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

The Honeymoon’s Over

I’ve been told several times that when you study abroad there are 5 phases you typically go through.  I don’t remember all of them, but I do remember it included a honeymoon phase, a low period of frustration, and then getting used to your new surroundings. Sounded unlikely to me, however it has actually happened somewhat like that.  At first I was uber excited about everything and ready to learn and explore everything new. I thought it would just be like that all semester, but the honeymoon is definitely over.

Initially I couldn’t imagine leaving and wanted to stay forever. I still think I go to the best college in the universe (st. johns of course) and there are a lot of things I want to do here, but I know I’ll be glad to be back in the states once the semester is over. I still cant believe I’ve only been here a month! It’s going to be weird saying goodbye to all my new friends, for now I’m going to just try not to think about it. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Finally I can access any site on the web from my room.  The only downside is that I can’t access the free mb Sydney uni alots us from St. Johns and I can’t be on the internet at the same time as my roommate for some reason. Fortunately that really hasn’t been a problem. Unfortunately I haven’t figured out how to save my pictures as a small enough file to be able to post them here.

Anyways enough of the boring stuff, on to o-week!  O-week is a giant week long event coordinated by the student union for everyone going to uni.  Every club from the Capt. Planet Appreciation Society to Brewsical (for people who like brews and music) to the sailing club have tents set up on campus for students to peruse and possibly join.  I personally didn’t join any, but there were a lot of interesting ones.  During this week there are also meet and greets with the faculty and various orientation information sessions.  I didn’t attend any of those for two reasons. Firstly, as a study abroad student I’m not really in any of the faculties and I’ve already been to a billion study abroad australia orientation lectures that they had done the previous week for the foreign students.  Secondly, living at a residential college I had a completely different o-week experience from the rest of the uni students.

The residential colleges are somewhat similar to greek life. It’s a community of students that have their own sports teams and their own social events separate from the university.  The freshers are initiated into the college during o-week and there is a lot of inter-college camaraderie and competition.  My o-week experience included getting a st. johns silly fresher tshirt, free jager hat, and every day was pretty much packed with activity. We learned the songs of the college, played sports, and went to mixers and had meals with the other colleges. Some of my favorite events were the pool party my college hosted, a pub crawl, and a bad taste cruise around Sydney Harbor. I’ve never seen outfits as ridiculous as what people had for the cruise, it was hilarious. For anyone from Hartford reading this, the pool party was a lot like spring fling, most of o-week was actually. We had a giant slip and slide, a blown up obstacle course and jumping pit, and of course a pool which was pretty disgusting by the end of the day.

O-week ended last Sunday, and this week classes finally start for Australia study abroad programs here at St. Johns. I have to go to the international office soon to change some of my courses, but I will be taking Buddhist philosophy; reality, ethics, and beauty (another philosophy class); management accounting; and learning in outdoor education.  For the outdoor class we are going on field trips, which is going to be awesome! We are spending a weekend in the blue mountains and taking a day hike in the royal national park. Surprisingly we only had to pay $50 to be able to do all that. Unfortunately the hike conflicts with an adventure weekend butler had arranged for us, but I’ve already talked to them and to my teacher and I know it will all get worked out. I’m either going to leave the butler trip one day early in order to go on the hike, or possibly go on the farm stay weekend instead.  Either way, butler was extremely helpful in working out some options for me, which I am very grateful for. Too bad not everything is that easy to work out.


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