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

Adventure Weekend & How to Cope When Things Go Wrong

Hey guys!!

Before I talk about adventure weekend I just want to say that study abroad has been extremely testing on my sense of time management. So I very much apologise for the long amount of time between posts because I really do want to share as much as I can with you all about my experience {and yes, it still feels like a dream most days.}

ANYWAYS! Here I am writing to all of you at 3 am on a Friday night before I catch the train to Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast in the morning with some friends. Last weekend was spent at Binna Burra Mountain Lodge for adventure weekend in the rainforest and it was so amazing!!! At first I was skeptical because if anyone really knows me….I have never been camping in my life and it’s not appealing to me. We slept in small bunkhouses in the middle of the forest so that was quite the experience, but we also hiked, did high ropes courses, swam in a freezing cold natural swimming hole {with eel} and such fun ziplining over the treetops of the forest.

IFSA-Butler put on such a great program in Binna Burra and we were busy from 8 am until late at night. On Saturday night we learned bush dancing at the lodge from one of the guides! It is quite similar to line dancing in the states and then we had a bonfire with s’mores. Just a side note: Australian s’mores are different from American s’mores.

-butterscotch-like fingers instead of graham crackers

-cadbury chocolate instead of hershey’s

-pink marshmallows {which are supposedly strawberry flavour but taste like bubblegum} instead of regular marshmallows. Ill include a photo at the bottom of the post!

I definitely conquered some fears during adventure weekend since I spent two days sleeping with the finest creatures {so many moths} and having to drown huge Huntsman spiders in the campsite showers, but it was an incredible experience like nothing I had ever done before.

I’ve also just finished week 2 of uni at UQ and it’s still a bit difficult getting used to their education system. I’m only in class for about 11 hours per week which includes lectures, tutorials, and workshops but the individual learning they stress is still a work in progress. My courses are really interesting and I love that the professors are really knowledgable and have real experience in their fields. UQ St. Lucia campus is HUGEEE, but by the second week I’ve almost been able to memorize how to get to my classes without pulling up uqnav on my phone discreetly (a fab app designed by UQ with walking gps to help you find buildings on campus since it’s that large).

Next is the not so good days….

Coping when things go wrong abroad isn’t always the easiest thing and sometimes it’s just instinct to panic and want to go home. I thoroughly love Australia but I was totally tested this week as to how strong my love for it really is and how to deal with difficult situations. I’ll give you guys the run down and then explain how, yes, being abroad is a roller coaster of emotions BUT at the end of the day you’re still in paradise.

1.) One of my subjects was WAY over my head so I needed to drop it and enroll in something different, while also catching up on 2 weeks of lecture material in the new course.

2.) An allergic reaction to laundry detergent {never trust the official AFL detergent} followed by a lovely spreading rash sent me straight to the campus health centre to reserve an appointment and figure out their system.

3.) The death of my iPhone 6 aka my whole life (kidding but also not)!! The challenge of not having a phone for a week and trying to navigate around without communication or GPS was one that actually started to teach me many lessons. I had to find my way from my apartment in Southbank to the correct transport into the city and then to the apple store all without any help from an electronic device. THANKFULLY, Apple was able to order me a new American iPhone which i received today and now I can fully function again.

All of the above combined with other small issues this week really placed me in a bit of a low point. It showed me that living abroad is fun but it’s also challenging and pushes you to the limit sometime which is necessary to help you grow as a person.

In other exciting news, I have been planning trips to BALI!!!!, The Great Barrier Reef, and some other places for the remainder of the semester :)

I’ll post heaps of photos from the past few weeks as promised!! & until next time…stay warm in America!


the bird who went south for the winter



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