First Impressions

Hi there!
Let me start this blog by introducing myself. My name is Judith and I am a Dutchie from the city of Utrecht, in the Netherlands. At home I am studying International Relations and Political History. Currently however I am living in Melbourne, where I am about to study for a semester at la Trobe University. After exploring the beautiful Western Coast of Australia for about a week I arrived in Melbourne on the 14th of February. The university and the campus are located in a little town called Bundoora, which is about 20 km from the centre. At home I am living only 10 minutes by bike from the centre, very different. I have chosen to live on campus during my exchange because I want to experience life as an (Australian) student as much as possible, being close to other students and facilities on university. The campus here is huge (and also a bit old-fashioned I reckon). I am living in Chisholm and I share my floor with 12 international students. Besides Chisholm, there are 2 other campuses. Chisholm takes about 400 students, mostly internationals. Menzies and Glenn together take about 800 students. One of them is also self-catered. When I arrived in my room however, not many students had moved in yet but this was soon about to change because in a day I was going on an introduction weekend to the Great Ocean Road.
The weekend was packed with surfing lessons, hiking and exploring Australian creatures and places. At the end of the weekend we all getting to know each other: Danish, Americans, French, Germans, Spanish, Turkish became friends. After that the international orientation week started. Enrolling in our courses, getting transport cards, phone cards, bank accounts was all part of the deal. Kind of stressful, but it is nice that I had already made friends and that we could go through it together. This week it is Australian introduction week and in my house we now live with 7 different nationalities from Holland, Korea, Brunei, Malaysia, America, Australia and Switzerland. It really nice getting to know that many different cultures. Besides, I am slowly getting used to life on campus, finding my way around, taking the bus instead of my bike and always having people around me. Besides the good weather (especially last week today temperature fell to 16 degrees), Australians are very kind and helpful: in the bank, the supermarket and where-ever I go. Sometimes however it is hard to understand the Australian “slang”. I haven’t seen that much of Melbourne yet, because orientation has taken up most of my time and to get into the centre takes about 40 minutes by bus. Although last Saturday we had a city sightseeing tour organised by uni in Melbourne which was quite nice! Next week I will start my courses: Introduction to Aboriginal Australia, Australian Foreign Policy and Media Internship, where I will tell you more about shortly.
Write you soon,

About J

Hi! My name is J and I from the Netherlands. I am in Melbourne for the first semester in 2013 as part of the Border Crossings Porgram. At home I am studying Language-and Cultural Studies, but here I will enroll in courses as 'Development, Globalisation and Culture', 'International Relations, States and Security' and 'Professional Internship'. Can't wait to experience the life of an Australian student here!
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