Sorry to those who have been following me-been kinda busy with midterms and everything else going on. Anyway, this past week I spent a week in the Outback-camping and hiking. If you are thinking of going to Australia GO TO THE OUTBACK. Don;t waste time on your study breaks going to Fraser Island or anything like that, because there are islands and beaches everywhere around the world, but there is only one outback. When everyone hears about the outback they think of going to Uluru, which was the most boring part of my trip. The excitement lies in the places where the tourists are not flocked. My favortie part of the trip was the 28 mile walk up and down Mt Sonder to see the sunrise. Took six hours and it was a brutal walk but once we reached the summit it was all worth it. Another thing about hiking in AU-the trails are terrible! Lose rocks and slate everywhere, also the fact that there is barely any cover to come across. Luckily this year the outback was green from all the rain AU has had, so that made the trip a little easier with the little bit of overgrowth. Anyway, my trip through the outback was guided by a teacher here at the university, so we didn't go on the tourist trip or have fancy meals. We cooked over the fire, over metho stoves and even in the sand next to the fire. It was a true camping experience which made the overall experience so much better. Overall, we walked over 60 miles in 6 days-camping anywhere from riverbeds to solid slate formations. A great experience and I would highly recomend it to anyone looking for an adventure, while getting away from the fine dinning tours.
Well, week one of classes is over for me. The class system is different here; this depends on the class type of course. The classes are made up of tutorials and lectures. If it's a science based class then there's also labs. For instance i have eight three hour labs throughout the semester in my chemistry class. All the websites will tell you that school in AU is alot harder, this has some truth to it. Mainly, because it's backwards from our system in that you start at 0 percent and build up, rather than going form the top down like we do. Also, from what i've gathered there isn't near as much "busy" work like the States. They are more assessment oriented, so there's alot more readings and some more writing based work. The class rooms are really relaxed and the teacher will most likely ask you to call them by their first name, even if they have a PHD.
But, enough about the classes. For those of you afraid to come to AU for the reason of poisinous animals; there's nothing to worry about haha. The only thing i have seen that could have killed me was either already dead(stonefish) or was concealed (funnel web spider). And, i only ran into the spider while in the rainforest, so just go with someone who has been there and knows what they're doing. I've only been here for a few weeks and seen not more than a few miles of what the country has to offer, but i can tell you that you won't experince another place like it in all the world. white sandy beaches, to tropical and subtropic rainforests, rolling prairies, and of course the outback all within reach.
I made it to Australia. I traveled throught the Australearn program, which i highly recomend, because the activities they have you do are incredibile for the most part. My activities were a bit different than usual. We had to change location two days before orientation due to a cyclone, so we went from goin to Cairns, to arriving in Brisbane. It was a 5 day orientation there; we went on a trip to the rainforest and made a day hike through there, went to a wildlife sanctuary full of koala bears, had a volunteer day on the beach, went on a river tour, and just made our way around town. We stayed in a backpacking hostel, which sounds terrible, but they are actually really nice. OurYHA hostel had a pool on the roof and it was five stories, with a cafe/pub in the second floor, and they're only like 20 bucks a night.
I would put up pictures, but my internet situation is not great, so just add me on FB or email me for more firstname.lastname@example.org-Trenton Brenny
Now i'm at school going though O' week here at Southern Cross University. It's about as fun as every other orientation, not very lol. But the school is surrounded by forest and vegetation, there's also a abundance of both throughout the campus. So, the campus is beautiful, although the walk to get back to the dorms are not as great. The people here are some of the nicest group, as a whole, that i've met yet. Everyone is nice and wants to meet everyone they don't know. And of course, with the drinking age being 18 over here, they all want to drink with everyone they don't know haha. I'm staying in a flat with five other people; we all have our own room but we share a kitchen and bathroom. The other five people are all Australians, so it should be a culture filled experience.