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 only get harder, but as the days go on, I realize that it’s true. The difficulty of classes increases, along with the expectations, and there is less and less free time. Reflecting on the past few semesters, a question comes to mind: will this pattern continue into my study abroad?

I’m in my third year, but in Australia, I will take mostly second year units because the course structures are so different. In Australia, a course isn’t a class, a class is a unit. Course means degree plan, or something similar to major. There isn’t a dead week, but there is a “Swot Vac,” or preparation holidays: students get a week off to study before finals. Finals span over a month, rather than just a week. Courses can take anywhere from 3-6 years, while degrees in the US usually take 4 years. At the same time, degrees that can only be attained at a graduate level in the US, such as medicine and law, are done in undergraduate studies in Australia.

I still haven’t fully wrapped my head around all of the differences, but I know I’ll be adapt pretty well once I’m there. Once I get there, I’ll be living on campus in the Halls of Residence, which will be a throwback to freshman year. This time, however, I’ll have my own room, but I’ll share a bathroom with the rest of the floor, and I’ll have a kitchen to share too! I cook my own meals, but I don’t know how much I’ll be cooking once I get there because I don’t want to invest too much in cooking supplies and spend time that I could spend exploring the city on cooking. I’m trying to plan out my time there, but I know that once I get there, things will change according to the situation. I’m just very eager to get there :)