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

>>Studying<< Abroad

Time August 16th, 2016 in 2016 Fall, Australia, First Generation Scholars | 2 Comments by

This post is being written under much more stress than the previous two as I’m quickly realizing, to my dismay, that the studying aspect of study abroad is very real.  Having just completed Week 3 of classes, assignments, papers, presentations, and project due dates are approaching much more rapidly than expected.  I have always been the type to organize and plan my schoolwork well in advance, but adjusting to the new self-taught style of learning here has made it much more difficult.  Advice — pencil in your assignment due dates in a planner straight away so that when planning trips you don’t accidentally journey to another country the day before a 2500 word essay is due (oops).  Although the idea of schoolwork is still hard to grasp, I’ve enjoyed the courses I’m enrolled in.  I was extremely hesitant to follow through with my “Performance: Production and Interpretation” theater class given that I’m majoring in Biology back home, but thus far I’ve actually been intrigued by the plays we’ve had to see.  Side note: I’ve had a hard time grasping the spelling differences between American and Australian English.  Theatre vs theater. Colonisation vs colonization. Colour vs color.  I’ve also been keeping note of some of my favorite slang terms used by Australians.  “Arvo” for afternoon. “Fairy floss” for cotton candy. “Brekky” for breakfast. “Heaps” for a lot/really/very (as in there’s heaps to do in Bondi or I’m heaps keen to go out tonight). Not sure if I’ll ever catch on but I never cease to be intrigued by their lingo. Read More »


Not in Kansas Anymore

Time July 29th, 2016 in 2016 Spring, Australia, College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Has it really only been two weeks since I left home?

It seems like I’ve already lived through another lifetime, and needless to say I’ve learned so much in the last two weeks that my brain hurts. After meeting so many people from so many different places, I truly feel as if I’ve already grown to be more worldly– never have I met so many people with these utterly unique accents and slang words, but I’ve also met people that are similar to me in so many ways that we could be twins. In two weeks I have traveled thousands of miles, dealt with cancelled flight plans and survived, explored beneath the Sydney Harbour and the downtown of Wollongong, and met both talking Aussies (the human ones) as well as some fuzzy ones (including koalas and kangaroos, OMG). Read More »


Pre-Departure: #NervousbutExcited

Time July 5th, 2016 in 2016 Fall, Australia, First Generation Scholars | No Comments by

As the departure date for my trip halfway across the world, to Sydney, Australia, approaches T-9 days, the reality of my journey has begun to resonate with me. It feels like just yesterday I was an eager freshman visiting the Wake Forest University Study Abroad office discussing the opportunity. I was already fortunate enough to have explored Europe on two separate occasions, and as I narrowed down my choices I couldn’t get the hundreds of iconic pictures of Australian beaches, wildlife, and cities pinned to my “Bucket List” Pinterest board out of my head.  I immediately knew I couldn’t resist the opportunity to experience ” the land down under” for myself. Read More »

Im Here! I’m Excited! I’m ready!

Time July 30th, 2015 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Kangaroos? Check. Koalas? Check. Vegemite? Regrettably, check. Now where is P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney??? (Come on, any Nemo fans out there?)

That’s right! I’m in Sydney!!! I been here a little over a week and it still doesn’t feel completely real yet. It feels like I am just dreaming and any moment now I’m going to wake up to find myself back home in Atlanta. But no, it’s real.

But besides the sappy talk, let me tell you- this past week has been a non stop whirlwind of emotions and amazing things… well after I got past that never ending flight and the airport chaos.

The IFSA orientation was a ton of fun. From day one they gave us the aussie treatment and took us to all the things you would hope to see when down under. Of course my favourite was my time with the koalas, kangaroos, and my good friend the wallaby. That one definitely left me feeling guilty when looking at my coat of arms pizza with emu and kangaroo!

Then we arrived at our dwelling for the semester, and being completely honest, I don’t think I lived anywhere this nice my whole time in college. I love my flatmates and have enjoyed our adventures to all of Australia’s sites and surprises. This city has so much to offer. There is always something to do whether its a chocolate and coffee festival or a crab race at a local pub. I guess this is what it’s like to live in such a large city.

There are so many new and different things here, yet at the same time so similar to home. Which only makes the differences stand out that much more. The birds look like dinosaurs, the people are all so genuinely nice and helpful, the universities are huge, the views unbelievable, minimum wage is $17, Mcdonalds goes by Maccas,  and I can’t find alfredo sauce! So many little things that are just… different.

These differences are mostly exciting things and an opportunity to see what makes Australia so unique, but sometimes all the changes and new things can be exhausting. And those are the moments when home-sickness comes knocking at my door.

Those are the moments when I yearn to talk to my mom, but its 3 am at home. Or when looking at Bondi beach and just wishing your closest friends were there to experience it beside you. Sometimes it comes when I wish I could snuggle with my dogs, but the pillow must suffice. And the worst is when you want peanut butter or ketchup but its just not the same here. Of all the triggers, however, Facebook is the main perpetrator. The images of all that is going back home is just no good! And all that scrolling kills your internet (its quite precious here). In those times its just a want for something familiar.

But no worries! Those moments are fleeting. It may only take a FaceTime party with buddies or merely a dance party to some of my favorite music to pull you out of the runt. And in the meantime, IFSA makes it easy to turn to advisors that become your “mom abroad” (Hey Fiona!) or your new friends that you have inevitably made.

But now classes are starting, I’ve started going to church with lovely aussies, and I’m starting to settle in!

Next time mates!

– Dalyla <3


Taking a break: Part 1 – Organ Recital

Time May 22nd, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

One thing I’ll recommend to anyone going to a new place to live for a time is to go to a church. Even if you’re not religious, I can guarantee you that you’ll find at least one new friend! And some instant coffee and homemade cookies :) And maybe you’ll find something more, too.

Besides the amazing family I’ve found at my church here, I found a free organ concert thanks to my friend, Shane! We took a break from studying for midterms a few weeks back to go check it out. It was part of Sydney Town Hall’s FREE lunchtime concert series. Inside the town hall is a magnificent pipe organ, whose sound reverberated through the benches and made us FEEL the music the organist was playing. It was incredible!

The concert was performed by just one organist – Robert Ampt. You can read a little bit more about him here, but I can sum it up pretty quick: he is a darn good organist. It was a very dramatic set up as well – there were lots of large steps surrounding the organ bench, where you could imagine a large choir standing, but of course there was no choir. So it was just a giant decorated organ towering over a single man, who was certainly getting his work-out for the day with all the keys he had to simultaneously press with his fingers and feet and different switches he’d flip up and down. It was really impressive to watch (and obviously really impressive to listen to).

The program included six different pieces, two of which had multiple movements. That made for about an hour long concert, which was a perfect break from studying. My favorite one was the second movement of a piece that Ampt composed himself, called O Sacred Head, Dance – Moto Perpetuoso. It was probably the happiest sounding song I’ve ever hear played on an organ. Of course all the minor key eerie stuff was awesome as well :)

Sitting in the town hall was like being transported back in time, taking a break from the present. That organ was constructed in 1890! When we emerged from the town hall out into the sunlight and crowded streets, it was a surprise to see iPhones and cars instead of hats and horses. But, for that hour, it was very refreshing to take a break from the present. Although in that world I wouldn’t have been able to type this up and send it out for you all to read! So I had to come back :)

Your turn to dive into history! Just come back to tell us about it! We could all use a little inspiration :)



Fresh Meat

Time February 25th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | 1 Comment by

I’m quite embarrassed and surprised about how much I missed having internet and my phone for the past week. I love being in the woods and not having cell service when I’m backpacking or canoeing, but whenever I’m doing that it doesn’t feel weird. But yesterday when I was finally able to plug my laptop into the new blue Ethernet cable patiently awaiting me on my desk (courtesy of UNSW), this wave of relief washed over me, not unlike the feeling I get when I’ve been in the car for too long and then finally reach an exit with a bathroom.

So, mom and dad, family and friends, I must admit, I miss you! And I’m blessed to have people to miss.

But I’m also blessed to have met so many new people! However, it’s not quite as easy as it sounds. Perhaps I complicate things a bit, but finding where I fit in this new place is quite tricky.

The first few of my days in Australia were spent staying at the Sydney Harbour Youth Hostel – a lovely place!! Probably the nicest hostel I will ever see. Families were staying there with their kids like it was a hotel, which seems like a very deceiving first impression of hostel culture, from what I’ve heard and read. Not that hostels are dangerous and grungy!! This hostel just seemed to be a misspelled hotel.

I stayed there with 34 other IFSA-Butler students, some of which have joined me at UNSW, some of which went on to study at Macquarie University, and some of which are studying at University of Wollongong. Together, we formed a large American tourist group.

Our student services coordinators (SCCs) Fiona and Jess, and our resident director Christi planned an amazing orientation for us that included all the main checkboxes on a Sydney tourist’s to-do list. We took a walking tour of the city, saw the Opera House, walked through the Royal Botanical Gardens, visited the Featherdale Wildlife Reserve where we met kangaroos and koalas (and more animals!); we hiked through the Blue Mountain National Park and saw the renowned Three Sisters; we saw an Aboriginal performance and painted boomerangs, participated in Sydney nightlife, relaxed at Manly Beach, and ended the orientation with a dinner cruise through Sydney Harbour. With all that experience on my resume, I was ready to be accepted into the community of locals! Right?

Well, of course not. Just like I’ve never been inside the Washington Monument even though I live an hour from it back home, many locals here have never taken a picture with a koala, and kangaroos are just animals they have to avoid on the roads. Arriving at UNSW reminded me that although I’m in my third year of college, I’m still “Fresh Meat” here. There are so many things that I don’t know! Besides the things I expected to have to learn, like the layout of campus and the bus system, I also don’t know what time breakfast is, and what events are going on, or what events I should go to! Us international students have been dumped into the middle of UNSW’s exciting “O-week,” short for orientation week, without water wings, and I’m not quite sure how to swim yet.

The good thing is, it’s a beautiful day to learn how to swim! And there are tons of people to help, as well as tons of people learning alongside me. A new friend I met at lunch today is going with me to try to find shampoo later today. And my inbox is full of emails already from clubs I wrote my name down on their interest sheet, inviting me to barbecues and cook-outs and meetings.

I guess in conclusion, help out the fresh meat around you. Tell them what time breakfast is! And then go eat breakfast with them! Someone who is eating alone doesn’t necessarily have leprosy, they probably just don’t know anyone. Go talk to them and make them feel welcome, because a false diagnosis of leprosy is a hard thing to overcome. I am so thankful for the people that have made me feel welcome, and hopefully I’m passing it on.


G’Day Melbourne!

Time June 3rd, 2013 in First Generation Scholars | No Comments by

I have exactly two weeks left till I head back home to Atlanta, and with the classes being finished, I decided to take a trip to Melbourne. I wanted to keep my trip short and sweet, so my weekend started on Thursday. I left for Melbourne in the morning, and arrived at my uncle’s house. He lives about two hours away from the city, in a suburb called Castlemaine. The suburb is kind of like the area I visited for country life weekend, lots of green trees and cold, crisp wind. Side note-Melbourne has super extreme weather, so in the summer it is extremely hot, while the winters are rainy and cold. Upon my arrival, of course it started to rain so buying an umbrella became a necessity. Anyways, I got to explore the town of Bendigo, which was quite beautiful and picturesque. Afterwards, on Friday we headed to the city. The city of Melbourne is beautiful, with street performers entertaining the crowd to the fancy stores and the uptown malls. I also checked out the Eureka tower, which gives a 360 view of the city. The tower also had this attraction called the ‘edge,’ where you are put into a glass box, and it seems as though you are on the edge of the building, where you can see the streets beneath your feet from a 88 floor height. It was honestly a pretty cool experience! Melbourne also has a great scenic river that is similar to the harbor in Sydney, but not quite.

In Melbourne, I saw more fashion, hipsters, rich people, and a structured pattern of living. It is very different from Sydney, but good different. My friends here say that either you love Sydney or Melbourne, but not both. Although Melbourne has amazing coffee, cheap shopping, and great atmosphere, I am a Sydney girl at heart. I would say that Melbourne is good for bringing up new families and creating a professional lifestyle, but if you’re single and like adventure and creative locations, Sydney is for you.


It’s not the end, just yet.

Time June 3rd, 2013 in First Generation Scholars | No Comments by

Recently, IFSA–Butler organized a farewell dinner for all the students to see each other before heading home. The dinner consisted of students from different universities in Sydney, which gave me an opportunity to meet others that I haven’t yet. However, the dinner was also a minor reminder of our departure back home, leaving Sydney. At the dinner, we went through a long slide show that showcased all of our adventures in the past couple of months. It was interesting to see how my friendships had developed, or rather changed over time, how many adventures I had taken on, and my changing attitude over the course of the semester. In the beginning, I had been friends with a whole crowd of different people, which then slowly condensed to merely three or four close friendships. It was quite funny to see my first koala picture, in which I looked scared and uncomfortable, transform to me diving in the shark cage at Port Lincoln. The slideshow was a reminder of how much I had changed, yet remained the same. I had changed through my thinking processes, my way of experiencing adventures, and learning to enjoy every moment. However, I realized that I had maintained my value for quality friendships, lasting relationships, and a desire for learning.

A bit later in the program, we received the letters that we had written on the first day. I remember writing the letter in the hot February weather thinking about all the crazy fun I will have and all the cool people I would meet. I had thought about learning, but exploring was my main focus. After opening the letter, I felt so immature. The letter started with, ” It’s not the end, just yet,” which made me smile. In the letter, I had written myself encouraging notes, talking about crazy adventures, sky diving, getting my first tattoo, and making heaps of friends while abroad. The reality was that I had only accomplished one of the things-getting a tattoo. I did not make lots of friends, but made some really close friends that I would want to visit sometime. I did not go skydiving, but went to the tallest tower in Sydney. I did have crazy adventures though, just not the ones I had originally planned for myself. My adventures consisted of visiting mostly all of Australia, getting lost on the streets of Sydney, taking a 5am train from the city to Newtown, meeting random people on the streets and having long conversations, and creating lasting memories every step of the way. I actually was right. Even though I have only 2 weeks left until I leave, it’s not the end just yet. I have lots to see, lots to do, lost of places to get lost at, and lots of conversations waiting to happen.


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!


Mirror Mirror

Time May 9th, 2013 in First Generation Scholars | No Comments by

It’s been a while since I have blogged, so I have a lot to say!

Uni has been going quite well, but assignment submissions have begun. Starting May, most of my assignments were due, and they will continue to be due until June 12th. One of my assignments required me to creatively reflect on some of the most significant experiences of my life. Well, Hello there Australia! Australia has honestly been an extremely worthy period of my life because I learned. I did not grow, I did not suddenly gain maturity, I just learned. I learned lessons, I learned how to take in experiences, I learned how to experience life. Then, when I look at others, did I learn the right stuff? It’s a bit odd to think about myself in relation to all the other students on the program that I have spent so much time with, but also necessary. I am the only SouthAsian person on this trip. Yes, it’s true. Initially, it felt a bit weird because when everyone was trying to catch a tan, I was in the water catching some waves. I didn’t really mind it much, but just felt the odd one out at times. Also, the others would vibrantly talk about their previous trips to Europe while I sat there trying to engage myself in the topic. The best one was the arrival of people’s boyfriends/girlfriends, parents, and family members to Australia just to take a time out and visit their loved ones. I nearly had to go to wits end to pay for this trip, and others just casually take super expensive trips to Oz. I was a bit snarky for that, but I shouldn’t have been. Yes, most people on the trip are white. Yes, they are extremely wealthy, and spoiled. So what? That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t engage myself in the conversations, or learn from them about their adventures, or tell them about my experiences. I shouldn’t feel bad for myself, but rather applaud myself for getting here, and staying here, and learning here. Perhaps, even after traveling the globe, some people don’t achieve the experiences that I have, or the friendships, or gratefulness that I have for the trip. With that said, I did learn. I learned to learn.


Easter Break Travels

Time April 8th, 2013 in First Generation Scholars | No Comments by

I traveled a bit during Easter Break, which commenced today. I flew from Sydney to Adelaide, then to Port Lincoln. At Port Lincoln, located in South Australia, is the home of shark cage diving. Shark cage diving is basically going into a huge cage with open bars under 5-7 ft perhaps of the ocean, and witnessing the Whites first hand. I saw 4 sharks total, one of which was the Bronze. The experience was exhilarating, and my body was full of adrenaline. It was a rush of emotions to see the Great Whites up so close, almost like a dream. The sharks literally come close to your face, and that’s when the reality of it hits you. It was an incredible experience, and I would do over a million times if I could.

Then, after a three night stay at Port Lincoln YHA, I flew to Cairns. Cairns is located in Northern Australia, home to the Great Barrier Reef. I took a Reef tour, and my mind is blown from the experience. I got to scuba dive for the first time, and that too at the Barrier Reef. We went down and saw the coral and the reefs up close, not to mention the beautiful fish and the glowing nature of the ocean itself. The dive was splendid, and afterwards I snorkeled. I ended up seeing a clownfish, a sea snake, some eels, and beautiful fishes that cannot be described in words. It seemed as though the water was glowing, and the experience was life changing.

After the Reef, I went on a Rainforest tour to the Kundra village. The rainforest tour was on a train ride, and the scenery was picturesque. It was a beautiful tour, ending with a trip to the rainforest markets. I also had my first hot dog there, and boy was it delicious!


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Who would’ve thunk?

Time March 25th, 2013 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Who would have thought that I would be seeing an American famous comedian and talk show host in Australia! Any guesses who I saw?

It was Ellen DeGeneres!

On March 21st Ellen DeGeneres tweeted: “All right Sydneysiders, tomorrow’s on! Come to the Opera on the Harbour at the Fleet Steps. The fun starts at noon…If you’re planning on coming tomorrow, and I hope you are, Sydney, you can’t line up over night. The line starts at 6am!”

The next day, I woke at 3:30AM in order to get in the line for Ellen’s planned “fun” that she mentioned on her Twitter. I later found out that this “fun” was The Ellen Show. I took the train from Macquarie Uni to Circular Quay and walked to the Opera House by 6:00AM. By 6:30AM, the hundreds of people I was with and I were told we were in the wrong area to line up for the event. There was then a stampede of people running around the Botanical Gardens to the new destination of the line. My friends and I waited in line for about an hour until a few people from the staff came around to give us pink wristbands. These wristbands meant that we would get tickets for the show! About 1,000 people got tickets in total. A few hours later, we received our tickets and entered the venue.

There was lots of dancing, competitions, and games before the show even began. The “Gangnam Style” dance competition was probably the highlight of the preshow. The people in the competition got SO into it. It was hilarious.

I was extremely excited when Ellen finally appeared on the stage. She has such an energy about her. Portia, Russell Crowe, and Jessica Mauboy also made guest appearances on the show which was pretty cool. Russell Crowe tried showing Ellen how to use a whip. It was SO funny because Ellen wasn’t succeeding in the least.

After the show, a few friends and I walked through the Botanical Gardens to go get lunch near Circular Quay. I got a salmon sandwich and a side salad at a small bar called The Ship Inn. It was delicious. After lunch we went shopping for a short bit and then headed back to Mac Uni. Overall, it was a hectic but absolutely fabulous day. I wish I could experience it all again.

Here’s a video of Ellen dancing! Sorry for the shaking camera. . . I was dancing myself! :)

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Where to begin…it’s been a beautiful whirlwind!

Time February 25th, 2013 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

I have landed in Australia and my past week has been nothing but amazing and surreal. But MAN! have I been a busy bee. Here’s a basic summary of everything I’ve done at IFSA-Butler’s amazingly planned orientation:
Institute for Study Abroad – Butler University

Semester 1, 2013 Orientation

Sydney Harbor YHA – The Rocks

February 13th:

  1. Arrive at the Sydney Harbor Youth Hostel (YHA)
  2. Welcome Presentation
  3. Lunch
  4. Received our IFSA-Butler mobile phones with a $10 credit.
  5. Got a mobile phone plan, in addition to the $10 credit, to text friends from IFSA-Butler’s program for FREE.
  6. Sydney Walking Tour – saw all the main sites near The Rocks, including the Opera House, Sydney Harbor Bridge,
  7. Botanical Gardens, Hyde Park shopping centres and more!
  8. Free time to freshen up and relax a bit (Yes, we still hadn’t showered since the 11th! YIKES!).
  9. 8. Burger and salad dinner at the YHA
  10. Travel Presentation for advice, recommendations, and tips!
  11. Relax and finally SLEEP! (Got through the day without any naps to fight the jetlag and it surely has paid off!).

February 14th:

  1. Breakfast or should I say “Brekkie” at the YHA – pancakes, yogurt, and fruit, YUM!
  2. Visited Featherdale Wildlife Park to get introduced to all of the Aussie animals! Pet some wallabies, kangaroos, koalas, and more!
  3. Lunch near the famous 3 Sisters and Echo Point. We were given a wrap, a piece of fruit, and an Australian candy bar to try! I had a spicy chicken wrap, a green apple, and an Aero bar. Everything was delicious!
  4. Bushwalked (hiked) down into the rainforests of the Blue Mountains (walked down over 1,000 steps!). Luckily, we didn’t have to walk back up. We took the Scenic World railway — the steepest in the southern hemisphere! The views were INCREDIBLE.
  5. Next, we went to a Aboriginal Culture center to paint some boomerangs (which tell stories through their symbols), learn about the Aboriginal culture in general, and watch some extremely entertaining performances through music and dance.
  6. After falling asleep on the bus home from the Blue Mountains from exhaustion the IFSA-Butler crew went to dinner at The Orient in The Rocks. Dinner options were great and I was able to try kangaroo for my first time. It was served with beetroot relish, rocket, tomato, mustard mayo on sourdough with fries. I would definitely get it again!
  7. After going back to the Sydney Harbor YHA to freshen up, a bunch of us decided to go back to The Orient for a few drinks, a live band, and a bit a dancing. It was a blast! And that is exactly why we went back again the following night for the same guaranteed good time!

February 15th:

  1. Day 3 of orientation consisted of compulsory information sessions. The sessions focused on academics, health and well-being, and university specific information (Macquarie Uni). I learned a lot and felt one step closer to being prepared for my upcoming semester in Sydney.
  2. From noon to 6:45PM we had free time to do whatever we wanted. A group of us decided to take the ferry to Manly beach from Wharf 3 at Circular Quay. I loved the town of Manly with all of the cafes, restaurants, boutiques, and shops. We decided to eat at a small cafe with a beautiful view of Manly beach. Next, we hit the beach and I touched Pacific waters for my very first time!
  3. We took the ferry back home and started getting ready for our Sydney Harbor Dinner Cruise in which we were offered chicken, ravioli, salads, and desserts buffet style. There was also a cash bar to buy some drinks. I decided on some white wine with one of my new mates.
  4. The cruise had beautiful views, some dancing,  and prize drawings. I won an “Australia” flip-flop (or as the Australians say “thong”) keychain!
  5. After the cruise, we made our way over to The Orient again for a similar night to the last. The Orient didn’t disappoint.

February 16th:

  1. Move-in day finally arrived and after a short bus ride to Marsfield, all of the IFSA-Butler students made their way to the Macquarie Village reception center to check in.
  2. After checking in and getting our room assignments, my new roommate Amy and I made our way up the hill to our apartment. We were lucky enough to get a little help with our multiple bags from a German international student.
  3. After we put our bags in our rooms, we headed back to reception for our IFSA-Butler advisor Joanna to lead the way to the Macquarie Centre. She showed us the Mac Centre so we could walk through part of campus and buy some things for our new living spaces. It was a bit of a walk (15-20 minutes), but I found everything I needed.
  4. Once getting back from the Macquarie Centre, I unpacked some of my things and had a BBQ with some of the IFSA-Butler students. It was a great way to kick off the semester!

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Farewell Australia

Time November 16th, 2011 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

My final vlog from Australia. A top 10 and a small tribute.


A Walk of Coogee

Time October 31st, 2011 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

A little walking tour of the town where I live. Only 2 more weeks!


6 Weeks in

Time August 18th, 2011 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

I’m 6 weeks in to my adventure abroad. I’ve gotten to do some pretty fun things recently and I’ve seen home sickness rear its ugly head.



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Time March 30th, 2011 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

This weekend I’m finally taking my first big trip since I landed in Sydney. I’m heading to Brisbane and Fraser Island with one of my best friends from home, Jenny, who’s on the study abroad program with Boston University. We fly in on Friday morning, spend the day in Brisbane, and get picked up for a Four Wheel Drive tour of Fraser Island that’ll last two days. It’s going to be incredible!

Everything has been going really well here. It’s so crazy to think that we’ve been here for a month and a half – where has the time gone?! Last I wrote, I was about to celebrate my 21st birthday. My birthday was on a Monday, when I had a full day of classes, so we went to Hunter Valley to go wine tasting the next day. What a GREAT trip. We went to five different wineries, tasted some amazing wine, and had a really nice day out of Coogee.

Another big change since I last wrote is…I am officially interning at Rolling Stone Australia! It is actually a dream come true. I started last week, and I couldn’t be happier. So far, I’ve been doing research, transcribing interviews, and writing reviews myself that might get published in the magazine. Is this Almost Famous?

I’m off to bed before a full day of class and a jam packed weekend – I’ll be sure it update with some pictures of the tour!