Arrival: Host Country & Culture Immersion
◦ What are your favorite things about your host location thus far?
There are so many things to love about my new life here in Australia. I have been so lucky in meeting the people I have. Everyone is incredibly nice; manners seem more natural for people rather than America.
From originally being afraid about where I would move and who my roommates would be, I am extremely fortunate on where I found to live.
Food here in Australia is relatively similar to the US. I think I drive my roommates nuts though. When every we go to the grocery store i’m sure I look lost as I spend 5 min looking at bread because I don’t know what the ‘Good’ brand is. Everything here is a lot fresher and it is exciting to see the small differences in things.
-Pineapples don’t have the crowns left on
-Celery has the shrub left on top
– Powdered Sugar = Icing Mixture
– Corn Flour = Corn Starch
– Baking Soda = Bicarb Soda
– Popcicles = Ice Blocks
– Bell Pepper = Capscium
– Cookies = Biscuits
– Cotton Candy = Fairy Floss
– French Fries = Chips
– Cilantro = Coriander
– Gyro = Kebab
– Fish Sticks = Fish Fingers
– Sprinkles = Hundreds and thousands
– Jam= Jelly
– Jelly = Jello
– Ground beef = Mince
– Cantaloupe = Rock Melon
– Cheap boxed wine = Goon
My roommates are going to take me on a Australian Food shopping trip so I can try everything, even Kangaroo. I will post a video soon.
I got to Australia in their winter. They complain it is cold but back in Washington I would be wearing shorts. I would rocking shorts here right now, but I continuously get stared at like I’m crazy.
◦ Tell us about the university, academic experience, the classes, student life, and clubs or activities you are involved with? How are the locals, are there any differences or similarities that have surprised you based on your expectations?
Did you experience culture shock when you arrived in your host country? How did your expectations about your experience compare with the reality of your day to day life? Is there anything you wish you would have done or researched more to better prepare you for your experience?
University of Newcastle and Student Life
I LOVE going to school here in Newcastle. UON have amazing opportunities for their students.
At the University they have Bike Hubs where you can rent a bike for the whole year for about 50- 80 dollars. Once you return the bike back you get your full rental price back. So basically a free bike rental. Once you rent a bike you get to store it in locked buildings where they have bathrooms, showers, hairdryers and lockers to store your bicycles.
UNSEN (University of Newcastle Exchange Student Network)
UNESN is for anyone interested in going on student exchange, who has previously been on a student exchange, or any students currently on exchange at the University of Newcastle from an overseas. They aim to bring all students together in a fun and social environment through a range of different activities and events.
I have been able to sign up on different events and meet multiple people. So far I have been able to take a trip to the Hunter Valley and do a wine tour, A weekend camping trip to the Blue Mountains and take a Sydney harbor cruise. The opportunities have been great and make it easier to international students to see Australia well they are here.
The program is designed for students to gain experience and skills in the areas of leadership, international awareness, social responsibility and employability through activities and dynamic workshops. The program aims to help students be Career Ready, Locally Engaged ~ Globally Aware
And Socially Responsible.
While I am here I have been able to join the program and make something exciting by completing a program while I am abroad.
On Campus Accessibility
On campus we have a Bank, an Insurance company, medical, print center, pharmacy and multiple food places. This makes is great when living near campus and not having a car. Everything I need is on campus. When I got here instead of having to figure out how to get place to place I was able to open my bank account, buy a sim from the on campus store, and make sure my abroad insurance was in place.
The Locals and Culture Shock
Everyone here is great!!! I cannot say how much I love it here. I didn’t actually experience much culture shock due to the similarities to the US being relatively high. I did have kind of a difficult time understanding what my roommates were saying in the beginning, but now I have already picked up on slang and always accidentally say it to my friends back home. They have no idea what I’m even saying. Although, I am not really experiencing culture shock, I do feel like I might have a difficult time with Re-entry. I would have never expected to like it so much, I was worried about not liking it and having a hard time in the beginning but my expectations have been blown out of the water. I’m enjoying the sarcasm everyone has here because that’s how I am as well. Its odd to say that I already feel like I’m missing Australia and I haven’t even left yet.
When it comes to preparation I feel like I did pretty well. They’re is really only so much you can plan for and fit in your suit case for 6 months abroad. My only thing is I wish I would have known about my phone not being unlocked even though I purchased an “Unlocked” phone. But hopefully I can help others as I share this now.