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

All about that Country Life!

Time May 9th, 2013 in First Generation Scholars | 1 Comment by

Around a weekish ago, Ifsa-Butler took us to the countryside to experience a different kind of Australia. Each group of students had different farm locations, and different hosts. Our farm was located in Bathurst, specifically in Burrangalong. We were located about 50 miles north of the town of Bathurst.

The country life experience was one of the most unforgettable moments in my life. I have roots in the countryside, so it felt like home. My hosts, Karen and Paul were incredible, and I couldn’t have asked for better hosts. They were kind, sweet, patient, and overall amazing. Also, Karen makes the best food ever. Besides my mom, of course. Well, the first day we just had a meal, and chatted with our hosts for a bit. It was quite cold up there, so electric blankets were extremely helpful! The next day, Karen took us to see their backyard pets, and then the farms. One of their dogs had puppies, so all of us got to hold newborn puppies. They had some pet sheep, chickens, dogs, and cats. Then Paul took us to his 1300 acre farm, which was HUGE. There were heaps of sheep, lamb, and cows. The next day, our hosts took us to see the caves. This was my first time going to the caves, and it was beautiful. It felt so serene and peaceful inside the caves. The last day, all of us got to shear the sheep. YES, I SHEARED A SHEEP. The sheep were pretty calm when we sheared them, but very heavy when held. That was a once in a lifetime experience. The entire trip to the countryside made me realize how much of a ‘city-girl’ I am, and how much I want to be in the countryside. It’s nice to have stores and shopping centres all around me, but not necessary. It’s even better to take a long trip to get your groceries, have fresh eggs and milk in the morning, tend to the animals, and at nights hang out at the town bar with familiar, and weird folks. It just makes sense. Cities are good, but as humans, we also need a break from the rush and intense walking. Karen and Paul seemed so much at ease with their lifestyles, although most of their children had gone off into the city. They just did not want to leave the farm life. I understand why. Life living at a farm is different. You make your own rules. You have your meat, your calcium, and your protein in front of you. It’s so fresh, and completely underrated. I think everyone who plans to come to Australia must see the countryside once in their lifetime. It will definitely be worth your time, I promise!



Time March 4th, 2013 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

So I promised that I would share my insight into packing and since this is my last pre-departure post I figured this would be the time.


The important thing to consider when packing is the climate you’re going to, especially when that climate is on the other side of the equator. Taking that into account is very important, it could mean the difference between packing 4 pairs of pants when in reality it’s going to be Summer there. Another thing I found helpful is to set everything outside of your suitcase at first so that you have a rather rough visual of how much stuff you have.  I found it useful to start with about 10 days worth of clothes and then add or subtract as needed. I also suggest packing shoes with purpose. This meaning only pack shoes that 1. You know you will use and 2. serve a specific purpose (ie. Normal everyday shoes, sturdy shoes, etc.). This way you are cutting down on extraneous bulk in your luggage, which is important to take into account because you are more likely to have more stuff coming back then going there. So remember to keep as much space left. It’s also a good idea to try and pack anything in your checked luggage that might be searched on the top of your bag so that airline security doesn’t have to destroy your perfectly packed bag. Another good piece of advice is to listen to your study abroad program when they tell you what should go where, whether x item goes in y bag. That’s really all I can think of to help pack. It’s an odd experience packing up all of your clothes and knowing that the next time they are getting worn is in a different country.

The next post will be once I’ve arrived in Peru. I will also try to get some pictures to go along with it.