Hi Border Crossing colleagues! 🙂
My name is Floortje Zweerink, and about three weeks ago I flew all the way from the Netherlands to Brisbane. I am studying Language and Culture Studies, with a major in International Relations, at the University of Utrecht (the Netherlands). I am going to take some International Relations courses at Griffith University in Brisbane as well, but I decided it might be valuable to learn about International Business and Intercultural Communication as well. I am very curious to these courses and all the new information I will gain; tomorrow my first class will start! Next week I also made an appointment with the internships coordinator of Griffith, I’m very exited what kind of internships the uni will offer.
My first weeks in Australia consisted mainly of getting to know this wonderful country and travelling a bit, for example around the Whitsunday islands. I really experienced a different lifestyle here in Ozzie, or at least in Queensland. People seem to be so relaxed, very friendly, but also very polite. At first, I didn’t know whether I was really supposed to answer the standard question; “Hi, how are you doing?” At my hometown, in Utrecht, people on the streets usually never chat with me, but I like it a lot and it made me feel home quite easily.
Last Monday the first introduction day started at Griffith University. After taking the wrong bus, which slowly crossed through all different suburbs of Brisbane, I hurried to the right lecture hall and plumped down on the first free seat I saw… Next to Jaroslav Moskviak, another Border Crossings exchange student! What a nice coincidence! We even picked two of the same courses at Griffith. After gaining some important information about studying at Griffith University, we got our new student card and decided to head of to the city to arrange some important stuff, like buying a public transport card. The campus we are studying at, Nathan campus, is located quite far away from the down town city and my apartment. When taking the right bus, it takes about 20 minutes over the high way. So going to uni by bike, which was my original plan, is probably not going to work here! However, it is nice to see what the campus life is like. Back home my university is located in old premises in the middle of Utrecht and I don’t visit the campus that’s out of the city very often, so it is a new experience for me. Last night I had my first party on campus; never had that before either!
From last Wednesday to Friday Griffith offered an introduction to new international students. We went to Byron Bay with a group of 150 internationals and I met a lot of nice people from all over the world, who will make my semester in Brisbane even better. 🙂 Brisbane seems to be a great city; the weather is nice and warm, there are a lot of great festivals and music events, there are nice shopping centres, a city beach and a beautiful river that crosses the city. I am really curious what this semester will bring, but I am sure I will have a great time and return with a lot of new experiences and knowledge about different cultures and habits!
I’ll keep you posted!