Australia vs America: Random Observations

Orientation week here in Australia is finally over which means that next week, classes will officially begin. That being said, there are already so many things that I have learned here already! There are so many differences between here and the USA!

  1. Orientation week is not only a time to get to know the campus, people, and prepare for the upcoming year but also a last hurrah when it comes to going out and having a good time.
  2. I had been told that everything here is abbreviated like breakfast is brekky and university is uni. I had not realized the extent of it until some of the speakers at orientation were speaking and I had no idea what they were talking about.
  3. Driving on the other side of the road has been something to get used to as well!
  4. Going out at night seems to be really expensive but here, you don’t tip which really makes it about the same price as it does back home. But still, I feel guilty not tipping!
  5. In the US, a dollar is in bill form but here, they have a dollar and a two dollar coin! Makes keeping the change a little more rewarding than it used to be!
  6. For all those wondering, I have not noticed if toilets flush the opposite direction because they all just seem to explode with water! It all just goes at once!
  7. TimTams are amazing and I wish we had them in the USA. Seriously. I wish you could understand what your life is missing right now.
  8. The bugs here are insanely big no matter what it is. At least what i have seen thus far! I was staring at a massive bug the other night and was about to ask what it was when my friend accidentally stepped on it. There is still a giant bug splatter on the floor.
  9. The birds. Oh my gosh the birds are so loud and annoying! Especially when you have a tree or shrub outside your window that they can perch on and can be sure that you will wake up bright and early! But hey, they are pretty cool to look at though so I guess it’s an almost even trade.
  10. Lastly, the weirdest thing I still have not gotten over is how relaxed it is here. The people, the shopping centers, the beaches, everything! Everyone is super nice and easy to get along with. The shopping centers are easy to navigate and if you don’t have shoes or a shirt? No problem! You can still come shop! The beaches of course are amazing and so clear.

On a side note, during orientation week, me as well as all the first year students at Campus East, were thrown into a rip (riptide). So we learned how to identify them and swim out of them, or in our case, just float until it takes you back to shore. I was pretty terrified at first because for one, I hate the ocean because everything in it is terrifying, and two I have never considered myself a strong swimmer but honestly, it was so relaxing that I wouldn’t mind doing it again!

Also during O-week, there were so many events going on! There were pool parties (with free food!), laser tag, BBQ’s, bubble soccer (with free slushies!), movies, games, excursions, concerts, and so much more! It was jam-packed with so much fun that it honestly didn’t even feel like an orientation week.

Overall, this week has been pretty great and though I am sad to see it go, I am ready for classes to start and more adventures to begin!

About Erin

Hello there! My name is Erin Hoodlebrink and I am a senior Biochemistry major studying at the University of Wollongong in Australia for the semester! I will be sure to take as many pictures of kangaroos as possible for you all!

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