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Journals from James Cook University

2014-02-26 On My Honeymoon

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Crystal Cascades

 On My Honeymoon

I have been a resident of Australia for approximately two weeks now. So much has happened in this time: classes have begun, sweat has poured from our skin, friends have been made, and good times had.

The lodge is a very social place. Every night, we sit out in the courtyard and chat, go for a swim, play cards, or engage in games such as soccer. It’s really nice to be staying in a place where there are so many students like you; this atmosphere, in my opinion, is infinitely more enjoyable than a dorm. The fact that James Cook University is a commuter school makes it so that no dorms are even available; everyone lives off campus. I had heard from previous students that the lodge consists of many Americans, which was a letdown because when you arrive in a new country, you want to interact with the people of that country. However, this has not been the case for me. I have met students from Australia, Sweden, America, Canada, England-you name it, I’ve met them. This diverse living situation is a dream.

Since we last spoke, I have done quite a bit of touristy sightseeing. O Week (Orientation) took place this last week, and a lot of events were thrown for us newcomers. We had a free bus trip to the beach, a free trip to Crystal Cascades, beach parties, etc. Crystal Cascades is a swimming hole with numerous waterfalls in the middle of the rainforest. This is one of my favorite places so far. Last Saturday, we took a trip to Green Island, on the Great Barrier Reef. We ate lunch, snorkeled until our skin wrinkled and we were pink, and rode on a glass-bottomed boat over sharks and countless varieties of fish. Swimming in the Great Barrier Reef was on my bucket list, and now it is crossed off. However, I hope to go again, many, many times.

Classes here are much different than classes in the USA. I have a total of four courses. They consist of a lecture (roughly 2 hours long) one day a week, and a practical/tutorial session once a week as well. With my four classes, I have days off on Tuesdays and Fridays. One of my classes only meets three times this entire semester. Needless to say, this is perfect for exploring a new city and the country. It’s quite a nice setup; however, it takes a finely tuned attention span to last for two hours.

The nightlife here is great. Often, we go to bars and socialize. Other times, we go to Rusty’s Market for fruit, the night markets, or the beach. One thing I have been meaning to cross off my list is visiting the lagoon on the esplanade.

Until next time,
Sara Schurter

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