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Category Archives: Australia

Study Abroad in Perth, Western Australia: Reflections and Tips

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So, I may have started writing this post back in January. You know, when I actually returned from my study abroad trip. But then I got buried under a pile of biochemistry and genetics, and have just now dug myself out to enjoy the last breaths of spring, before North Carolina whacks me in the face with summer in all of its 243% humidity glory.

So that’s where I’m at right now. But now that it’s summer, I have a little more free time. I was considering what to do with this free time, and I thought “by golly, I think I’ll write a blog post!” (Yes, I actually thought ‘by golly.’ Welcome to my internal monologue.)

Do you want to know how many times I Google searched “study abroad in Australia” (and numerous other permutations of that phrase) while I was planning my trip? Too. Dang. Many. So in case you obsessively responsibly plan everything like I do and you found this post by performing a similar Google search, here is what I’d like to tell you about studying abroad in Australia.

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Thankful

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In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to share a few of the things I’m thankful for right now.

First, I’m thankful that I’m currently adventuring in New Zealand with a good friend. I realize that I’ve gotten to see more of the world than most people on this planet can even dream of, and I feel incredibly lucky. New Zealand is stunning, and I’m so glad I have the opportunity to see it.

I’m also thankful that after I leave New Zealand, I get to return home to my amazing family. I’m thankful that no matter where I go or how long I’m gone, I can count on them to love me and support me and be excited to see me. It’s been a weird few months for me, in a way, because so few things in my life have been permanent or certain, and it’s a wonderful feeling knowing that my family always has my back.

But right now, most of all, I’m thankful for the incredible semester I’ve just had in Perth, WA. I know I didn’t end up blogging very much during the actual semester, but a big reason for that is because my best Australia memories aren’t the type of memories that can really be put into words, and they certainly can’t be put into a blog post. Read more →

The Red Center, and some study abroad pro-tips

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Pro-tip number one: don’t study abroad if you aren’t okay with leaving part of your heart behind when you have to leave. Because you will. And it sucks.

I left Perth and Murdoch University five days ago, and I already miss it so much it hurts. I know it will get easier with time, and part of the reason I had such an amazing experience is because we were all there for just a semester, so we made the most of it, but knowing that doesn’t really make saying goodbye less painful.

I’m not sure why I thought it was a good idea to do a guided tour of the outback immediately after leaving my home in Perth, but I guess it didn’t occur to me when I was booking it that all I’d want to do is be alone in a room with a few cats, a guitar, a piano, and some ice cream.

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Bali: Day 4 (plus being gluten free in Bali)

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The fourth day in Bali was when we did all our major sightseeing. Six of us rented a driver for the day (it only cost us $10 each, and we had him for almost 12 hours!), and he just drove us wherever we wanted to go! He didn’t speak too much English, and the first place he dropped us off we actually had no idea where we were or what we were supposed to do there. There was a little garden with some statues and what looked like little temples, so we just roamed around for a bit and then got back in the car to drive to the monkey forest.

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Bali: Days 2, 3, and 5

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On our second day in Bali, we did something that I thought was pretty random: we went to a water park.

It ended up being incredibly fun, and a perfect thing to do since it was so unbelievably hot and humid, but since I can go to a water park pretty much anywhere and I’ll probably only be in Bali once, it definitely seemed like an odd choice of activity.

We caught a few taxis to get there, which wasn’t difficult since you’ll probably see at least ten taxis within any given minute on a Bali street. The taxi drivers also constantly honk and shout “taxi” at you to let you know that they’re free, which got a little infuriating at times. But aside from almost melting on the drive there, we got to the water park in one piece. Read more →

Bali: Day 1

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I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve posted something! I’ve started writing at least seven different posts, but haven’t gotten around to finishing them. But I’m determined to finish this one. So get ready.

Last week, I travelled to Bali for five days with about 20 of the other study abroad students at Murdoch. I wasn’t originally planning to go, because I wanted to see Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road and Kangaroo Island instead, but then I decided that I just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to spend 5 days in an awesome villa with a ton of fantastic people.  Read more →

Pinnacles tour!

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Yesterday, I had my first official Australian tour! We were scheduled to leave at 7am, so I set my alarm for 5:45am – absurdly early for me, since my earliest classes start at 9:30am, and that’s only two days per week.

As it turns out, my alarm was unnecessary, because I was rudely awakened at about 5:15am by a fire alarm in our flat. When one smoke detector in the building goes off, the entire building has to evacuate, so we all shuffled outside into the cold and tried to figure out who had the audacity to burn something at five in the morning, so we could all glare angrily at them. We never figured out who set it off, but it’s nice that said person chose the one day I needed to get up early anyway! It also gave me time to make an omelette for breakfast, which is always a bonus. Read more →

It’s official: I never want to leave

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I know I’ve been pretty slack about blogging lately, but today was just about perfect, so I can’t not share it with all of you. But first: I feel like I’ve reached a turning point in my time abroad. Sydney was wonderful, but when I first got to Perth, I really struggled for a while with feeling sad, lonely, and homesick. A lot of that was just because my expectations for this trip were really high, and things don’t always match up to what you expect. But I’ve also discovered that I don’t deal very well with change in general, so that didn’t help!

But when I did start feeling homesick, I would just think to myself no worries, you’ll be home in just a few months, and anyway – you’re going to have tons of fun while you’re here! But even when I had amazing days, the thought of going home in six months was welcome and comforting. But now…I’m don’t think I’m going to want to leave! Read more →

Finally visited Perth!

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Well, after being here for 3 and a half weeks, I finally made it into the city! Karl and Kat (two of our non-exchange friends) showed us around a bit, which was really cool of them. First we just walked around a little, and there were some really pretty green areas with awesome huge trees.

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Then we walked to the bell tower, which is a touristy kind of thing to do. You can climb to the top to get a nice view, but we didn’t want to pay, so we just took a picture outside. Read more →

Starting classes, and other stuff

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Sorry I’ve been slacking on the travel blogs! I guess it was bound to happen; a post a day gets to be a little much. There also hasn’t been as much exciting stuff going on, and I haven’t been taking as many pictures. And I haven’t really been in a blogging mood. But now I am in a blogging mood, so this post will probably be excessively long with very few pictures. Fair warning. Read more →