Hello readers! Welcome to my blog where I will be posting and chatting about my time whilst on exchange in beautiful Australia. I am 21 years old studying Hotel and Food Administration back home in Canada and am currently in my third year of study.
I’m sure your all wondering why move to the other side of the world for a semester and study at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia? Well let me tell you, that for the next 5 months you will know exactly why I chose to venture off to this amazing part of the world and I hope that my posts will inspire you to do the same!
I don’t plan to bore you with details about the long trek from Canada to Cairns (pronounced ‘Cans’ in Aussie slang) because yes, everyone knows flying for 28 hours is no fun. But it was totally worth it! I arrived on Wednesday February 12th around 1pm which was Tuesday February 11th around 10am in Ontario. After gathering my luggage I took a free bus to the Student Lodge; my accommodation I had already booked and paid for located about a 10-15 minute walk from campus. I arrived with one other exchange student coming from America whom I am now very good friends with! Once we were shown around the lodge and found our rooms we both decided to have a quick shower and began meeting some of the other students that had already arrived earlier that week.
The residence rooms were nice and spacious consisting of 3 separate bedrooms with a common space including two couches and a TV. The Student Lodge is in a square shape consisting of three floors and a spacious court yard with a covered sitting area where everyone hangs out. The Student Lodge has a really great atmosphere as the majority of students are on exchange around 19-23 year old and everyone is really ‘keen’ (another slang word used commonly here) on making friends and hanging out. It was really fun hearing all the accents from America, Norway, Britain and Australia and getting to know the different Australian slag words such as ‘foot path’ (sidewalk), ‘bathers’ (bathing suit), ‘goon’ (cheap box wine), ‘heaps’ (a lot) and of course ‘mate’ (friend).
At the end of the week all the exchange students had an international welcome session where we got a free lunch, learned a bit more about enrolling in courses, the details and events for O-WEEK and played some of games with some really great prizes. I ended up winning a free pass to the local Zoo and a 10% off discount for a camping trip on one of the nearby islands! Everyone is really looking forward to O-Week as there are a ton of great trips happening and loads of free stuff!