beautiful place on the planet! No matter where you are at, you hear the ocean there. The air is so fresh and beautiful. There are kangaroos are just running down the street.

One would think there would be buildings everywhere and a lot of touristy items around, but that's not the case at all. There are just homes, shops, and the BEAUTIFUL beach. It made me feel so refreshed. I was able to clear my mind and think more about what I want out of life. I took this trip for that reason. I love it here and I might even start a life here!

P.S. They do have sprinkles here for ice cream! Josie informed me!

Orientation Week: It's All About Balance

  
  
  
  

Boy oh boy, did we have a blast this past week. REMIT Village (the dorms we're living in) had its Orientation this week. Monday through Friday was filled with great events and programs. Most of the events were dedicated to ensuring that we had a solid understanding of the city -- and a lot of free food. Australia is known for its BBQ and we enjoyed it!

"O" Week was also an amazing chance for us to meet the other residents of the Village. So much in such little time. We were able to mingle with some locals and also some other international students! My favorite part of O Week (I'm sure it's everyone's favorite part too) is the party that is held at the end of the week. Everyone had such a great time. It is hard to put it in words. I really appreciate how here in Australia they do not try to steer students away from partying, but in a way show them how to embrace and control it.

RMIT shows you that a social life is important, but you must understand balance. A lot of schools in the States are not prone to promoting partying, but I believe that causes the students to party even more. Maybe Aussie schools have something to teach us?

I also started class this week. Their class structure is completely different than ours. You first attend a lecture (two hours) and then you attend a tutorial (one hour). The tutorial is more like the class structure that we are used too. The structure is different, but not hard at all.

Next week I will have some amazing things to share. Rita and Caroline (students from LIM College) are going camping with a class and I'm sure they will return with great stories. Also, over the weekend I am going home with one of my new Aussie mates! It is sure to be an experience to really live like an Aussie for the weekend!
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And check out this photo from the market. We buy most of our food there fresh!

P.S. Jen would like to know why they do not have sprinkles for ice cream here. Maybe we will find some!

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