Monday, March 03, 2014

Amanda D - Wollongong, Australia - Spring 2014

Wow it was humid.  The heat and humidity hit me when I stepped off of the plane, officially ending the 14 hour flight from LAX to Brisbane.  The second thing to hit me was the all of the tropical plants!  There were even more palm trees than LA.  Even though I was extremely exhausted from flying to the other side of the world, I had no problem stopping to take a few pictures.  Maybe it was the honeymoon phase kicking in but everything looked beautiful.
Aside from the scenery, the next thing that I was so impressed with was how easy it was to make friends.  Aside from a pair of best friends, no one else knew each other and everyone was open to meeting new people.  My Globalinks group was a few people short of 200, most of them female, who were going to go to various universities along the coast.  I was able to find 16 people who were also going to go to the University of Wollongong.  We quickly grew close together threw all of the activities that Globalinks had planned for us. 
The food is great.  It was really hard to not eat any of the rich food for the first couple of days.  Everything looked so good.  One of the first new foods I tried was Vegemite.  It's actually not that bad.  Many Australians actually hate the stuff but it is common to find Australians who have eaten it by the spoon full since they were kids.

In one of the pictures that I provided I posed with a group of my friends when we were getting ready to scuba and snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef.  In the second picture I provided, some of my friends and I entered a didgeridoo playing contest.  Everything was so much!  Even when school starts again, Globalinks and the University Constantly plan fun things to do. 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Amanda, I'm headed down the the South Island of NZ, and although the climate won't quite be the same as what you've described, much of the other stuff is presumably the same. I'm going through Globalinks as well so it's nice to hear a positive review! I'm glad to hear everything went smoothly and you had a great time!

-Ed J.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ed J.
Going through Globalinks was great. They organised our groups at the hotel/resort so that all of the people going to the same school would sleep in the same room and the rooms are all next to each other. Globalinks gave us the itinerary of all the activities during the day and let us do our own stuff at night. Since you're going to New Zealand, you should look up the slang term "kiwi." It's great that you're going to New Zealand, it's a really popular vacation destination for Australians. Some advice: When I was in the touristy areas of Australia like Cairns and Brisbane, everything was really expensive. I would bring small containers of toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner and sun screen that would last you at least a week or however long it takes to get to your final destination. Emphasis on the sunscreen. They have the biggest price hikes.
If you have any other questions feel free to email me at

12:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Amanda,
My name is Alex Reid and I am in CPP250 this semester because I am planning on studying abroad in Sydney Australia this fall. Just a quick question. Or rather if you could give me two tips on how to go about choosing the classes that are right for you? Did you sign up for more of your major classes or did you take classes that looked interesting and ones that EC doesn't offer? How did you know that the classes you chose were going to be a good fit for you?

Thanks for your time lady. and I am glad to see you are enjoying yourself. Take care Amanda! have some fun now! Looking forward to talking with you.
Alex Reid

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Amanada,
I see you are having a great in Wollongong, Austraila. One day I want to visit Australia. I'm going to be studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland in the fall. Do you have any tips regrading selecting classes and how are you adapting to the academic differences in Australia compared to the US? In class we are talking about culture shock. Have experience culture shock yet and if you did how you deal with it?

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Amanda!
It looks like you're having a great time in Australia, I'm so jealous! I've always wanted to visit Australia. I was also wondering how you have adapted to the academic style/class selection in another country?

Katie V

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Megan,
I was having difficulty selecting classes to take in Wollongong. I knew which credits I wanted to fill but I definitely had difficulty figuring out which Australians classes fulfilled my American credits. I was able to find another math major who went to my uni last year. She was able to pass down a lot of information to me. I suggest to find another student who went to the uni that you will go to. Even if the course title are the same, when your elmhurst college advisor reads the course description it is very possible that they will that its not equivalent. Compare the course descriptions. First figure out what courses you want to take first. It will be easier to find equivalent gen eds than the major courses. I encourage you to take lower level courses so that you have time to enjoy traveling. I am taking 3 100 level courses and 1 200 level course. All of them equate to 200 and 300 level courses at Elmhurst. Please let me know if you have anymore questions.

1:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops forgot to put down my name. The post that I just wrote to Megan is from Amanda D.

1:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Katie V.,
I have adapted very well to the Australian education system. I have heard from some of the other American students that it is pretty similar to the setup of huge universities such as the University of Minnesota. The pace is much slower. A month into school, I have only turned in a few assignments. What the students are encouraged to do is to turn in a draft of papers/assignments a few days a head of time so that they can offer feedback. Then you fix all the mistakes and turn it in. It's great knowing that I turned in a HD (High Distinction) paper days ahead of when it is due. The grading scale is also really good. If you get 70% on something it translates as a B to elmhurst. 85% and up is HD or A to elmhurst. But they give us plenty of time and dont be as lazy as the ozzie students then you will have no problem getting distinctions or higher. You can turn in a really bad draft a week a head of time and the tutors or lecturer will point out what is wrong.

-Amanda D.

1:24 AM  
Anonymous Baleigh LaSota said...

Hey Amanda,

I'm in the CPP 250 class this semester and am going to be studying at the University of Newcastle in the fall. Are you staying in dorms at your college? Whats that like compared to here?

Baleigh L.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Amanda,

Ed J again. I was curious about how your class selection went through GlobaLinks. They make you choose 8 and then you have to wait a month or so for them to get back to you from what I understand (I'm still waiting for my university to confirm with them). Then you find out which of the 8 you get accepted into, am I understanding that correctly?

Also, another question I have to ask; how was your culture shock and how'd you cope? I've traveled quite a bit all around the world, so I'm not too worried about New Zealand (and I assume AUS is VERY similar), but the longest I've stayed somewhere was for 3 weeks… which hardly comparies to 4 1/2 months. Do you hit a point where AUS begins to feel like home or a point where you begin to miss home?

Thanks for your time :)


5:14 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Amanda.

You know it's the weirdest thing---I saw the picture of you playing the didgeridoo and then commented on the blog of the other person in Australia, Carmen, and said 'that's a fantastic picture of you playing the didgeridoo'. I suppose, in the way of restitution, I ought to direct that approbation to you.

Anyhow, I am wondering what have you experienced in the way of culture shock and also, how connected do you feel to the culture you have found yourself in?

CPP 250

2:58 AM  
Blogger John Lesiak said...

Hi Amanda,

Looks like you had an amazing time in Australia. i'm studying abroad in Australia in the spring of 2015. I was wondering what is was like picking classes and how classes worked in Australia?

Thank you,

6:16 PM  

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