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

Mid-Semester Break – The Trip of a Lifetime

Time May 6th, 2013 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Words cannot describe the amazing time that I had on my mid-semester break, so I decided to make a video slideshow to show my journey from Brisbane to Cairns. Here it is! Enjoy!




It’s time for a holiday.

Time April 12th, 2013 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Studying abroad is not all fun and games when there are a million and one assignments to be done before my mid-semester break starting this coming Tuesday. But! That doesn’t mean homework can’t be fun. This past Thursday I attended the living sculpture performance art exhibition called 13 Rooms. It is an exhibition that will continue until the 21st of April and it is a must see if you’re in the area! The exhibition, which I was required to go to for my Curating Artistic Creativity course (and thank goodness for that), consisted of 13 different rooms, 12 of them containing living sculpture performances. The thirteen rooms, of all different sizes and shapes, were built specifically for each performance. There is even a circular room and a room that you need to crawl into if you choose to enter. Curators, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Klaus Biesenbach, curated this amazing project with twelve great artists, two of which were actually presenting the performance! I could ramble on for days about this exhibition, but it may just be easier for you to take a look at what it has to offer by going to the actual exhibition (if you are fortunate enough) or by clicking here. Enjoy!–I know I did. Also, here are some photographs that I took myself on the way to the exhibition and at the exhibition itself.

Sydney Harbor Bridge 13 Rooms Exhibition One of the 13 Rooms

I know I said I was stressed in my last blog but man! This week has been maybe my most stressful in all of college/uni; however, I have been taking all my assignments step by step to get everything done in time for my flight to Gold Coast this coming Wednesday! I know it will all get done but boy, do I have to crack down and focus. There are no fun activities allowed this weekend or upcoming beginning of the week. My last week here is going to be spent at the library. Of course, I know that it will be all worth it when I finally get to relax on my holiday. I am BEYOND excited about my mid-semester break. I am flying to Gold Coast, experiencing Gold Coast for a short bit, driving to Brisbane in a camper van with friends, and am partaking in Extreme Adventures’, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish – Tour 4, which ends in Cairns. The itinerary for this amazing opportunity is here. . . Can you see why I’m excited? I have a feeling that it could be the best vacation, or should I say holiday, of my life.


A Break from Reality: A Photo Essay

Time April 12th, 2013 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

I was required to create a photo essay, a clear narrative told through photographs, for my Photographic Cultures course and I figured I would share it with you all. The photo essay had to contain no more than ten photographs and had to have a piece of writing (500 words) to accompany the images. There were four topics to pick from for the photo essay but here is the assignment directions for the topic in which I chose:

Choose a suburb or a street of Sydney to observe. Produce a photo essay that tells a story about the rhythms of the urban space.

This was the final product:


A Break from Reality

The American Students’ Perspective from Bondi to Bronte: A Photo Essay
Laura Rhodes


Bondi 1

The journey started at Bondi Beach with the waves crashing up against the rocks and the strong smell of sea salt in the air. The destination was Bronte Beach, but there certainly was no rush to get there. This was going to be a day of relaxation and serenity−a break from the real world, an escape from all worries.

Bondi 2

The short dirt path with greenery was a nice change from the paved sidewalk. We did not know where the path led−all we knew was we wanted to go and there was nothing holding us back.

On the way to Bronte 3

We reached the top of the hill and felt on top of the world. At that moment in time, nothing could bring us down. The wind in our hair, we were invincible.

On the way to Bronte 4

We didn’t think that the view could get any better, but then we turned around. A family on the hill with their little dog was silhouetted by the intense summer sun. We were caught in awe and rudely could not stop staring. It was like we were in another world. I do not think that I have ever seen the sun shine so bright, especially not in The States. It was one of those moments that I will never forget. The sun lit up the sky and all it touched.

On the way to Bronte 5

After we experienced such a sight, it felt like we were flying, soaring through the sky. The seagulls mimicked our emotions. They took off from the nearby rocks and headed towards Bondi Beach’s main shores. They were flying backwards, but we were headed nowhere but forwards.

On the way to Bronte 6

She watched the seagulls fly by, winding blowing through her hair, sun blaring on her back, warming her already sun-kissed skin. Not a worry in the world was going through her mind. Even though the schoolwork was building up and chemistry had to be dealt with later that night, later was not now. This moment was hers and she wasn’t going to let any stressful matters get of the way of enjoying the beautiful site in front of her.

On the way to Bronte 7

We walked a little ways and then once again stopped to enjoy the views and take some photographs to document our journey. We noticed a courageous surfer out on the rocks. What was he thinking? Although I didn’t know from experience, the rocks looked slippery and dangerous. I gave him credit for going out there.

On the way to Bronte 8

After admiring the brave surfer, we trekked on singing some popular tunes. We were in our own little worlds, doing our own thing−loving what life had offered us on such a breathtaking day.

Bronte Beach 9

We had almost reached Bronte Beach when we saw this adorable couple enjoying the scenery, just as much as we were. Conversation and laughter were flowing and it was clear that they enjoyed each others’ company.

Bronte Beach

It was a sad moment when we had reached our destination of Bronte Beach. It meant that our adventure was over and it was time to catch the bus back to the uni. When we boarded the bus, we all sat quietly and reflected on our afternoon. It was a good one to say the least.