better late than never

It only took me a month to realize what a great idea a blog would be. I’m a little behind on the times but as they say- better late than never.

 
I left America on July 10th to arrive in Melbourne on the 12th.  After three flights I trekked it with two suitcases on the bus, through the city center, onto the trams, and finally with help of a map to reach my final destination of Elle’s bed where I promptly fell asleep for 5 hours. I woke up to a homemade dinner and two friendly Australians. That night I managed to stay awake for the premiere of the final Harry Potter (okay… slept through the first part). The next few days were spent seeing the sights and experiencing all Melbourne had to offer- lots of coffee shops, bipolar weather, and an unhealthy amount of delicious international food.  After a few days of much too cold weather and little access to Internet I was ready to fly to Brisbane. With a farewell to my two Aussie friends I flew to Brisbane where I was greeted with CLOUDS! Thanks for the warm welcome, Sunshine State…

Melbourne skyline from Federation Square… and me 🙂

 

I made it to Union College where I schlepped my suitcases up three flights of stairs to my room. Keys and a handbook were placed in my sweaty hands and off they went. Alone in my room for the first time I’m not going to lie, I missed home. First thing I did was frantically plug in my computer so I could call home via Skype. I may or may not have blown out the whole electricity on my floor (which another American across the hall from me got blamed for… sorry Tori!) in the process.  That however forced me to venture out and see if my room was the only room without power. I met Glenn, an exchange student from Ireland, brushing his teeth who took me under his wing and on a tour of campus helping me get my student ID and bus card. Despite not showering for a day, the picture on my ID turned out well. I suspect the camera felt pity for me.

my room at Union

 

I met a fair amount of international students during the first week of being here, either through meals at Union or events from orientation week. All I remember from orientation week is an enigmatic aboriginal welcoming us to Queensland through song, trivial meetings, and signing up for QUEST (a club dedicated to providing cheap trip opportunities  for exchange students).
 
Flash forward to classes and after switching a few classes around I locked down my schedule. One hour lectures Mon/Tues/Thurs and three hours of class on Wed. Win. I’m taking Australia’s Terrestrial Environment (two words: field trips. lectures however are less than thrilling), Introduction to Criminology, and my online course Drugs & Crime. The online course is ending up to be more work than I imagined so it’s keeping me busy. The other two courses have impending exams that I won’t worry about until it’s on my calendar staring at me in the face. Starting Week 6 tomorrow. Scary thought when there’s only 13 weeks total.
 
So far I’ve booked three major vacations to (drum roll please…): Cairns (the Great Barrier Reef for all you non-geography majors), New Zealand (the two little islands that could), and Uluru (Ayer’s Rock for all you non-Australians out there). Somehow it ended up that a group of us girls are spending Halloween in Sydney. Since Halloween isn’t really a holiday here I’m sure we Americans will have to show them how it’s done. As cheaply as possible of course… Did I mention that everything is ridiculously expensive here? Bottle of their cheapest vodka (a fifth mind you… not a handle) is $40. 40 Australian dollars. Also, I have started obsessively checking the exchange rate in hopes that the American dollar will be worth something over here. It faked me out for about a week, but no dice. Australia wins again…
 
I’ve already been to a few sights around Brisbane but more on that later. You’ve already spent enough time reading this and procrastinating on whatever you’re supposed to be doing! I’ll need at least one more post to get this blog up to speed.
 
More to come and lots of love,
Lena

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