One Crazy Week- Orientation at UND Freo

Trip Start Feb 07, 2008
Trip End Jun 22, 2008

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Flag of Australia  ,
Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hello Everyone!

Well, orientation for the semester is underway here at University of Notre Dame Fremantle. The rest of the residents arrived last Saturday, so I've been very busy making sure everyone is settled in, knows how to get around, isn't sufferring too much from culture shock, etc. We attended a footie match last Sunday in Subiaco (just north of here) and had a blast! Footie is the big sport here in Western Australia- the only way I could describe it is as a combination between rugby, American football and soccar. There's three goal posts on either side of the field and the scoring changes depending on which one the ball goes through, and there's basically no illegal moves or tackles. It's kind of hard to understand, but very fun to watch, and the fans were crazy! The game was between the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers, the two big rivalries out here. We all had such a blast that we're going to start a touch-footie team on campus and compete with some other unis (Aussie slang for university). I guess the girls last year won the West Australia tournement!!

It took me a while to sort out my classes, but I've finally gotten them figured out. Australian's are VERY laid back, so every time I went into Student Admin on campus to get my schedual sorted out (I had some classes I had to switch), they would always tell me somewhere else to go and something else to do and say "ah, you can swtich well through the first two weeks, it's no worries." So it's hard to get things done quickly around here, which is a bit frustrating but very good for me! My courses (they're called units over here) are: Geographic Information Systems (computer-based mapping), Data Analysis and Experimental Design, Pollution and Ecotoxicology, Australian History and Culture and the History and Politics of Genocide. I think genocide is going to be my favorite class, because it's and out-of-sight, out-of-mind issue and the more educated about it I am, the more I can do about it. I've already started reading my textbook :)

Today there was a huge Student Life bazaar where we could sign up for activities and campus clubs. I put my name down for every volunteer opportunity I could (it's the best way to plug into a culture!), a conservation association in Australia and the archeology club. I signed up to go on an archeological excavation in three weeks, which I am absolutely crazy-excited for!! I was also sorely tempted to sign up for intramural cricket, but I still don't understand the game, even though I watched Australia verses India on TV.

Some fun differences between Oz (slang for Australia) and America that I have learned:
-an iced coffee is always made with coffee and ice cream (mmm!), long black is an Americano and a short white is a dry latte.
-Aussies shorten everything. "Brekkie" is breakfast, "sunnies" are sunglasses, "Freo and Cot" are Fremanlte and Cottesloe. Also, fannie and root are very dirty words, so whenever we pronounce "route" like "root" and say "fannie pack", we get snickered at.
-Students always live at home when going to university (uni) and your entire grade is based off of one paper and a final exam. Only 35% of each class earns a distinction (a "B") or high distinction (an "A"). Yikes!!
-People are very personable. Professors always prefer to be called by their first name and give students their mobile and home numbers.
-Perth, Western Australia is the most isolated English speaking city in the world. I won't be travelling a whole lot this semester! Although me and a few girls are planning a possible trip to Thailand before the semester gets out because it costs the same to fly there as it does to fly to Sydney!!

Love to you all! We are off to the beach today (woo hoo!)
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jilliangwen on

I'm so pleased to hear they say uni there, I miss that term. I think Ireland uses it too?

PS. It looks like I'm your stalker or something. And I probably am. I'm hoping by commenting I am motivating you to write because a) you'll be happy you did when all is said and done and b) it's fun to see what you're doing way waaay waaaaay waaaaaaay over there. Although we all know the REAL reason I'm stalking... BIOCHEM EXAM TOMORROW. Already went for a jog, shaved my legs, cleaned, cooked all three meals, checked my email about 11,592 times and spent unnecessary lengths of time staring at the wall. So thank you for the distraction, it's greatly appreciated. Take care Kendra!

kchritz on

Re: regarding last message
Ha ha ha! Click on 'show all' and you will see!

love, kendra

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