My first month here has been nothing but fun and adventure.
I arrived here in the sunny Gold Coast on January 8. I got settled into my apartment complex, Varsity Shores, the following day. Varsity Shores is an all student complex that is about a 5-minute walk to campus, which is very convenient.
I have five roommates, two from Ohio, two from India and one from Buffalo. We all get along very well and have spent a lot of time together, already creating so many memories. In my complex, there is an in ground pool, where I spend a lot of my free time. As school starts to become more intensive, I plan to spend my time studying pool-side.
My first week here was nothing but fun. Since classes did not start until the 16th, we had the entire week to explore the city and get accustomed to the crazy time difference, which is 15-plus hours. I spent a lot of my time at the pool with my roommates Gabrielle and Meghan and also took some trips to Burleigh Beach.
Sadly, the week of nothing but free time came to an end and reality finally set in with classes starting that Monday. International Trade and Australian Popular Culture are both on-campus classes that I have twice a week. However, my Rainforest Analysis class is a one week intensive class. On February 13, my classmates and I will take a boat to an island and study the rainforest for five days. I am so excited to not only study the rainforest, but also I get a free trip out of the experience!
Last weekend I traveled to Sydney for Australia Day with 13 of my friends in my apartment complex. We all stayed in a huge Airbnb mansion for four nights. It was so cool to see so many Australians celebrate their country, much like we do for the 4th of July. I walked across the Harbor Bridge, toured the Sydney Opera House, hiked the Coogie Walk in Bondi Beach, and took a ferry ride to Manly Beach. Sydney was a beautiful city and, hopefully, I can take another trip there before my time runs out here in Australia.
I cannot wait to see what the next few weeks hold for me. So far, Australia has treated me very well.