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May 23, 2009

QUT Campus

My first impression of the Queensland University of Technology campus was that it is absolutely beautiful. They are lucky enough to be right on the end of Brisbane's Botanical Garden which is absolutely gorgeous. I'm jealous that we don't have anything resembling that right by the U's campus. The natural vegetation is exotic, colorful, and in full bloon right now since Australia is in the middle of its Autumn season. I envy each of the QUT students for getting to experience walking through this whenever they please. All of the building on campus look so new and modern, yet at the same time resemble the old buildings on the mall area on East Bank of our campus. The students who took us on the tour of campus and parts of the city mentioned that Brisbane has only recently been becoming a growing city. Apparently, one thousand people migrate to the city each month! One thing is for sure, I could definitely see myself living over here at some point in my life as well.

May 21, 2009

Weather Update

This morning was the first time we’ve seen the sun since we arrived in the city. Brisbane had been experiencing a drought for several weeks until the last 48 hours. Their dam levels were at 16% and decreasing so the city officials had declared that citizens were no longer allowed to water their gardens or wash vehicles until it rained. During our time here, the level has risen to 68% and is still increasing. The news reported that the city hasn’t seen flooding like this since 1974! Karen, the head of the management department here at QUT, joked that she blames us Minnesotans for the bizarre weather change :)

Exploring the City

The day we arrived in Brisbane, we were given the option to go on a tour guided by a few of the students from QUT. It was a great opportunity to get a feel for the city. Upon seeing some of the sights and landmarks, we all noticed that Brisbane is actually very similar to Minneapolis! The architecture is a little more modern, but a lot of their downtown buildings are structured the same as the Minneapolis skyline. They also have a building that looks exactly like the Metrodome, a stretch of road that we’ve been referring to as “Nicollet Mall”, a bridge that is structure and lit up at night like 35W, and a pedestrian bridge on campus similar to the U’s Washington Bridge! Although it slightly felt like being at home, it has been very difficult (since Australian’s drive on the opposite side of the road) to get used to veering to the left when walking down the sidewalk since we all have the tendency to go right instead!