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

It’s Goin’ Down

Time June 4th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

What do you get when seven goofy study abroad kids decide to have a sleepover one night? A MUSIC VIDEO!! We had lots of fun making it, and I’m sure some of them will be embarrassed to find out that I’ve posted this (whoops!) so keep it on the down low… BUT for those of you who happen to look at my blog from time to time, I figured you deserve a treat.

So thanks for reading – hope this makes you smile :)

Love, Anna

ps. credit goes to Zack Silver for editing it and putting it all together!


Photos and Applause

Time June 2nd, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Week 13 of classes is upon us!

And by “classes” I mean one class. All of my lectures and tutorials ended last week, except for one class from which I just need to pick up some graded assignments – WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?!

Even on the last day of my classes, I learned something new. Or rather experienced something new.

After my last lab, my lab partners asked if we could all take a picture together with our lab assistant. What a great idea! I loved working with them this semester, and our lab assistant had been really helpful and patient with us (VERY patient!). I figured they suggested a picture because it was probably the last time they’d see me again (I hope not!!) and it was a good way to remember the semester. As we all left, I was planning on leaving last so I could say an extra thanks and goodbye to our lab assistant, since I was leaving the country and everything, but I wasn’t expecting Nora and Farra to do the same thing. It made me realize I’m not the only one who might never see that lab assistant or our other classmates in that lab again. That’s just how it works here – there’s a lot more students than I’m used to, so you cycle through a lot more faces. Back home, I can guess who will be in my project groups next year, because there’s only 21 of us. I’ve never had the urge to take a picture with my lab group, or even lab assistant, because I’d just see them the next day, and we probably have pictures together ALREADY of us doing other things outside of class.

Lab Group

A similar experience happened at the conclusion of one of my lectures last week. As the professor closed his presentation, the auditorium filled with applause. The students were all applauding our professor, which I’d never imagined doing before. But why not?!  One of the main reasons I chose to go to Bucknell was the close relationships I saw students share with their classmates and professors. Which I’m so thankful for! But, UNSW’s culture has made me re-check the amount of respect we show our professors at Bucknell. Our small classes might make it a bit awkward to start a round of applause at the end of the semester, but all of our professors deserve that amount of thanks (and more!).

So, I hope I haven’t made this sound too cheesy, but this is me sending out a round of applause – a standing ovation – to all of the teachers I’ve had in my life. At Windy Hill Elementary, Mutual Elementary, Southern Middle School, Calvert High School, Bucknell University, and University of New South Wales -THANK YOU!


A Day at the Races

Time April 15th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Lately there’s been some growing excitement on Facebook surrounding the start of Derby Days back home at Bucknell. Derby Days is a friendly week-long competition between the sororities. Different events are held, each of which can earn you points. But the big point-winner is the “Derby,” a white cross hidden somewhere on campus.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, I got to attend the REAL THING! This past weekend was the first weekend of The Championships at Royal Randwick, which is conveniently located directly next to UNSW! Eight races were held on Saturday, including the Australian Derby. The Australian Derby is a 2400 meter race for three-year-old horses. This year, it was won by a horse named Criterion.

But the horses aren’t the only ones competing at this event. There are also awards given for the best dressed woman and man attending the races, which are always given a color scheme of black and white. (So just that morning I ran out to a thrift store, called an “Op Shop,” to find a $15 black dress – what a steal!) To help attendees look their best all day long, L’Oreal and Clinique had complementary hair and make-up touch-up tents, and there were even shoe shining stations for the gents. Quite fancy! But, I think it was a lost cause to try to stay pristine all day, considering the wind, rain, and puddles everywhere. To the people that managed to do it, bravo!

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Fashion Awards Judging Criteria:

Best Dressed Women’s Racewear:

  • Style and originality
  • Hat or headpiece is compulsory, wool or felt for Autumn (no straw)
  • Covered toe shoes
  • Appropriateness of the outfit for Autumn racing, The BMW Sydney Carnival and the individual
  • Attention to detail with all aspects of the outfit such as shoes, handbag and accessories
  • Understanding and interpretation of racewear and current trends
  • Grooming and department
  • Suitability of the outfit for the climate of the season and of the day
  • Black & white (Championships Day 1 only)

Best Dressed Men’s Racewear:

  • Suit, jacket and tie are essential
  • Attention to detail with all aspects of accessories such as gentlemen’s hat and /or lapel flower
  • Understanding and interpretation of racewear and current trends
  • Grooming and deportment
  • Suitability of the outfit for the climate of the season and of the day
  • Black & white (Championships Day 1 only)

My favorite part of the whole day was being there with my friends, Katherine and Bridget. Despite the poor weather, the intimidating well-dressed women, the crowds, slightly intoxicated loud people, and sore feet, we all stuck it out and were laughing and cheering through it all. We learned how and where to place bets (you can bet basically ANYWHERE – people are always available to take your money. And you have to make sure you specify which race and the NUMBERS of the horses you want, not just the names. And what type of bet it is.) We learned that putting a table on top of two chairs against a wall was an acceptable way of getting out of the rain, and we timed our exit perfectly to get us back to the dining hall at UNSW for a hot dinner. A great adventure, and great memories made :)

Now next year, when I’m back at school participating in a different kind of derby, I’ll have a bit more of an appreciation for the horse on our team shirts!

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Floor Night In

Time April 14th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Woke up this morning and opened my door to a hall filled with abandoned “lollies” (not necessarily lollipops over here, just the general term for candy), remnants of masking tape and black plastic on the walls, orange paint in the bathroom sinks and showers, and mattresses in the common room. Descending the stairs down from the top floor where I live (floor 7) took me past other odds and ends – green tissue paper, pieces of hay, mangled foliage, etc. All were souvenirs of the fun that took place the evening prior: Floor Night In!

Gather round, ladies and gents, and allow me to explain! Floor Night In is a competition within my college (side note – “college” is the term typically used instead of “dormitory.” When communicating that I’m a college student, I don’t say “I’m in college,” because that could be taken as saying “I’m in my dorm room,” or “I live on campus.” Instead, I’d use the phrase “I’m in uni,” short for university. Just to clarify.)

Continuing – it’s a competition in my college, Philip Baxter College, between the 7 floors in our building. Each floor picks a theme and a story to tell with that theme. After a lot of planning, the whole hall works together to decorate their floor into the theme, so that walking from one end of the hall to the other tells a story. At various places down the hall, the residents act out various skits or songs or moments that help tell the story. The dean of our college, Solomon (“Soli” for short), then walks through, one floor at a time, as the main character of the story, (AND WEARING A GoPro!) and judges each hall. Prizes were awarded for best decorations, best costumes, and best overall hall. It’s easier to explain with an example:

My floor (floor 7) chose to do Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. So Soli entered the hall, not knowing what to expect, and was called into the first room where a bunch of “old people” in bed were calling him “Charlie” and telling him happy birthday, and then they gave him a coin to go buy something at the candy store. (So by then he probably put together that he was Charlie in our story). Exiting that room led him directly to the “Candy Store,” where “kids” were playing and buying candy, and he was encouraged to buy a chocolate bar, which happened to have a gold ticket in it. Then he was ushered to the gates of Willy Wonka’s factory, where he met the other golden ticket winners: Augustus Gloop, Violet Beauregard, Mike Teavee, and Veruca Salt, and then Willy Wonka himself. The story continued down the hall, which included a full Oompa-Loompa performance in the bathroom (explaining the orange paint mentioned in the first paragraph), and ended with Charlie as the soul survivor of the tour. He was then **spoiler alert** given the entire chocolate factory as his prize.

Floor 1 told the story of The Little Mermaid, Floor 2 did Star Wars (Soli was Luke Skywalker), Floor 3 had a World War III theme where Soli was a soldier – they put him through “boot camp” at the beginning; Floor 4 did The Wizard of Oz (Soli was Dorothy), Floor 5 did Alice in Wonderland (Soli was Alice), and Floor 6 did The Passion of the Christ (Soli was Jesus).

It was a great night! A very creative and fun tradition that definitely made everyone feel like an integral part of the hall. Unfortunately, my hall didn’t win any of the awards, but of course, we were winners in our book :) I’ve already heard people planning for next year.

Below are some pictures I managed to take before decorations had to be taken down, and I’m keeping my eyes out for the video our RF took of my hall’s performance so I can share that as well.

Miss you all!



Fun Little Things

Time March 26th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | 1 Comment by

Looks like I owe a couple of posts, guys… don’t worry I’ll catch up!

It’s now WEEK 4 of classes here! I’ve never mapped out my semester like this before, but professors here organize class by weeks. So instead of using specific dates, they’ll list the readings for “week 3” or schedule a test for the “week 4 tutorial.” It’s a cool system of thinking – it’s easier to remember weeks than days. But it’s quite unsettling to feel like I’m still getting the hang of things and know that I’m almost a third of the way through the semester.

In this first third of my classes there’s been lots of fun little things that make me smile, outside of the big adventures everyone hears about, that make life a bit unique over here. I thought I’d share the ones I was able to capture so far.

And below are some videos of little moments that made me smile, too. A game of “Zorb Soccer,” some guys playing tennis outside my room in the hallway (I heard a mysterious “thump” every couple of seconds against my door and decided to investigate through my peephole), and some IFSA-Butler friends playing an intense game of ERS.

Find some little things to smile about today :)

Love, Anna



Find more videos like this on Institute for Study Abroad – Butler University

Find more videos like this on Institute for Study Abroad – Butler University

Find more videos like this on Institute for Study Abroad – Butler University


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!


Rugby World Cup Highlights

Time September 14th, 2011 in College Study Abroad | Comments Off on Rugby World Cup Highlights by

I spent my Spring Break in Auckland, New Zealand with the main goal of experiencing the Rugby World Cup. These are the video highlights from the Opening Ceremonies and Opening match.

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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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Thoughts After a Month Abroad…

Time August 8th, 2011 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Well, it has been a month since I left home and things are starting to change a bit. The honeymoon feeling is gone and some other things have come up.

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