Old Beginnings

My time in Australia is coming to an end. It’s strange; I feel like I’m just now getting comfortable. I’ve made friends, and the thought of saying goodbye to them is pretty painful. I really like Monash, and I’ve gotten pretty involved in some organizations…

Wrapping Up

The end is near and I don’t know how I feel. I am so behind on all of the things that I need to do, and I’m feeling so overwhelmed with my academic work. Add to this the bittersweet feeling of knowing that it’ll be…

Academic Tips

Changing universities really forces you to examine the way you study and prepare for classes. Here are some things I’ve learned that may be of use to other exchange students: Go to class. I know this seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how easy…

Where else?

I’m in Melbourne currently. Over mid semester, I saw Brisbane, Gold Coast, Noosa, and Byron Bay, and the trip was maybe the most fun I’ve had on study abroad so far. At the very beginning of the semester, I took a trip along the Great…

Fun Alternatives to Talking About American Politics

Studying abroad broadens your horizons, no doubt, but it can be quite daunting to think about how you’re representing your country and home institution. How you behave and comport yourself may influence how the people you come into contact with view America. This is especially…

Midsemester Break!

It’s crazy to think about how half a semester has almost gone by! I got here two weeks before classes started, and it still feels like units are weird intrusions into my schedule. I have to write out my schedule for the week every Sunday night…

Trying New Things

I like to say that I’m a flexible person, and that I can “go with the flow,” but the truth is, I like to have things my way. I know what I want, and I do what I can to get it. I’m not set…

Settling In

I’ve made it! I’m in the land down under! The first week has been rough. I was consumed by homesickness, and had very little motivation to go out, meet people, and get settled in. I enjoyed spending time alone, and did not contact my friends…

Australian Stereotypes

I have mixed feelings toward stereotypes. Obviously, it’s problematic to generalize entire groups and reduce them to simple images and often, offensive caricatures. At the same time, we tend to construct images in our mind of people based on previous interactions and context. Some prominent…

Pre-Departure Thoughts

My classes in Melbourne do not start until February, so I’ve been spending the past few weeks relaxing and decompressing after the most stressful semester of my college experience. In my freshman year, I did not believe the upperclassmen who told me that it would…