I can’t believe that I’ve already been in Australia for almost 4 weeks!!!!!!!!!!
A whole freaking month and I haven’t done anything super epic…i’ve been slacking a lot.
Mostly trying to get used to how things roll around here and observing everything. But FINALLY I have decided I am going to step up and do so many things. I’m so excited for it all!!!! I can’t believe I’ll be leaving this place in 3 months :( I like it soooooo much!!!!!!!
Anyways this is what i’ll be up to for the remainder of the this month at least. I’ll keep you guys updated. And if you have any suggestions/recomendations of places to go let me know! I’d love to explore other things as well.
1) Join a Hip-Hop class. This is something that I’ve alwayyyyyysssssss wanted to do!!! I feel like this is the perfect place to do it becuase i’ll be able to meet lots of cool friends, work out, and have a freaking blast. I mean when I go back to the US I might have to show you a thing or two on the dance floor hahaha ;) Check this out:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eE0Gi3M_r0 Dope right? And there’s lots more! I’m going to be pulling off some Monica Parales type of moves hahaha. If you don’t know who she is youtube her…she’s so amazing. Her dance style is subtle yet spunky like the one I hope to acquire.
2) I am going to book my flight to FIJI for Spring Break soon!!!!!!!! Can’t wait!
3) Going to look more into Thailand too :)
4) I’m going to attend several Hip-Hop Concerts in the Area and check out the famous Australian rappers, gotta represent ;) 5) I’m going to go to Melbourne soon and then just chill. 6) I promise that as soon as the weather gets better I’m going to go to Bondi Beach all the time and just relax over there. 7) I’m going to go buy some Jordans and nice sweatpants for my hip-hop class oooh and maybe some sandals (so random, I know) :) 8) Go Check out the amazing markets around here!
9) Go to the IMAX theatre…it has the largest screen ever!
10) Go watch a show at the Opera House….why not. I’m already here, aren’t I ? ;)
11) Figure out how to go see the Uluru Rock :)
12) Go the Barrier Reef
12) Hike up the Blue Mountains
13) Go Skydiving!
…That’s all I have for now hahaha. I’ll probably update later on as I get more and more excited to see other things. I’m feeling really happy right now! I feel So, so, so blessed! :)
I don’t know what is happening to me today. I am in a library at the University and I have piles and piles of readings to do for my classes, but I just keep thinking of how much I miss my home.
I thought that I of all people would fight the urge to go back home. But I have to be honest with myself and with whoever is currently reading this, and I have to admit that I miss Maryland…A LOT! :(
AHHHHHHHHHHHHH I mean maybe if I were in some exotic-paradise-tropical-looking place I wouln’t miss it so much. But the fact that everything here reminds me of America makes it that much worst.
Wahhhh I just wanna get on a plane and go home and be with my family and be with my friends and you too Alex and just stuff my face with Chipotle. :/
But, I have to stick it through. It can’t be that bad. I’m in a new country, with new people! It’s a good thing…right?
Ok, so I’m listening to Lupe right now and this just made it a little bigger, “It’s kids who want to leave, and I encourage them. Go out and see the world and never return from it. Yea, you don’t come back until you learn some.”
But I still miss Maryland!
And at the same time I realize I’m living a very unique experience. I’ll make the most of it. I have to, because there’s no going back for now…
Ok I’m going to do some hardcore learning now, like Lupe Said. :)
Miss you all! <3
Ok so today (March 8th) I had a great day at Uni…like I do mostly every day. I love going to the university and learning new things in this wonderful new atmosphere that I am in.
I had 2 great classes today, they were Intro to Sociology and Psychology for Social Work.
Sociology was a great lecture, Fiona ( the lecturer…not my professor) was so passionate about what she was talking about and I have to say her passion was so contagious because afterwards all I could think about was I NEED TO DO SOCIOLOGY! She ignited the flame in me to keep on following my heart, and I truly appreciated that. When a professor or assistant professor has that effect on you, you know you’re in good hands! :)
Then I went to my Psychology for Social Work class which is truly definitely one of my favorite, favorite classes!!!! My teacher is awesome and she said something in lecture today that really struck me, she said that despite her age (she’s probably in her mid to upper 50s) she has always held on to her naivety because she willingly wants to be surprised and not just expect things to happen or assume that certain things will happen. And in many ways I am the same way. I love being naive, now of course i’m only 19 so I haven’t really seen much of the world yet but I think even when I get wayy older I want to definitely hold on to my naivety. Life is so much more exciting that way. It becomes an adventure every day and not just dull and redundant! :) Another cool thing that she mentioned in lecture was that like me, she was optimistic about life. A lot of times I get scrutinized or bashed by my family for being so optimistic, because they’re afraid that I will get really hurt one day. But I just can’t help it! I have this faith and hope in people and I refuse to judge anyone or push them aside unless I really know what kind of person they are. I guess you could say that in my eyes you’re innocent until proven guilty. And sure with that a lot of disappointment comes and frustration, and heck even anger! But 9 out of 10 times, the end result is a positive one that I can’t regret. Being optimistic allows me to really reach out to people and know things about them that I probably would have never known otherwise. It’s really an amazing quality that I hope I never lose. And up until now I thought that it was just good for conversation…hahaha at least now I know that I could use it as a good quality for a career in social work! :)
Besides my wonderful lectures, I was able to meet many cool people on Campus. Australians are truly some of the most friendliest people that I know!!!
Like today, I met this wonderful girl named Yeshi in my tutorial class for SCWK2004. And it turns out that Yeshi has a very similar life story to mine! She was born in Tibet and moved to northern India when she was really young, which is similar to me moving from Bolivia to the US when I was really young. Yeshi has dreams of doing something in social work and me…I don’t know what I want to do yet. I do want to impact the world in some way/shape/or form. :) I think it’s crazy to think that we all have so much in common with people around us in our every day life but fail to realize the similarities and instead dwell on the differences. I’m greatful for meeting Yeshi because she taught me to be more open minded and realize that I do have much in common with people around me and that I just have to be open enough to listen to their stories & life experiences! :)
Yeshi also told me something that I’ve been hearing a lot since I came to Australia…she said I looked Northern Indian, and that I had big eyes like people from Northern India do. hahahahaha I thought that was funny, because usually people would say that my eyes are very small compared to other people’s. I’ve never head the big eyed compliment but I have heard that I looked Indian before when I met my boyfriend’s friends and they also said I could pass for Northern Indian. But I never took it to seriously until all these Indian guys kept trying to holla at me. hahahahaha. It makes me want to go to Northern India and see what people there truly look like! So India beware, I will go to your beautiful land one day!
So to sort of end my post for the day I’ll just bullet some things that I’ve noticed/ thought were cool during my stay in Australia thus far:
- Smiles are Contagious. Seriously if you just walk around campus and smile, everyone will smile back at you! It’s awesome!!!!!! You should try it some time :)
- Did I mention I love my Psycholog for Social Work class? Like I might seriously one day become a social worker!
- I’ve noticed that if you tell Australians that you’re from the US they kind of just brush it off like it’s no biggie, but if you tell them you’re from Bolivia then all of a sudden you’re so exotic and mysterious and cool. I mean iI guess it has to do with the fact that no one really knows where Bolivia is on the map…but it’s cool to know that you’re the FIRST person from Bolivia that they met. “Firsts” of anything always stay fresh in your mind. ;)
- BTW never plan to meet people, you just shouldn’t go to someone and ask them “How much was that beer?” to engage in a lengthy conversation because it never happens. Instead act like you’re lost or truly be lost (like in my case) and go to some cool girl named Karen and ask her for directions! She’ll help you out and tell you about her fluffy 1/2 persian cat! :)
- I must say whenever I hear Hip-Hop blasting it reminds me of home…Thank goodness USyd has great music taste ;)
- Ohhhh and you want to know what the cool thing about being a college student in Australia is? You get to have a beer right before class…seriously, there are several bars on campus! (Not that I drink or anything….)
Cheers Hope you all have a G’day Mates!
I’m going to get better at this I promise.
I’ll write more tomorrow.
So please stay tuned.
Sidenote about the title of this post: In Australia everyone refers to the University as “Uni” So in everyday conversation they might say, “How’s the uni?” , “What uni do you attend?” , “I ♥ my Uni!” , “Going to the uni?”, etc… Anyways, I think it’s awesome because it reminds me of Bolivia. In Bolivia or in most Latin American Countries we call universities “la U.” So I thought that was a cool similarity between my culture and the Australian culture. :)
Ok now back to the post!
February 29th of February, 2011 <—Getting more hip to how the locals write their dates ;)
So this week will be my first week of school at the University of Sydney. Which by the way is a BEAUTIFUL SCHOOL! It’s a mixture of old & new. It has the harry potter feel to it but also a more modern feel to it and is home to 50,000+ students.
I’m so excited for what this semester has in store for me, just because for once in my college life I actually LOVE every course that I’m taking. They all genuinely interest me and therefore I know that I will want to give them my all!
Here’s my schedule for Spring 2011:
You might have noticed the many tutorials that I have. In Sydney, a tutorial is kind of like a section back in MD where you have a TA and you go over some material discussed in class. Except for the fact that you have to do many readings before your tutorial because you will be expected to answer many questions based on them and at one point you will also have to teach your tutorial class whatever that week’s subject is. Which sounds a little bit intimidating but it’s all about the learning process.
Yesterday I had SCLG2624 where we learn about Human Rights & Social Protest. I learned so much from my first day and related to all of the information that was given. I talked to my professor after class and it turns out that he went to Bolivia and often travels to South America for research and academia purposes. I can’t wait to learn more about his research! It’ll be so cool! After that class I had PSYC2011 where we learn about Brain & Behavior. This class is very exciting but also very intimidating because you sit in a lecture packed with 500+ students. But the professor is really cool and friendly, so I think it will be an enjoyable class. One of the cool things about this class is that we will conduct an experiment on ourselves (sort of). Basically we have to pick one of two things to test ourselves on. One option is unhealthy foods vs healthy foods and the other is net surfing vs studying. Eventually we will have to identify what our “bad” behavior is and by the end of the course we should either be eating healthier or being more productive!! I can’t wait to change my net surfing habit into a more productive one.
Today, I have SCLG1001 which is just an intro to Sociology here in Australia and Globally and SCWK 2004 which is the Psychology of Social Work. I can’t wait to learn a lot of information and finally stimulate my brain! I will update on these classes as soon as I get back today! :)
It’s already Monday in Australia, and I have arrived here last Sunday but due to several circumstances…and JET LAG, I wasn’t able to update my tumblr yet. So here goes… many days worth of memories/experiences/and soon enough pictures! :)
Sunday February 20,2011:
After saying goodbye to my loved ones and crying my eyes out as I entered the plane and after a 19+hour total flight from DC to Sydney… I FINALLY MADE IT! I was so nervous going through the airport and passing through immigration because I knew that after that was where everyone was waiting for their loved one’s arrivals. And then it dawned on me that unlike any other time that I traveled, this time I was on my own and I had no one to hug or kiss at the other side. I was nervous making my way through the waves of people and then I see a nice lady standing with a sign that said “Education Abroad Network.” I immediately felt calm and collected and sighed with relief as I knew that I wasn’t alone and that there was someone here waiting for me. I suddenly felt special and appreciated to come to Sydney, Australia and no longer felt like a complete stranger. I soon found out that the lady waiting for me was Rachel Dorsey one of the staff members that ensures that our arrival to Sydney is a safe & secure one. Next to Rachel were two girls that I recognized from my flight and that were from UMiami. After greeting each other we hopped on a taxi to a conference center where our orientation began! Our first day was a general overview of the rules in Sydney and we also received information on pre-paid cellphones/sim cards that we should buy and then we socialized with some people for a little bit. And then we were off to the World Tower Hotel in downtown Sydney. Right of the bat, I knew that Sydney would be a great city because as I was walking from our conference center to our hotel you could feel the good vibes that came from the people and the wondeful weather. When I first arrived it was at least 80 degrees!!!! Coming from MD it felt like paradise. I loved it!!!!! After looking at the view in my new room and admiring all that the city had to offer I knocked out in peace, because I was really exhausted.
& Thus my Sunday ended in happiness & peace :)
Monday February 21, 2011
Monday morning was amazing. We woke up had breakfast and Tim Tams here and there, which if you haven’t heard of are these amazing Australian made chocolate biscuits that you can never get enough of…anyways we ate and then headed to Hyde Park. An amazing Park full of history right in downtown Sydney which serves as a memorial for the veterans of the and was home to the first horse races as well as the first cricket tournaments in Australia. Right in the park is also the ANZAC memorial which stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. It’s probably one of the most amazing memorials that I have ever seen. It was built in remembrance to the Australian Imperial Force of WWI. Today the park has a very nice atmosphere, there are a bunch of skaters, professionals, students, corporates all enjoying a rich part of Australia’s history. After the walk through Hyde Park we went on a tour of the “hotspots” of Australia, in particular those that were in downtown. During our walking tour I learned several things:
1) Australia has sooo much to offer. It’s practically impossible to be bored in this city!
2) The museums in Australia turn into lounges/bars after 5pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays! How hip is that??
3) The coffee culture here is so amazing. Everyone has coffee all the time and they use it as a time to socialize with friends or colleagues. I find that to be so intriguing and as a coffee lover, I immediately fell in love with the coffee shops and the people!
4) Prostitution is LEGAL. Yes you read that correctly. While Sydney is one of the most westernized nations they have had a huge problem with prostitution in the past. In attempts to make Australia more safe they decided to legalize it but all employees have to be of adequate age (18+) and are tested weekly for STIs and HIV.
5) Ohh and I also learned that Paris parties big at the downtown clubs in Sydney, which I have yet to check out…but soon enough.
After the walk and seeing where all the places are that we can go to for events we headed over to the animal zoo where we got to pet koalas and kangaroos. They’re sooooooooooooo cute!!!!!!!!!!! I just want to hug them all day and keep them forever. During this trip I realized that I am just like a koala like seriously all they do is eat, sleep, and hang out…and they’re vegetarian! I want one so bad! :)
Then we went to have lunch and ate one of the most traditional foods of Australia…MEAT PIES! But as you all may know, I am vegetarian so I got a VEGGIE PIE instead. I heard the meat pies were delish and I know the veggie ones were to die for! :) So remember to get meat/veggie pies if you ever come to Australia!
Tuesday February 22, 2011
So my first Tuesday in Sydney was a bit of a thrill! We started the day off by going out to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge…perhaps one of the most famous bridges in the world. I was so scared to do this! I am genuinely afraid of heights to climbing up a 456ft high bridge wasn’t exactly what I had in mind…but I’m glad I did it because it was an amazing experience. Plus, who else can say they climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge? hahahaha. The views from the bridge were so breathtaking, you could see everything! I thought it was clever that they made us wear gray suits so that we blended in with the bridge. :) Overall, that has been my best memory of Sydney just because it was something I was terribly afraid of but so thrilling at the same time! After climbing, we had a bag of lunch and then went back to the hotel to get ready for the harbour bridge dinner cruise. I’ve never been in a cruise before but from what I previously heard I knew that it would be an amazing experience so I got dressed up and went for it. The food was delish I had pasta with parmesan cheese and champagne while my non-vegetarian friends had salmon with potatoes and vegetables w/ champagne. After dinner we went outside and took pictures with the amazing views of the Opera House/Harbour Bridge/and Downtown Buildings. It was a really nice experience and a great bonding time to meet the other participants.
It took THIS particular experience for me to finally realize that I was in Sydney. When I was outside of the boat and I was looking out at the view and had the wind blowing in my hair as I looked around me…it finally hit me, I was in freaking SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA!!!!!!!!! And I suddenly felt super blessed to have this opportunity to explore new places and meet new people. I immediately knew that the next couple of months would be unforgettable! :)
Wednesday, February 23,2011
Wednesday was a very chill day for me, basically I just packed all of my things that I had in the hotel and got ready to move into my new apartment in Bondi Junction which is a very centric location and walking distance to Bondi Beach…Australia’s #1 Beach.
I moved in at around 3:00pm and was amazed at how lovely this place looked, it had 3 bedrooms (with 2 people each) and a kitchen, dining room, living room, laundry room, 2 balconies, 2 1/2 bathrooms, and beautiful views all over the place. Finally I felt like I was home. This would be only the very beginning of my adventures in Sydney. :)
****PICTURES COMING SOON! …as soon as I have better internet! :)
Boyce Avenue & Kina Grannis - Fast Car (Acoustic Cover)