Thursday, September 18, 2008

Emily - Melbourne, Australia - Fall 2008

Ey! My name is Emily and I am studying in Australia at the University ofMelbourne. I am a business major at EC, my concentration being inMarketing and I am taking four commerce courses at Melbourne Uni. (All thestudents call university that here.) I really enjoy being in Australia andI highly recommend it to anyone that is thinking about studying abroad,especially since the language is the same.I'm studying abroad with the program AustraLearn, which has an arrangementwith EC for students to study in Australia, Fiji and New Zealand. When Ifirst got to Australia, we travelled to Cairns for an orientation program.This was awesome because we were able to go to a rainforest and snorkelingand dive on the Great Barrier Reef within days of our arrival! I also madelots of friends that were studying at University of Melbourne, and shareda room with 5 other girls for the few days we were there.I'm living in an apartment building called RMIT village. The first wearrived, they had events occurring every night which was great because Igot to meet tons of new people. Every section has a resident advisor, whoare really friendly and go out with us regularly. The apartment buildingused to be the Old Melbourne hotel, which they converted into apartmentsthey are really nice and each has a patio. The building also has a pool,which some of my friends used last weekend when we had a warm spring dayhere. The seasons are opposite as they are in Chicago, so right now itsbecoming spring as it is changing to fall back home.This weekend I'm leaving for a two week trip for spring break, whichbegins in Cairns and I'm traveling down the east coast of the country withfriends down to Sydney. I'm going back to the Great Barrier Reef while I'min Cairns, and I can't wait. It'll be nice to experience the warmer tropicweather there.Let me know any questions you have about studying abroad and I'll respondas soon as I get the chance.Cheers :)Emily

16 Comments:

Blogger passionatesole said...

Hi Emily,
It sounds like you're doing a lot of travelling with friends.
Did you go to Australia with other students from EC or no? If not, was it easy to make friends quickly from the program?? That's one of my biggest fears in planning to go abroad next spring with AustraLearn.

--Emily (also..hah)

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Emily,

I know that I have spoken to you on facebook before, and it sounds like you are having an amazing time in Australia! I have a few questions for you...how was the flight? I know that it is a little shorter then NZ but it's still pretty close. Also, is there anything out of the norm or something you really miss that you wished you had brought with?

Have a great rest of your semester!

Quinn

7:40 AM  
Blogger passionatesole said...

Hi Again!

Considering you're studying through AustraLearn, you may be getting quite a few comments from me. Hope you don't mind!!

I have a couple questions regarding classes. I already chose mine and submitted them through my ISP but what is the flexibility like when we get there? Would you suggest taking classes that pertain to fulfulling my majors/minor/gen eds or enjoying my time by taking both those and interesting classes?

Hope you're enjoying your time!!

emily

12:45 AM  
Anonymous Angie Brown said...

Hey
It sounds like you are having a great time and adjusting well. Was it very difficult to adjust to the different slang of the English there or is it pretty similar? Before leaving did you try to learn any of the slang that they have or are you just learning as you go?

Hope you have a great time
Angie

12:17 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Sorry I haven't gotten back to you all faster!

Emily,
I did not go to Australia with other students from Elmhurst. There is actually no one else in the entire country from EC but me! There are two students that are studying in NZ right now that also went on AustraLearn.

It is easy to make friends, you just have to be willingly to. I have one friend here that I've known since I was about 10, she went to Jr. High with me before she moved from IL to CA. We kept in touch throughout high school and college, and both chose the same school. It has its benefits, knowing someone since I took the flight to Australia from LA with her. However, we keep our space here because we hang out with different groups of people since we are quite different.

Where are you planning to study in Australia? You mentioned you turned in your ISP, Intended Study Plan? I would HIGHLY recommend taking general education subjects here. I did not have that benefit, since I'm technically a senior at EC so I had to take subjects pertaining to my major. Plenty of study abroad students here take Australia Now, I believe the University of Melbourne actually has designed the course for students studying abroad. I think the course is relaxed, or so I hear so I would recommend that one. There are also plenty of courses pertaining to Indigenous studies, or the study of the Aboriginal people.

It is simple to change your courses while studying here, but when you are picking your courses make sure you have the proper semester chosen and make sure they are for undergraduate students. We registered for courses once we arrived, then we received our health insurance, student ids and email accounts.

I tried to keep the response short, sorry it was so lengthy!
-Emily B.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Quinn,
I think I do remember meeting you! The flight definitely was long and unfortunately they ran out of fuel so we had to stop French Polynesia.

Regarding your question, I would have to say I miss plenty from home but mostly the mexican food. You can't find that here! There is plenty of Asian food. I have yet to meet any Americans here that have found a good mexican place anywhere within the country.

My sister came to visit me soon after I got here, so she was able to bring me anything small things I needed. For girls, I think I have some good recommendations since makeup is really expensive here. But since you are a guy, I would just make sure you have adapters and converters for all your electronics. Macs don't requite converters and at the mac store you can get adapters for your ipod charger and computer.

Which school are you looking at in New Zealand? My sister studied at University of Otago and she really liked it. I'm going to New Zealand in December which I'm really excited for.

-Emily

8:33 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Angie,

I LOVE the Australian slang. I really plan on taking most of it home with me. I hate how I always seem to find myself around Americans though, I love being around Australians at uni and picking up their slang.

I just picked it up as I went, however, I knew some if it before I left because my sister studied in New Zealand. One of my friends here, who is on Australearn with me, has a roommate that is really amusing and always causing problems wherever she goes and she always talks with lots of slang. She says 'have a go,' meaning argue. Therefore, she often says that her sister called and 'wanted to have a go at it,' which means her sister called to fight or argue with her.

I also hear from Australians using slang in my classes, one was telling me the other day about how she went running with her brother (who is 10 years old) and she was 'hooted' (whistled at). I have even heard my professors use slang. Two of my professors are from New Zealand though, but during one of my classes he mentioned 'to kick it', I listened closely to the rest of the sentence and tried to determine what that meant. It turns out, 'to kick it= to pass away, or to die. I thought that was really weird because when we say to kick it, we are often talking about just hanging out.

Sorry for the delay with the response, hope your semester is going well.
-Emily

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Quinn said...

Hi Emily,

Haha...actually, I'm a girl, not a guy. I will definetly keep the makeup advice in mind though, so thanks!

What kind of classes are you taking in Australia?

I will be studying at the Victoria University of Wellington in NZ and I actually already sent in my approved class subjects form for AustraLearn.

I have heard from various people to try not to take classes on Fridays. Is this what you think?

Thanks,
Quinn

10:24 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Quinn,

If you really want to take a class, I would not have friday hinder you from taking it. I only have one class on Thursdays and then I have none on Friday and it really wouldn't have mattered even if I did, the only reason why not having class would become important for a person was if they were planning to travel lots.

I'm sorry for thinking you were a guy, I thought Quinn was a nickname.

Have a great weekend,
Emily

11:03 PM  
Blogger passionatesole said...

Hi again Emily!

I was just curious, what kind of culture shock did you experience in Australia when you got there? What did you do to "resolve" or "ease" into it?

thanks!!
Hope you're having a great time!
emily

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Quinn said...

Hey Emily,

What was the hardest thing for you to get used to when you arrived in Australia? What about catching up on sleep? How long did it take?

Also, do Australian's say Cheers?

Thanks!
Quinn

12:32 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:26 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Emily,
The culture shock was definitely the difference in pricing, but right now the exchange rate is better than when I got here. When I arrived, it was just about 1 australian dollar= I us dollar but everything cost more money in australian dollars. Now the exchange rate is around 70 US cents=1 australian dollar.

Another surprise was that pedestrians have no right of way when you are crossing the street. There's a really busy street in front of my building and there's no stop light so everyone jokes that you are risking your life every time you cross it. I've definitely experienced one of those moments when you have your life flash before your eyes as a car goes speeding past. It even seems that they sometimes speed up when they see you crossing! It's definitely a change I've gotten used to, it will be interesting to return home and have the right of way when crossing the street.

Hope your travel plans are coming along well, feel free to ask anymore questions, either here or you can facebook me. I know I had so many questions before I left, and I must say you are making the right decision by traveling abroad!

-Emily B

8:26 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Quinn,
Catching up on sleep wasn't bad since we had about a week here between orientation and classes. The hardest thing to get used to... probably the living situation. I have a really small room here and there's a divider- like a door between my roommate's area and mine but its basically pointless because I can hear every sound that she makes.

Classes are also a lot different here, in comparison to EC. My university is huge, so its easy to get lost and I had lecture about twice a week for every class for 2 hours total, then an hour tutorial for classes. Tutorials are about the same size as an average class at EC, and are just a smaller learning environment where we go over what is covered in lecture.

I'm done with classes for the semester now, just trying to study for exams- they are worth 70% of my grade! It's crazy to think I've gone through most of the semester and there's still this much of my grade on the line.

Take care, and as I told Emily or anyone else for that matter feel free to fb message me with any questions you have or just post them on here! Get excited for studying abroad, its awesome :)

-Emily

8:34 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

P.S. Australians say cheers! They say "hows going" or "how you going" more though- it's their version of "how are you?" They also say "heaps" often, it means lots.

8:36 PM  
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