Journals from Deakin University, Australia
2009-07-29 First Impressions
Ive been in Australia for about two weeks and things are just now starting to slow down. From the moment I landed, things have been a whirlwind of amazing activity, sights, and new people. Its been an absolute blast. The weather has been sunny, with a couple days of rain, but very cold, especially at night. Ive moved into my dorm room and met my housemates and it couldnt be better. All of my flat-mates are Aussies and theyre really nice and welcoming. Theres a Safeway and a K-Mart up the street so its been easy enough to get the basic necessities I couldnt bring with me. But that wasnt even the beginning of my Australian adventure.
My first three days were spent in a small beach town called Lorne, down the Great Ocean Road on a welcome orientation with all international students. Surfing, Australian Rules Football, hiking, and sight-seeing where just some of the options available to us. I did surfing and ASF. The surf was great, sunny and the water was relatively warm. The Australians call ASF Footie and that was fun too. Its played on an oval field, with an oval ball bigger than a football. Its a bit like rugby, but with some significant differences.
The final day was spent driving down the Great Ocean Road, which was a breath-taking view, and seeing one of the greatest natural sights in all of Australia. The Twelve Apostles are huge rock formations just off the coast. There are only eight left because of natural erosion. It was a clear day and the ocean was amazing. The Apostles are gigantic and stretch far down the coast.
Meeting all the new internationals was fantastic, but they are all in the same boat as you. New to the country, away from home, among strangers. Theyre from all over the world. I met people from Germany, Sweden, England, New Zealand and of course a bunch of other Americans. People are all friendly and just excited to be here. Some of the students are with me at the Burwood campus, but some were from the Geelong campus, but we all had a great time in Lorne. Everyone has connected really well and there are already great friendships being formed.
Now its time for classes to start up, with new class schedules and professors and assignments. More on that next time!
Aussie Fun Fact: Not only do they drive on the left side of the road, but they also walk on the left side of the sidewalk.