Follow current students as they explore the world beyond St. John Fisher College.
Okay, I’m falling behind in my blog posts and I need to catch up. So, here’s me attempting to recall everything that has happened in the past week.
Sunday my friend and I decided to go into the town nearby Fremantle and try a new restaurant. Turns out you can’t even get into it without an ID even if you’re not drinking, due to the strict licensing laws in Australia. Instead we just went to a seafood place on the water. Afterwards, it was a trip to the market which seems like a new weekly event. Everything is so cheap! Especially, if you get there near 4:00-5:00 when its closing time on a Sunday. Everything must go or it will go bad. You can 5 bananas for $1, 3 things of whatever veggies you want for $5, 3 medium sized containers of strawberries for $5. Its amazing and saves so much money! The grocery stores are pretty expensive here. Afterwards, we watched the sunset on the beach. Our venture home was difficult. The buses only run like every hour on Sundays and we couldn’t find the proper stop. Nevertheless, we made it home.
Some new things I learned today about how Australians talk:
How are you is said as How you going.
Thank you is said as Cheers.
Your welcome is said as No worries or It’s okay.
Things are pronounced extremely different, aluminum is pronounced as Ale-you-min-e-um
Monday it was back to class and getting into the routine of things. I don’t recall doing anything out of the ordinary besides going to class and working out. I’m sure I had my friend make me dinner or something like that. I’m getting extremely spoiled by some friends who love to cook!
Tuesday I had class again all day until 6:00. Afterwards, I did homework and attempted to plan my spring break trips. We are considering going to Bali and Melbourne. We have 3 study breaks. March, April and June are the available months. This month, March, I will be spending a weekend down South for three days (this coming weekend) and 10 days up North during one of the study breaks. Now, its just playing the game of trying to get the cheapest flight to the other locations and saving enough money! Stay tuned.
Wednesday we went back to the restaurant we couldn’t get into on Sunday with our IDs in hand this time. Its actually a brewery as well. They give tours to people who want to see how everything works and sample things. We were late to the tour that day and missed it but still got to sit down and eat and drink. The restaurant was called “Little Creatures” and is known well around here. I had my first full beer ever and it was absolutely disgusting. I had a white ale that was brewed in house. I did not like it at all and choked it down just because I paid for it. Everyone else I was with seemed to be enjoying theirs so don’t take my word for it. I will probably never drink it again. I had a delicious salad for dinner and some of a friend’s pizza. We of course got dessert, a brownie and cranberry sundae covered in a scoop of ice cream - yum. https://littlecreatures.com.au
Thursday there was a festival on campus. It was so cool! There were water rides, a rock wall, red bull tent, games, free food, tables set up. It was unlike anything I’ve seen at a college before and there were so many people. I got free green apple sorbet, interesting. I then attempted to take on the rock wall which I quickly got halfway up. It was not the easiest wall in the world to hold on to. Once I fell there was no going back up. We walked around for a bit and it was really hot out. It was a really great day!
Friday I believe my friends ventured to the beach. Sadly, I did homework and studied all day. It was not as fun as the past days but must be done. There is still a little studying involved in “study abroad” contrary to belief. I also had to edit because my roommate who is going for her PhD has asked me to be her proofreader. English is not her first language so I am really helping her out here. We had a movie night later on and watched 21 jump street. - Not a very interesting day.
Saturday I finally made it to the beach after wanting to go in the sun all week long. We ventured to a new beach we hadn’t been before. The waves were much bigger than in other areas but not too big. This called for wave jumping! It was so much fun. We also grabbed lunch at a restaurant right on the water nearby and I had buttermilk chicken over salad and a Nutella banana milk shake. YUM. Here when you order a “milkshake” it is essentially what it says, like milk, extremely thin. If you want a milkshake by American standards, thick and creamy, you must ask for THICK shake. They will add an extra scoop of ice cream or whatever and its typically $1 more. Later on after our day in the sun ALL DAY we went down to North Bridge for the night. We went to a club called Air where they shoot glitter at you. It was a cool place.
Sunday we all had brunch at the Theobroma Chocolate Lounge in Fremantle. It was to DIE for. I had belgian waffles covered in strawberries, chocolate, bananas and ice cream. I couldn’t have asked for more. My friends had an array of pancakes with toppings, fruit and fondue, eggs and toast and brownie sundaes. It was so good. And so since it was Sunday it called for another visit to the market. There I got some fruits for the week. We forgot it was a public holiday on Monday so the market wouldn’t have their deals until the following day. We vowed to come back on Monday. While there, we also got our eyebrows threaded. I am an eyebrow snob and always have to have them done. For those of you who know I go to brow diva at home and was dying for a fix. This place called Zubias I found online. It had good reviews so I tried it out. It didn’t hurt at all and was extremely accurate and shaping my brows. I actually enjoyed it and would go back again! Feeling much better about my brows. We shopped around a bit and then headed home. Class at 8:30 on Monday was to follow.
That’s all for now!
The Japonese Botanical Gardens 💛 #argentinaaventuras (at Jardín Botánico “Carlos Thays”)
"La Bomba de Tiempo"-the sickest drumfest I have ever seen! #argentinaaventuras
Spend today in a beautiful garden 💛💛 #argentinaaventuras (at Jardín Botánico “Carlos Thays”)
Today is Monday. I just finished my only class of the day. 10 out of 59 students showed up. It was only a lecture but I thought since I didn’t have anything better to do, why not go. I’m glad I went, even though there weren’t many other students.
Yesterday we went cliff jumping! I’ve never been before, so it’s pretty cool to say my first experience was in Australia. I was actually really nervous. I’m not sure how high exactly it was - not super high. Maybe 2-3 stories. But I went for it, and was glad I did. The feeling of just falling in the air was pretty neat. However, it messed up my ears. They keep popping every time I swallow.
After that we were going to go to a National Park…but it hit maximum capacity so we drove almost 3 hours for no reason. We were all very disappointed but we turned around and went back to a beach close to Uni. It was like 4pm by now. The water was chillier than normal but once you got in all the way it wasn’t bad.
On the beach we witnessed an old lady…very old… who wore her swimsuit backwards and had trouble keeping herself hidden. A wave hit her and her top half came flying out. It was definitely a sight to see. Once back on the sand she decided to change right in front of everyone…that’s when my group decided it was time to leave. I guess it’s okay that we don’t have TV here because the live action is just as good, or better…haha. We headed back to campus and all had homework that needed to be done.
We are going to the market in a little bit to get fresh fruits and veggies, hopefully for a cheap price.
Yesterday, the other half of our party arrived. Five other student from the United States joined our program to get us up to eleven students. We all went out to lunch together and with our program directer, then we took a tour of the city and got to see some new things! One of my favorite places we went to was La Boca. Its is a part of Buenos Aires that is “the mouth” because it opens up to the mouth of the river; hence the name La Boca. It was absolutely beautiful! It’s a little more touristy, but it still is worth the sights! The colors of the houses brighten up the streets and the live performances make it hard to not want to jump in and start dancing. There are people Tangoing everywhere and everyone offering to take your picture just to make a couple bucks. The energy is unreal. We explored a little bit and I soon realized I needed to come back with a surplus of time, and money. There were so many cool shops of the local style of clothes as well as souvenirs. We then walked through the Caminito which is a street museum of an alleyway that shows the culture and how The Tango flourished in this area. After, we explored the street art. There were trees wrapped in yarn as well as huge murals painted on the sides of buildings and walls. Overall, the streets were so beautiful and it was so cool to just be able to appreciate everything with each other. We were given a good amount of time to take some pictures with each other and of the art. La Boca was very different from anything I’ve seen in Buenos Aires and I look forward to returning there soon! Below are some pictures of the streets and the fun we had yesterday!
Street art in La Boca #argentinaaventuras
Los árboles en La Boca #argentinaaventuras
Today is Saturday at 3:30pm.
Yesterday a group of us went into Perth by train and even further to an Aquarium, Aqwa. The area that this aquarium was in, was sweet. There was a beach, water slide, giant trampolines, and so much more. There were cute little beach shops, places to eat and it was great for a little day trip. I definitely would love to go back and maybe bring my bathing suit! The prices of bathing suits here is outrageous. Each piece is at least $70….even for something more simple. It’s actually depressing how expensive things are!
However, the aquarium was pretty neat. Again, I’m not a fan of fish. But the tropical ones are pretty to look at, as long as there is glass between us…haha. The big scary fish were repulsive. I was kind of petrified. We went into the main part and stood on a piece of ground that moved us, kind of like what you see in an airport. You stand on it and it moves, or you can walk on it and just walk faster. There were sharks in tank, sting rays, giant turtles and lots of ugly fish. The best part was that we were in like a tube that went through the tank. So the fish and sharks would swim right over us and along side us. That was pretty neat. The pictures didn’t come out too well, but I’ll post some. The rest of the aquarium was ok…we got to hold starfish and pet small sharks. There weren’t many turtles and the stingray exhibit was too sunny to see anything. But one stingray came up to Dev and I and like jumped out of the water. It was scary, yet cool at the same time. After that we went to the little town part and had some food. Then headed back and the boys planned a trip to Bali. The girls, yeah we are still working on details if we are even going to go or not haha.
Today it was 100 degrees. Super super hot. We went down to the pool for a little but you had to be in the water in order to be cool, but we need inflatables or something. So we didn’t end up there very long.
Things are going pretty good over here. Just too hot to do anything. Tomorrow a couple of us are going to go to the market to get fresh fruits and veggies or cheap. I’m excited about that! I’m trying to find clubs to join around campus. There are a ton to chose from! But I’m excited to meet new people and make friends over here, so I can have places to stay when I come back… :)
Florida isn’t Peru, but the weather sure beats Rochester’s, which got me to this point. The snow slowed my flight to NYC, which delayed the one to Ft. Lauderdale. By the time I got here the plane to Lima had already took off, so I have to wait an entire day for the next one. And they lost my luggage.
If this happens to you, do what I did: be chill - these things happen. You just have to focus on the solutions, not the problems. Be kind and grateful to the people trying to help you - it’s Mother Nature that should be belittled and have their personal decency questioned, not these folks just doing their jobs. Plus, y’know, I got comped with a pretty swanky hotel room.
Things have been pretty low key over here. Everyone is getting situated with classes. I have been to all of mine; I really like the photography and tourism classes but ethics/philosophy is a different story haha. It’s interesting but it’s going to be difficult. In that class I’m the only American and it feels so weird. Sometimes I can’t understand what people are saying because they have slang and hard accents. I can’t imagine going somewhere that didn’t speak English!
So we have lectures for our classes plus tutorials or labs or both. However, the lectures are not mandatory and they are recorded in class and put online. That means I wouldn’t have to go to some of my classes if I want to go to the beach instead… :) We’ll see how things go though.
Tomorrow we are going to an aquarium, I’m actually really excited! I’ll be able to post pictures of that but I haven’t really taken any new ones recently.
Life is getting easier here. We have found a way to get netflix to work! I’m getting used to wearing the same outfits on a daily basis haha. Hopefully I’ll go shopping sometime soon! It’s getting hotter again, today was 96. But my classrooms have air so that’s a plus.
Our friends got a cable box so we were able to watch some tv for the first time since I left- almost a month ago!! Life is weird without tv but I kind of like it! We play a lot of games like Uno, monopoly and just general card games.
I guess that is all for now. It’s 11:15pm on Thursday night!
This marked the first week of classes! Today is Tuesday and it’s 6pm. I didn’t have any classes today, but I did have one yesterday. Apparently my Tourism class has two lectures, and one of them is in the middle of the day on Monday. So inconvenient because if I didn’t have that lecture, I would have no class Monday and Tuesday. But oh well.
I liked the class, I guess. I mean it was just the first day so it was an overview of everything but it seems pretty interesting. I think I will like it better when we get into a tutorial, which is on Thursday.
Today a couple of us went to the beach, but it was so windy we left. You couldn’t even lay down for two minutes without being covered in sand. I swear I will continue to pick sand out of my hair for days. But there’s nothing to complain about here because those in New York are getting the cold weather again. Instead of staying on the beach we walked around Freo. I got a Tim Tam gelato. It may have been the best thing I’ve eaten since I came here. I’m not sure if America has Tim Tams, but if they don’t I might cry, haha.
I’m excited to see what my other classes are all about these next couple days. Hopefully they don’t seem too scary, or intimidating! I guess that’s all for now.
Last night, we took a quick trip to Milonga, A local bario. Our advisor explained to us that we were going to a tango bar. I really know nothing about the tango other than its Argentinian. Also that scene in Moulin Rouge where they do the number “El Tango De Roxanne” If you haven’t seen it, YouTube it because it’s a freaking insane beautiful tango song to Roxanne by The Police. Yeah sounds weird right? NO. It’s freaking incredible go watch it now.
Anyways, my advisor explained that this is a local bar where many Argentinians come to dance. I think that is so awesome. There is so much raw culture here. When I spend some of last summer in Germany, I witnessed the folk dances as well including the Holzhackertanz (Bunch of sweaty men chopping wood to a beat-a lot cooler than it sounds) and the Bandltanz (Bunch of pretty girls twirling ribbon around a pole-it was alright). When I come to Argentina, I see the tango! I only wish we had a dance to identify with our culture in the United States-I don’t think the chicken dance counts (Hope it doesn’t). It was just so beautiful and encouraging to see young people spend their Saturday night doing real traditional dances.
My friend Kerri and I split a bottle of wine as we watched couple after couple melodically swirl around the dance floor with so much grace it was so beautiful. We didn’t get a chance to actually dance ourselves because we didn’t want to make a fool out of ourselves and ruin the show. Also the guys we were with have no idea what they are doing either. However this upcoming semester, I am trying to sign up for a Tango class as one of my courses so hopefully that works out!
It was so cool to see a part of the city that wasn’t touristy at all and was very local. People here are preparing for Carnivale because it’s next week. The amount of energy in the city has grown and I’m told it will only increase. I love having these real cultural experiences and I look forward to more.
Today is Saturday, 9:30pm.
Yesterday we went to a wildlife park and got to feed kangaroos! That was definitely a huge highlight of the trip. We also got to pet koalas, wombats, hold a snake and see all sorts of animals native to Australia. Feeding the kangaroos and taking “Selfies” with them was my favorite. I could’ve stayed there for forever. I’ll include some pictures. I did not like the snake at all, there are some pictures that show how much I didn’t like the snake. I can upload one of them as well.
Last night a couple of us stayed in and just played UNO, but we were all arguing about the rules, and come to find out the rule book was not in English. Out of the 4 languages printed, English wasn’t one of them. So we ended up having an hour long uno game, that I eventually just left because it was so boring.
Today a couple of us went to the beach for a bit. It was hot, but there was a nice breeze. I definitely could get used to hanging out by the beach as a daily occurrence!
I can’t believe it’s already been another week here in Perth. All the days seem to blend together. Classes start on Monday and for a moment I was getting used to not having a schedule - just kidding I can’t wait to get back on track. So let me recall what I did this week…
Monday I had an orientation where I learned all about the classes I’ll be taking on campus. School is MUCH different here in Australia. Australia is one of the hardest places to get an education and the grading is much harsher than the US. Afterward I went grocery shopping. We have to take a bus or train everywhere we go here but the transportation systems are fantastic. We decided to go to the further grocery store - terrible idea. The store closest to us allows us to drive our actual shopping carts back home so we don’t have to carry them. This farther store obviously did not have such a perk and let’s just say crossing the street and carrying all the bags home was a special treat. Yikes.
Tuesday we learned all about how to get a job here in Perth. There are so many perks, especially gaining experience and insight into a new culture along with meeting new people. Did I mention the minimum wage is $18/hour. Insane. We also signed up for a “buddy group” where we will be paired with a current Australian student to be our mentor, yay. Afterwards I had to go to the store again of course because I couldn’t carry everything I wanted the day before. This time I decided on the closer store. One other thing, on the shopping carts here all the wheels turn in every direction so there are no wheels that are ever straight. Driving one of those bad boys home isn’t pretty either. Caution: curb hitting and tipping is common. We had an international students dinner filled with candy and games. Oh and I tried a meat pie today. It’s a staple here. It was just okay.
Wednesday I went job hunting. I decided on the downtown Perth area. It was about 97 degrees out this day. It was so so so hot. I applied to about ten places. Not many were hiring but I tried my chances anyway. I haven’t heard anything from anyone yet but am hoping for the best. I only have class 2 days a week so some extra money to off set everything that is SUPER expensive here would be nice. Prime example, we all know Revlon makeup is like what $12 at a drugstore or grocery store at home? I don’t purchase it but I do know the price and it caught my eye when it was $40-$50 here in Perth. There’s the price difference for ya. CRAZY. Some of my friends learned to surf this day and they loved it. One of these days I’ll push myself outside my comfort zone and get in the shark filled waters.
Thursday, I may have spoke to soon about facing my shark fears. A bunch of us decided to go into Freo for the day, a close town and beach area. Another day in the extremely high 90’s. The sand was scolding hot and nearly burned me. The sun was even hotter. Anyway, there is a floating dock in the open water far out from shore, okay not that far. But, we decided we wanted to swim out there. It took me all the courage I have to actually do it but I did! Once out there I was petrified looking into the water every 5 minutes. There was absolutely no touching the bottom or seeing what was underneath. We even saw a jellyfish. On the way back to shore my friend swore to me she saw a shark and I just about had a heart attack. I don’t think I’ve ever swam that fast in my life. I was the first one back if that gives you any idea. Following, we all grabbed food (kebabs yum) in town and of course a reoccurring dessert of gelato. This place, Dolce Vita, had Tim Tam and Ferrero Rocher flavored gelato! I had both :-)
On Friday we had an early start to the day and dropped a lot of money on two trips that will take place next month. I will be going on a 9 day trip up North along the coast and to the outback. There will be some breathtaking sights. I will then also be spending another 3 days in the South, traveling to wineries and other cool things. I’ve been told the North and the South are completely contrasting of each other. I am super excited! Bali will be planned for another break as well, let’s hope I get a job soon. After the sign up, we all took a bus out to Caversham Wildlife Park. We saw tons of animals. There was a show where we watched them give some sheep a haircut! It was scary to watch but very interesting. My favorite part was the chance to see and pet koalas and kangaroos so up close and personal. It was the first time I ever saw a kangaroo in real life. They don’t just run around everywhere like you’d think, at least not around here. Later that night I got news I had to move out of my room into a different one. I didn’t have a roommate in my first room and two people needed a room so I got the boot - woohoo. I made a birthday cake for my friend’s 20th birthday and we watched bridesmaids!
Today, on Saturday I traveled to Perth to go shopping with my friend. We needed to look for dress clothing. For our friend Carly’s birthday which is today we want to go to the nice part of Perth where there are a ton of really nice bars and restaurants. The dress codes are strict so there was a necessity to get some new clothing. Perth is just amazing. Saturdays are really busy everything closes at 5, so if you go in the afternoon the hustle and bustle is unbelievable. We met two new friends who were our sales associates, they told us they wanted to be our new tour guides. They said they “loved” our accents, funny to think I now have an accent and am considered a foreigner. Perspective. Well, that’s all for now. I will be going to Northbridge tonight for my friends birthday. I will post pictures soon and update WEEKLY - sorry mom and dad!
School starts soon - back to semi-reality.