Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Land Down Under

G’day Mates (yes..some of the natives actually do talk like this)

I’m writing to you all from AUSTRALIA!!! I can honestly say that my 22 hours spent on airplanes was not the greatest thing in the world, but it all paid off because here I am about to live my dream for the next while! And also, shout out to Qantas for the real Aussie flight experience because it was incredible and I’m super glad I took the risk in flying 100% Australian!! A little story on the side: I spilt a whole glass of champagne on myself on my first flight because clearly I’m so good with keeping liquids upright. My flight attendant was the sweetest woman ever & gave me a new pair of leggings and then we had a good laugh and I got to have a really nice chat with her for the remainder of the flight to LAX since I didn’t have a seatmate. SO…if any of you ever get the chance to fly with them I definitely recommend it because they are rockstars.

I’ve been in this beautiful country for a little bit over 24 hours now, and it is so many things at once. Overwhelming, beautiful, pure, humid, AMAZING..just to name a few. When I stepped off of the plane and into Brisbane International Airport the first thing I noticed was how warm & humid it was (Australians apparently don’t like to use AirCon no matter how hot it actually is…so adjusting to that as well as the heat is a bit of a challenge). It still doesn’t seem quite real to me yet because for the next week I am merely taking everything in & immersing myself with all Australians before I travel to Sydney.

I also think that my experience may be a bit different than most other students in the program studying in Brisbane because I’m fortunate enough to have some pretty great friends already living here, so I have arrived about a week prior to the start of my actual program orientation. Once I landed and picked up all of my luggage {so thankful it was all there}, I had to go through a series of passport checks, screenings, and customs. The best person in existence (literally I am 10000% serious), my friend Georgia, picked me up from the airport & it was such a sweet reunion after being separated since last July.

I had a lovely little tour of some of the surrounding suburbs of Brisbane whilst we were driving from the airport back to her house. In case you didn’t already know…Australians drive on the opposite side of the road from Americans & also the driver’s seat is on the right side so that really messed me up! At first glance, the little part of Australia that I was seeing didn’t seem much different than America. The buildings were a bit similar, the people spoke English, and I quickly noticed many American chains such as subway, KFC, and Burger King (which they call Hungry Jack’s but same restaurant). But don’t get me wrong…there are definitely many differences that I am slowly discovering and things that we take for granted in America the way that they are. Prices are much more expensive here and public transportation is like the lifeline to everything. They have this chocolate type drink called Milo which I have yet to try but they claim that it’s awesome & also vegemite (yes it looks as bad as it sounds but for some reason Australian’s swear by it).

There’s literally so much to talk about that happened in my first 24 hours that I’ll just give you a brief summary of how I spent my first day down under! When I got to Georgia’s house I had a long shower & some breakfast seeing as it was about 9 am. Since she had to go to work for the day I was able to have a quality nap because I didn’t sleep much on the plane. JET LAG IS FOR REAL & I didn’t really think I would notice it as much as I do. At night we took the train down to Fortitude Valley to meet up with our friend Jemma for dinner at the Vietnamese House. It was so amazing to be back with people I have missed for so long and to finally experience it in their country instead of my own. Also, it was our friend James’s 21st birthday so we met up with him, some of his friends, and our other friends Dev & Jeff for some birthday drinks after dinner! Everyone was so sweet and was really giving me encouragement and telling me all of the must see places around Brisbane. It was overall a really great day and it really helped ease me into the country being able to surround myself with familiar people.

It’s a bit strange that it’s already Wednesday morning here because my body is still telling me that it’s tuesday night. Sleep is a bit of a struggle and I woke up this morning before 6 am feeling like it was much later. Surely it will take a few more days of getting used to but I am incredibly thankful and glad to have the help of a great family this week as I become Australian. More to come next week about my experience at the beach, the city, & of course koala and kangaroo encounters!


the newest Australian resident xx

Here are some photos that I’ve taken so far:



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