Today marks two weeks since arriving in Australia. It has probably been the most exciting two weeks of my life. After a 16-hour plane ride and about 30 hours total of traveling, I finally arrived at the campus. The campus is about a half hour drive from the city, but is very nice and is set up very similar to MU! As most of the students were on winter break, the campus was very quite when we arrived. Since then, the residence halls have picked up and I have been able to meet many local Australians on my floor. I have also met people from many other countries, including England, Sweden, Brazil, China and Thailand. Everyone is so nice!
The first week was international orientation week. There were many lectures to help us get acclimated and night activities to show us more about Melbourne. For breakfast on the first day they served us pancakes and ice cream, which was quite delicious! Later that evening, we went into the city and saw a popular Tuesday night hang out spot. It had a rooftop patio, pool tables and $5 pizzas on Tuesdays, The next evening was really amazing. We again ventured into the city and were given a tour of all the street art and graffiti. The paintings were very detailed and were obviously done by some talented artists. I could have spent all day looking at the art! After our tour we went to the 88th floor of a building called the Eureka Skydeck. The sight of the city was amazing because I could see for miles. The setup in the Skydeck was done quite well. They had screens below your feet pointing at the buildings below to tell you what they were. The city at night was beautiful!
I have also done some exploring around the city on my own. A group of us did a free city tour around the main loop of Melbourne. I loved the architecture of the buildings and we learned about new things to do in the city. We also went to the Queen Victoria Market that had a lot of fresh produce, meats and cheeses, and clothing. The prices were very affordable and it is definitely a good place for a weekend trip!
I also had the opportunity to go to the Healesville Animal Sanctuary. It took about and hour and half from the campus to get there. We were able to see koalas, kangaroos, platypus, wallabies and Tasmanian devils for the first time since being here. I also was able to hold and feed a bird! All of the animals were adorable.
The experiences I’ve had so far have felt like a vacation. It’s now time for reality to set in again because classes begin today! I am very excited to see what the classes in a different country will be like and I can’t wait for another new adventure.