Time flies

Hello again.

I can’t believe it’s two weeks since I arrived in Melbourne.. Still I feel like I’ve been here forever. It’s strange, isn’t it? There’s so much going on in this city ALL THE TIME, and I love it.

I’ve seen my first cricket game ever together with 90.000 people at Melbourne Cricket Ground (England – Australia, world cup). Such a cool stadium! Did I enjoy it? Yes. Will I ever see one again? No. The game was boring. It took a while to understand the rules, and I still don’t get all of them. Atmosphere was OK but I expected a lot more considering the number of people watching. We managed to stay for 2,5 hours, the entire game lasted 7 (!!) How crazy is that.

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I am now done with the registration and enrolment part. The University area is nice, and very different from back home. I don’t know how exchange students at Malmö University are enrolled but I hope things are smoother for them. I’ve attended so many unnecessary, still compulsory, information sessions. And I’m not just saying this because I’m lazy. They’ve really been unnecessary. Definitely handing in some tips for improvement. All the wonderful exchange students I’ve met so far though!! Wow, they are great. This Monday the Exchange club had their welcoming dinner and it was so much fun. We had Japanese tapas together and chatted a lot.

As for accommodation my friends and I have not left our hostel yet, and truth is we might stay here the entire time. It’s the greatest place ever, located right in city centre. Wonderful people staying here too!! Have to say I’m very happy about not living at campus, especially as I will spend all my time at the clinical school at Austin Hospital. Lectures are held there too.

Now I have to enjoy the sunny weather. Talk to you later.

Jennie

Australia – The place to be

So my dream became real. After almost 11 moths of preparations, motivation letters, using Google maps for locations on the other side of the planet and packing only one luggage for 5 months I was finally standing before the gate of Prague airport. I truly tried to imagine how it is going to be like. Who would ever expect that you can spend 30 hours flying in the air and then suddenly appear on the edge of the Earth?

Leaving Prague, Europe and winter

Australia is a hot and dry country. The temperature difference between Europe and the land ´down under´ at this time is almost 40°C so this was one of the first things that hit me after walking out from the airport in Melbourne. Australian sun and its strength is simply incredible. Especially after spending last few years in the south of Sweden where the sun does not show most of the year. The air smells differently, trees look taller, grass is less green, birds are noisier and cars drive on the left. I can honestly claim that my way from the airport to the campus of the La Trobe University was the most challenging ride I have ever experienced. And there was much more to come.Ride to the campus

After moving in the dormitory me and my two new japanese friends went to explore the campus. It seems to be huge, creating its own little and unique student town inside of a much bigger city. The whole area is surrounded by parks, lakes and basically australian wildlife living in it.

´Meeting tree in the middle of the campus´

There are animals I have never seen before and could not even imagine that exist. Cockatoos waking me up every morning, birds colourful more than all the crayons in my pencil case and long expected kangaroos, hopping in a nearby sanctuary. My first impressions of Australia were far from what I expected. I found out my imagination is limited more than I thought and there is so much to experience.

A tour around Sussex

This weekend I left my gorgeous new hometown for this first time since arriving in Brighton almost four weeks ago (what the hell is it with time running twice as fast when you are abroad?!) to explore the equally gorgeous countryside around it. Brighton is nestled comfortably on the English Southern coast and is surrounded by beautiful natural sights, as well as incredibly british little towns. My uni itself lays in an “Area of outstanding Natural Beauty” and I can now wholeheartedly confirm this label.
Our first stop was the Seven Sisters Country Park. The seven sisters are seven absolutely gorgeous chalk cliffs, that make you almost jump out of your pants for how british they are. The whole park covers 280 hectars and is perfect for long walks or horseback-riding. Next to obvious natural beauty with meandering rivers and steep cliffs, they are also very exciting smuggler stories about the area and the very picturesque light house at the Beach Head for even more amazing photos and breathtaking views.
We then headed on to Eastbourne, a little coastal town which is so much more quite than quirky Brighton and supposed to be it´s posh sister. It also has a very pretty Pier and a nice Seafront walk, but I would definitely recommend coming back here during spring or summer, when the flower beds along the promenade are supposed to be absolutely gorgeous. But even in Winter the amazing architecture and the calmness of Eastbourne were lovely and having lunch in a traditional pub before buying Clotted Cream Fugde is a way to spend an afternoon just to my liking.

Obviously a trip across England would not be complete without seeing an old castle and having Cream Tea, which is why we headed to Pevensey Castle afterwards before enjoying the most delicious scones in the teeny tiny village Alfriston (Population 600).
The castle was build at sometime in the 4th century and while time has taken it´s toll on it, it is still a very nice sight. Paying entrance to me is not necessary as you can see most of it perfectly through the gate and save the money for more tea and scones later. Which is exactly what we did by finishing off our trip with delicious Cream Tea (Early Grey, scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam and simply the best thing ever) in a tiny tea shop in Alfriston.
I absolutely loved exploring more of my sorroundings and can´t wait for more trips across England once it gets a little warmer.

Mardi Gras and some good tips if you are thinking about going abroad

Well, To long since a wrote a post so this will be a long one! 🙂
At saturday 14/2, we celebrated Mardi Gras here in Vilnius. A tradition and celebration that the winter is over and spring is coming! I think it was a mix between the swedish easter and Halloween.
I Went out to the old Town and city central with some friends and their was a carnaval and tables were people were Selling home made products, traditional Lithuanian specialties and of course food!
Traditional Lithuanian food is thick panncakes, bean stew, a lot of meat, potatoes, union, beethrow with carrot etc. It is not the easy to be a vegan/vegetarian here because a lot of dishes are based on meat, especially the traditional food.

Later at the evening their were some fire shows at Lithuanian language so we didn’t understood anything but it was really cool. I presume it was a story about the sun defeating the dark and cold, probably the winter.
Over oll a really good day with some good food, nice experience and also a visit to the Cinema.

Well, I have been here in Lithunia over Three weeks now and I really enjoy my time. I live in dorm and share a small room with a girl. We all share bathroom and “kitchen”. It is important not to have any expectations otherwise you may will be disapointed. Now I’m jused to the way we are living here in the dorms but I remember when i first arrived here there were a lot of students who were “chocked” of the living conditions.
I have to say I like it and you get used to it. Even if you not Always want to talk with people, it is very nice to live in dorms because there is Always someone you can talk with if you want, otherwise you just have to smile, be polite and say hello when you see someone.

I’m not that person who likes to hang out with people 24 hours 7 Days a week, I get really exhausted. So a really good tip for you who are concern about living in dorm or go abroad: it is okay to not participate in Everything and just listen to you self. Today I actually were really tired, I had classes until 19:30 and when I came up to my floor there were about 70 persons screaming, dancing etc… Then it is okay to take care of ourself, try to find some minutes for yourself. If you are scared “you will miss something” relax, there will be A LOT of other activities. Here for an example there are every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday party on clubs until 4:30. Over that almost everyday there is something happening so there will be plenty of things to join if you want.

The sun hasn’t been shining since I came almost but now it has been shining for some Days and it is really Lovely, worth the waiting time! But it is SO COLD XD

I wish I were DNA helicase so I could unzip your genes.

Happy valentines day!

Three weeks has passed and I thought I’d tell a little bit about my placement. Other students refer to their placement as “work” so that’s what I’ll be doing. Thought I should explain that so you don’t get confused!
I’m working in a microbiology lab at Monash Medical Centre in Clayton which is an south-eastern suburb in Melbourne. I’ll be rotating around the different sections of the lab and right now I’m in the molecular biology section. It’s a lot like the Swedish micro-labs with a few minor differences. It’s more relaxed in the way that the staff here are allowed to wear jewlery such as rings and bracelets and also nail polish which would be a big no-no in a Swedish lab. The clothing is also different. In Sweden you change out of your normal clothes and put on new trousers, blouse, labcoat and shoes whilst here you just put on a “gown” over your normal clothes, which is more of an apron with sleeves really.
When it comes to the methods, I believe the Swedish labs are a bit more automated when it comes to the bacteriology section. For example, the MMC lab doesn’t have a streaking machine and they do all of the streaking manually. There are some plates that are commonly used in Sweden that I haven’t seen here either, but I’ll be able to find out more about that when I get to spend time in the bacteriology-section.
I haven’t got any pictures from the lab at the moment, thought I’d settle in a bit before I run around taking pictures of everything but I will try to take some photos soon that I can post here! Instead I’ll show you some mixed pictures from outside of work:

Last saturday was spent at Healesville Sanctuary.

Last Saturday was spent at Healesville Sanctuary.

When all of the good names for sushi restaurants are taken..

When all of the good names for sushi restaurants are taken..

So apparently the maximum size of the photos you can upload here are 2 MB.. Have to edit some of my pictures before I can show you.

Happy valentines day!

So it begins..

Hiiiii!!

I’m finally in Melbourne and I can’t really believe it. It’s three years since my last time here. The trip went according to plans although 20 hours at a plane felt like forever. I met a friendly danish guy at the airport in Copenhagen and he will be studying at the same University as me. So far so good!!

I’ve been lucky enough to have two friends from Sweden waiting for me to arrive. It was lovely seeing them again. They have been traveling in Asia and Australia since November and will now settle in Melbourne with me. I can’t tell you how great it is having them here :*. The three of us will be staying at a hostel until we can find our own place. I’m so jet lagged at the moment, it’s insane. Slept the entire day from 11 until 18, went to bed at 23 and then woke up at 3, unable to fall back asleep. I’ve now been awake almost four hours, it’s 7 o’clock and people are starting to wake up. Hopefully I’ll get in the rhythm soon. Orientation week starts Monday and I look forward seeing what La Trobe University looks like. I have not taken any pictures so far but I hope to share some with you soon.
Jennie

First weeks in Brighton

This first two weeks have been filled with new friends, trips to the gorgeous city of Brighton, module changes, getting lost and so much fun.

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For my exchange I decided to look for a shared flat off campus instead of student housing at the University of Sussex and honestly I am so happy about this decision. Usually your exchange university will give you a bunch of information about where to look and how to find a reliable agency for housing, if they do not have university owned housing. I am the only exchange student that I have met so far, that doesn´t live on campus and while that sometimes means taking longer to get to class and missing out on some social activities, I absolutely love my flat, my roomies and my cute little room. It is obviously up to you to decide and it might be easier to just get student housing, but having a house I really feel comfortable in is so important to me and maybe to you as well.

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Other than settling in my new flat I have spend an abundance of time checking out all the possibilities my university here in England offers. There seems to be a society for anything and everything from Harry Potter fan clubs to choirs. I joined my school´s gym and have been taking a lot of different classes and while the usually leave me incredibly sore, that was so much fun! I also auditioned for the school´s theatre club and even though I did not get a role it was a fun way to meet people. This week I will go to the Amnesty International meeting at my school and so in general during your exchange there is always new stuff to try out, to experience and lots of chances to meet new people.

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I have already met a bunch of very sweet exchange students and I already recognize faces from my classes so go me! Trips to Barcelona and Dublin have been booked and after two weekends of celebrating Australia (STRAYA!) day and watching the Superbowl with no concept of what is going on, I am off for a trip around the Sussex countryside this weekend.

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DSC_3351Last, but not least I started discovering Brighton, this beautiful little town by the sea and I absolutely love it. The gorgeous sea front, the quirky pier and the beautiful little lanes in the city centre are all absolutely fascinating and great to get lost in. Brighton´s restaurants have even better ratings than the ones in London and being the foodie I am, I would love to try every single one of them.

So I can honestly say I more or less settled in and I am having a bloody good time in Ye olde England so far 🙂