Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ellie P. - Melbourne, Australia - Spring 2011

G’day everyone!

So I have been in Australia for two months now, but just started school last week. I was worried that the classes were going to be a lot different from Elmhurst, but luckily because I am enrolled in all art classes, the classes are basically the same because they center around studio time.

Because I had so much time before school started, I went ahead and found an internship at an advertising agency. It took forever to find one; I ended up emailing about twenty different firms just asking for a chance, and I was lucky enough to get one!

Since being here I have some random tips that I wish I had thought about before leaving:

1. You will probably hate every piece of clothing you came with because you have to wear it so many times. Don’t bring something extravagant because chances are you won’t wear it.

2. Open a bank account if you can, because taking out money all the time from my Chase bank account makes me nervous (so many little fees that seem to be adding up). I know that there will still be a fee to change the money over, but it seems easier to do that all at once, rather than having to rely on ATMs that take about three dollars from your account just for using it.

3. Be prepared for any sort of weather. We were supposed to have a beautiful summer but it turned out to be rather mild.

4. Understand that things may not turn out the way you expected. I was supposed to go to Cairns for orientation, but of course a cyclone came through the DAY BEFORE. We went to Brisbane instead, and it turned out to be really beautiful. Be flexible and just go with the flow.

5. Make contacts. It is really nice to have met people at orientation that are living all over the country. Now I someone to talk and maybe stay with when I travel.

Overall, I feel like my time here is a constant adjustment, but a good one. I am taking chances and learning new things. Of course I am homesick, but it is getting much easier with school starting and things really picking up. Let me know if you guys have any questions about Australia or studying abroad in general.

Good luck!


Blogger murphyl said...

Very useful tips to know! I will be surely keeping these in mind. I'm really looking forward to going there in the summer.


8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Opening a bank account is an interesting and useful idea I had not considered. It makes me feel safer than worrying about exchanging a lot of currency as well as having bigger fees from international withdrawals.


9:35 PM  
Blogger Morribizzle said...

Hey Ellie!
Can you give me two tips regarding selecting classes in another country?

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry to respond so late!
picking classes is something serious to think about. i was lucky enough to be able to take classes within my major, and have learned so much more than I ever thought i would.

I would recommend taking something you cannot take at Elmhurst, something that is special to the country (Australian history, etc)

Make sure also that you are not in over your head. Taking a class that is extremely difficult will just interrupt the fun you want to have there. Of course, you need to study alot, but people end up wanting to travel, etc. Pick classes that you wil enjoy, but can also handle.

IF you can take something in your major, I think you definitely should because you get a global perspective on it.

Hope this helps!

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Ellie,

Thanks for all of the advice, it was really helpful to read that considering I am planning my trip to Australia right now. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on places to visit while I am there? I will be studying in Melbourne, Canberra, and Cairns but I am traveling after and was wondering if you had any places that I should definitely visit. Thanks

-Emily T.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Kyle Smith said...

Ellie - Seems like your enjoying yourself in Australia. I was wondering if you experienced culture shock upon arrival? And, if so, how did you personally deal with it? Any suggestions for me, when experiencing culture shock?


Kyle Smith

3:09 PM  

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