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

San Pedro de Atacama secaaaa

Time October 28th, 2016 in 2016 Fall, Chile | No Comments by

A couple of weeks ago, the IFSA crew and I took a trip to San Pedro de Atacama, the northern part of Chile and very very very very dry. Way much drier than Santiago and that’s seriously saying something. While there, we had an incredible experience but it was filled with lots of trekking and athletic adventures. The first day we toured the Valle de la Luna and got the chance to run barefoot down a sand mountain structure while observing the salty tops of the other valle. When we got to the end, we were all out of breath and laughing about how much fun we had experienced. A little while later, a couple of us went out into the center to explore the town of Atacama and found a cute little restaurant with live music. We shared a plate a fries with fried eggs and sausages and of course a couple of Chilean drinks. It was an amazing start to an amazing adventure.

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Long Time No Talk

Time March 10th, 2011 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

My sincere apologies. This trip has been a whirlwind so far. For a while I did not have access to the internet, then there was O-Week (basically a week of partying, bonding with people who live in your specific college, and getting to know first-year students from all the colleges within the University of Sydney), and then the week after that my power converter sparked and blew a fuse and I could not charge my computer. But now I’m here, ready, with a charged computer, charged camera, and lots to say.

Orientation with IFSA-Butler was absolutely fantastic. The journey to Australia was exhausting, to say the least, but arriving in Australia and having those first 3 days of orientation made the adjustment of being in a new country extremely smooth. I saw indigenous performers and learned about aboriginal history, took surfing/body surfing/paddle gliding lessons, danced to the music of a live folk band, went on bush walks, went to the Taronga zoo and pet a wallaby (aka a small kangaroo),  took pictures of adorable sleeping koalas, met some sassy emus, took a ferry boat to the Sydney Opera House and saw the botanical gardens. At the end of orientation I was dropped off at Sancta Sophia College at the University of Sydney and was left to my own devices in a new city with new people at a new university.

Needless to say, I was a tad nervous but also extremely excited.

I was shown to my room, a lovely yellow single. I put up pictures and unpacked and met some girls within the college. In Australia, a “college” is a small community within the larger University setting. It is basically a dormitory with a dining hall, computer lab, library, and there’s even a chapel here in Sancta. Every Monday night we get dressed up in our academic gowns and have a formal dinner together. Afterwards, a guest speaks to us. It’s really quite lovely and Sancta, as a place itself, is stunning. I am so lucky. I must admit, at first I was not too keen (a word used often here) about living in an all-female college, but the girls here are extremely sweet, welcoming, and unique. Especially after bonding with the girls during O-Week, I felt like I was right at home. It’s like being in a sorority, really. Sancta reminds me of Omega Chi at Ursinus. What more could I ask for?

Where do I even go from here? There’s so much to say. I am taking 4 classes here, just like I would be in America. I am taking Contemporary Indigenous Art, Australian Texts: International Contexts, Narratives of Romance & Adventure, and Ceramics – Wheel Throwing. This semester is going to be eye-opening and I’m glad that I’m not only IN Australia but I’m learning about Australia as well. Now, I won’t lie and say that I haven’t had some troubles adjusting to life here. I definitely have had some setbacks, but I realize that most of these setbacks don’t really involve being in a new country at all! The thing I’m having trouble adjusting to is such a large university! I’m so used to a tiny place and now my lectures are huge and I have to handle my studies quite differently.

 

Going out in Sydney is a blast, except everything here is pretty expensive (but that’s no fun to talk about, so I won’t get into it). It’s nice to be able to go out with my friends and order a drink for once! The first time, it was actually liberating, but also embarrassing. I went up to the bartender (giddy as a kid in a candy store) and asked him, excitedly, for a “beer.” Instead of giving him an actual brand name, I just asked for the beer itself. He looked at me and asked “What kind?.” I just looked dumbfounded considering I didn’t know any of the beers here and said “uhhhh… the best one under 5 dollars.” Needless to say, he was not impressed by me. NOTE: Fosters isn’t popular here.

Last night I went to a midnight cinema and saw “The Social Network.” There were bats flying overhead, it was so eerie but awesome at the same time. Bats are common here.

Well, I have a lot more to say but I think some videos and pictures would be ideal.

 

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On The Way to Taronga Zoo

Time March 10th, 2011 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by


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And the Journey Begins!

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Kangaroos & Wallabies

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Koala Chow Down!

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Water Show

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View from the Plane

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View of the City

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Chainsaw Juggling!

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Sword Juggling!

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Sydney Opera House!

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Mardi Gras!

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Family Saying Goodbye!

Time February 14th, 2011 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by


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Pre-Departure Video!

Time February 11th, 2011 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Getting ready to go to Australia!


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