Beer, Sleep, Repeat – Goodbye, Kuta.

June 9, 2017

Our trip to Indonesia has come to an end. For the last 3 days, we met up with a some of our other exchange friends from Curtin University that arrived in Kuta, Bali. IMG_9089.PNGWe had booked a nice hotel ($30 AUD per night, but we split rooms to cut the cost) by the name of J Boutique in downtown Kuta. While it was far from the clubs and the beach, it was nicely located on a long strip of really delicious restaurants.Safe to say most of our time in Kuta was centered around eating and partying (but I’m not complaining). 

DISCLAIMER: For those of you who are interested in visiting Bali, Indonesia in the future, avoid Kuta at all costs!! I features none of the amazing culture that many other parts of Bali have to offer, it’s surprisingly expensive, and overall a total tourist trap. While there are a few good beaches nearby, they are nothing compared to what you would find in the Gili Islands. However, Kuta is a GREAT party spot. If you and your friends want to party your hearts out,Kuta is the place to be. I’d recommend Sky Garden – it’s $150,000 Rupiah ($15 AUD) to get in, but that includes two drinks, whether it’s two beers or two tequila shots (I opted for the tequila shots). It’s 5 floors and a guaranteed amazing night out.

We visited Sky Garden our first night out all together after enjoying a nice dinner near the hotel and some light (AKA heavy) pre-drinking. IMG_8949We caught a Bluebird, which is like Balinese Uber, to the club. The first thing I noticed was that it was AIR CONDITIONED, and let me tell you… any crowded area in Bali that has air conditioning is truly a blessing. The stage on the first floor was massive and the shows were enticing to say the least. People throwing fire, people throwing people, you name it and it was happening. Without going into too much detail, we all had a really great night.

And we did it again the next night too! But this time was a different club (can’t remember the name of it…). But besides going out, we mostly hung out at the skypool at our hotel, kicked back, enjoyed a few beers, and spent time with each other. We also had a James Comey testimony “watch-party” turned drinking game. James Comey is the former FBI Director that was fired by President Trump earlier this year. He was testifying about his interactions with Trump that may have lead to his firing, as well as on the Russian hacking of the presidential election and possible collusion ties between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian officials. It was a good time.

IMG_8955Though it’s sad to be leaving Indonesia, I do believe I will one day be back. The culture is vibrant, tasteful, and welcoming, and the people are some of the nicest I’ve met. I will never forget our friends on the beach of Gili T, our amazing tour guide who hiked with us to the top of an active volcano at 3am to see the sunrise, the monkeys that stood on our backs and stole our water (and even puked on one of us), and the rest of the memories that we made with each other. It was a trip to remember forever and a place that I will hopefully see again. 

Hallie.

5 Things to Do in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

NEED A NEW DESTINATION? VISIT UBUD – you won’t regret it.

 Here are 5 ~CHEAP~ things to do while you are in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. 

1. HIKE MOUNT BATUR

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Yes, you have to get up at 2am. Yes, you have to drive an hour and 20 minutes to the starting point. Yes, you have to hike up a freaking volcano before the sun has even risen. But you will never see anything as beautiful and peaceful as the sunrise while on top of this 

volcano. Our tour guide, Katut, who was an absolutely amazing human being, picked us up at 2:30am, drove us to the starting point, hiked with us to the top, and made us hot chocolate and egg sandwiches while we prepared for the sunrise, clinging together for warmth in the crisp morning air. IMG_8922After the sunrise, we hiked around the rim of the crater. This may not be the best idea for you to do if you really do not like heights… but I promise you it is worth it.  You can cook an egg in the hot vents protruding out of the side of the crater (they are VERY hot), and you have the chance to capture some truly amazing photos and video footage. 

You then hike down the ridge of the volcano, which for the most part is just a path of volcanic ash – so seriously, wear good shoes. You’ll eventually come to a stopping point  on the way down where there are a bunch of monkeys that are relatively nice and willing to take whatever food you give them. Just don’t overfeed them – they WILL puke on you. Trust me on this one. This trip cost us $60 USD per person – and it was worth every penny. You could probably go in person to a place that sells tickets for this excursion and barter for it cheaper, but we didn’t want to take the risk. This is a must do trip. Just, please wear good shoes.

2. EAT LUNCH AT SARI ORGANIK.

 FullSizeRender.jpg-1.jpegThis restaurant was by far my favorite in Ubud, and it is an adventure to get to. My friend and I had a rented motorscooter, but we were no experts at navigating the tight spots and narrow turns that you often come across in Ubud. So getting to this place was definitely difficult and sometimes frustrating, but again, it was absolutely worth the trek – in fact, it became a part of the experience! This restaurant is all organic and sits overlooking a big rice paddy field. 

FullSizeRender.jpg.jpegThe seating is outdoors but shaded, and the food is remarkable. You can get anything from cleansing and detoxifying juices, pesto pasta, to traditional homemade Balinese food. Take an adventure and enjoy this spot for a nice sit down lunch – treat yoself!

 

 

3. VISIT A TEMPLE. There are hundreds of temples in Ubud ranging in all sizes – it is a must do. While I did not personally getthe chance to visit one, two of my travelmates did and let me tell you… you will not regret it. They visited a water temple where they were greeted with special robes to wear in the water. They were shown around the temple and learned about the history of Balinese Hinduism, which is different from traditional Hinduism and is only found in Indonesia. They were then led into the pool of water where they were blessed and purified. Dive into true Balinese culture and visit one of these temples!

4. WALK CAMPUHAN RIDGE WALK. 

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The scenery along this walk, which is not unbearably difficult by any means, is amazing. You see hills and valleys all covered in lush greenery and you can even walk through a very small town at the top that is filled with locals’ artwork for sale and traditional Balinese food. Again, you can get some really beautiful pictures and video footage from this spot. Bring sunscreen! 

 

 

 

5. EXPLORE TEGALALANG RICE TERRACES AND TEGENUNGAN WATERFALL.       Processed with VSCO with c1 preset     End the day at the rice terraces and a waterfall! Both are not too far from each other – about 20 minutes by scooter. Find out where all that rice you’ve been eating comes from and cool off in the fresh water by the waterfall! Both are beautifully breathtaking sceneries, and there is a considerable amount of shopping you can do by both spots.

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Climb the stairs to the top of waterfall for a beautiful view and to see some nature art.  Disclaimer – for the waterfall, be ready to walk several stairs down, and then walk all of them back up. It’s a workout and your thighs will thank you later! 

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There is so much to do in Ubud, Bali. You should also consider taking a yoga class, taking a cooking class, DEFINITELY rent a motorscooter – yolo!! – and browse the many markets that the village has to offer. Soak it all in, friends.

Eat, Pray, Love Ubud

June 5, 2017

I am amazed at the beauty of Ubud. I said that Gili Trawangan was the most beautiful place I had ever been to in my life, but I was wrong. So entirely, completely wrong. Ubud, Bali, Indonesia is a place overflowing with culture and beauty. You feel it the second you step foot on its market streets, wander through its temples, bask in its architecture. Without saying a word, Ubud brings you peace – encourages you to be spiritual and self-reflective.

There were so many “firsts” that I experienced during our trip to Ubud. I’ll tell you all about some of them.

It was the first time I had stayed in a bungalow. But this wasn’t any old bungalow – it was designed with traditional Balinese architecture. Fountains, Asian-influenced art, stone carvings, lush greenery, and the characteristic infinity pool. It was the coolest place I have ever stayed, and for only $18 USD a night! We were in awe of how beautiful our bungalow was. It was also in the heart of Ubud where all of the markets are, near the monkey forest, and close to some of the best restaurants in Ubud.

It was the first time that I rode a motorscooter (thankfully my friend Mitch had driven one in Thailand before… so it wasn’t that dangerous, right?). I felt bad for my mom, especially when I saw how easy it was to crash on these streets. Almost every single person was on a motorscooter, which may sound comforting, but it’s not. There are no rules to the road whatsoever. You must be a confident scooter driver or you will end up crashing, so I really put a lot of faith into Mitch who drove while I rode on the back, clinging onto him for dear life at first. But it was easy to get the hang of, and eventually I was back to having a death wish – taking snapchats and videos of our adventure while riding on the back.

It was the first time that I had hung out with monkeys. Let me tell you something about monkeys – they are assholes. We visited the monkey forest, which was only a 5-minute scooter drive from our bungalow. They were adorable at first – seemed as though they only wanted some peanuts. That was until they jumped on top of you, showed their teeth hissed at you, stole your water bottle hanging out of your purse along with the bag of peanuts in your hand that you were using to feed them anyways. Still, it was an amazing experience getting to interact with an animal so close up!

It was the first time that I had seen rice terraces. Mitch and I drove around Ubud for an entire day, exploring as much as we possibly could. One of our stops was a rice terrace, where we walked along the edges and talked with some of the locals. We took pictures (Mitch took drone footage), and we soaked up every second of the experience. Along our journey that day, we also visited a waterfall. At the top of the waterfall (after climbing a great deal of questionably stable stairs), there was a beautiful display of what seemed to be nature art. There were stacks of stones all over the river leading to the waterfall, glistening from the sunlight to the sound of the water falling and crashing at the bottom. As you moved further away, that sound grew to be more and more faint, a peaceful silence settling in. Locals were doing yoga. Couples were exploring on their honeymoons. Everyone coming together and enjoying nature’s finest gifts. It was beautiful.

Lastly, it was the first time that I watched a person get puked on by a monkey. Mitch, our friend Carmen, and I decided to do a sunrise hike up a mountain by the name of Mount Batur. It was a really difficult hike, especially at 3 am, but we made it to the top where our tour guide (who, by the way, was AMAZING – his name was Katut, just like the spiritual guide in Bali in the movie Eat, Pray, Love!!!) served us hot chocolate, egg sandwiches, and Oreos. God bless him. We sat on a bench with many other people where we watched the sunrise from the top of the active volcano. It reminded me of when I did the same thing in Hawaii on Haleakala, Maui. But this experience was much more adventurous. We walked the ridge of the crater, cooked eggs in the tiny steam vents along the rim of the volcano, slid among the volcanic ash on our way down, eventually landing at a spot known to have a lot of monkeys. And yes, there were a lot of monkeys. These monkeys were nice though – not like in the monkey forest – because they weren’t as used to being spoiled by humans as those ones were. We fed them peanuts and bread – a LOT of peanuts and bread. So many peanuts and so much bread that one monkey, while on the shoulders of Carmen, puked. All over her. We took a lot of pictures.

Leaving Ubud is very difficult for all of us. But now, it’s time to meet up with our other friends from Curtin University who are waiting for us in Kuta. Let’s party.

Hallie.

Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Indonesia

June 2, 2017

fullsizeoutput_3077It’s adventure time!! We have spent 3 nights in Gili Trawangan, Lombok Indonesia, which is one of 3 popular islands off of the mainland of Bali. Right from the beginning it was an adventure being in Gili T. For a start, we took a ferry from the mainland that had an open area on the top where everyone could sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery that was our journey to the island. Music wasblasting, beer was served, and the sun was shining. I didn’t want to be anywhere else. Once we got there, we realized a few things pretty quickly.There are no roads. Anywhere. Nor are there any cars. There are only overworked, starving horses pulling carriages (which my friends made me take part in using when transferring from one hostel to another – at least I got a good word in with the owner of the horses) or bicycles.

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Tourism is the biggest industry in Bali and the Gili Islands, and it’s hard to not believe once you are there. Every single local is spending their time trying to either sell you something, from food in their restaurant, snorkelingadventures, clothes in their shop, to horse and carriage rides, coconuts on the beach, and psychedelic mushroomshakes. It’s unlike any place I have ever been to in my life.

Not to add, it is also the most beautiful place I have ever been to in my life. The four of us stayed in a villa in the middle of the island (still only a 10 minute bike ride from the beach) where we had a pool, kitchen, airconditioning, and lounge area – all for next to nothing. The beaches and views were something out of a Travel and Leisure magazine. The people were welcoming. And the food was to DIE for.

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We snorkeled with seaturtles, we played with wild goats, we partied with other travelers our age.But my favorite part was going to the night food market by the beach every single night for dinner. The food could not have been any more authentic – it was local families coming together every night tomake chicken sate, shrimp sate, squid sate, noodles, vegetables, spring rolls, potato cakes… you name it. And it was SPICY. Spicy and perfect. We couldn’t get enough of it, even after 3 nights of having it (one night we even had it for dinner and came back later for more).

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I’ll miss the food market more than anything else on Gili T. But besides the food, our last night was my favorite night by far. We planned on going out to the local bar strip, which wasn’t as busy asit usually was because we were visiting during Ramadan, and the Gili Islands are primarily Muslim. Even though the bars closed down at 12, we paid it no mind – we were in Bali. We began walking home by the beach where we saw a small group of what looked to be locals sitting around in a circle singing Indonesian songs. We looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders,and made our way over to see if we could join. Of course, they were beyond welcoming and invited us right in. With what little English they knew,they introduced themselves, and offered us some of their drinks. They then began to sing and play English songs such as Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” and Bob Marley’s “One Love.” We sang, we dance, we fell in love with one another. After an hour or so of playing these English songs, we asked them to play some of their music. We wanted to hear their culture from the mouths of locals – and it was so beautiful.They were obviously very good friends, and each and every one of them was more lovely than the last. We parted that night with love in our hearts and longlasting memories that none of us will ever forget.

Despite how saidit was to leave this beautiful and welcoming island, it’s time for the next adventure. Ubud, here we come.

Hallie.

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Much to Do, More to Come

May 22, 2017

It’s group project season – a season that doesn’t really exist where I’m from, at least not at VCU. Maybe it does and I’ve just never experienced it. Regardless, it’s awful.

Within a single week and a half, I will have juggled a 12 page literature review revision, an 8 page final paper, a partnered laboratory paper covering 3 labs performed, and a psychology group project worth 30% of my grade.

And how dare I complain.

I’ve had the time of my life this semester – from meeting people from all over the world, to exploring Perth’s nightlife scene… every weekend…, going to the zoo, flying to Melbourne for a week, hanging out at the beach once a week (at least). I’ve enjoyed myself – that’s for sure. And now it’s time to work hard for the first time in what feels like a lifetime. I have almost forgotten what it was like. And as I’m thrown back into the swing of hard work and concentration like a normal student, I realize just how much I miss home. My parents. My brother. My dogs. My friends. I miss familiarity. I miss alone time. I miss my home.

With a little over a month left in Perth, I feel a bit in a state of limbo. But thankfully to allow me to escape this feeling, we leave to BALI, INDONESIA in just 8 days where my friends and I will have the chance to explore new landscapes, soak up new cultures, visit new landmarks. And all will feel right again.

Hallie.

Down under from up above.

What is Oz Really Like?

As I’m nearing my fourth month abroad in Australia, I am now able to have a bit more of a well-rounded and educated idea of what Australians (at least from my own experience) are like.

If I had to categorize those that I’ve met during my time here, I would use the term “free spirited.” Social norms and boundaries are similar to those in America or Canada, but at times they seem quite different as well. For example, tattoos are widely accepted all throughout Australia – they’re even considered fashionable. Several people with high-paying, professional careers often have entire sleeves of tattoos, which is something I don’t see very often at all in the States. In addition, people seem to have much better work-life balance in Oz. Their weeks are spent being productive, but once Friday rolls around, there’s nothing ahead but a lot of beer and a wild night or two downtown. Of course, there are those that much prefer a night at the pub with friends or perhaps a relaxed night in. But there will always be beer.

I have to admit, however, my opinion is rather biased and still quite uninformed. My experience abroad has surprised me, considering just how close the international exchange student group has become with one another. Most of our weekends (and weeknights after happy hour…) are spent together, whether that’s on a weekend camping road trip, downtown in the city of Perth, playing beach volleyball on campus, or at the beach all day to catch some sun. We have seen each other at our best (pre-drinks with fresh makeup, ready for the night to begin) and we have seen each other at our worst (that really iffy uber at 3am with at least one of us usually having had too much to drink). We’ve traveled together, studied together, been irresponsible together, learned from each other, and loved each other. I wouldn’t change a second of my time with my international friends.

My favorite part about Australia is being able to explore it with my new friends. I know that many of us more than likely will never see each other again in the future, but our memories of exploring this beautiful place together will never fade. That is what makes traveling so appealing – the fact that you see new places, meet new people, and fall in love with both. You know that you might never see either again, so you are free to be exactly who you are with absolutely no guilt or restrictions. I hate that I am thinking about the end of my trip two months before it’s here, but maybe the only way to make the best of the last of my time here is to acknowledge the fact that it is going to come to an end. I can’t wait to see what the rest of my trip has in store.

Alone and In Love With Melbourne

April 16, 2017

This past week I spent traveling alone in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. I booked a round trip flight just a week and a half before departing somewhat on a whim due to my original plans for a two-week-long road trip falling through. I wasn’t nervous about traveling alone beforehand – I was actually quite excited. It wasn’t until I spent my first night in my hostel that I started to panic.

I had never felt so alone in my life that first night. I knew that I didn’t have any friends or family within at least hundreds of miles in all directions. I was in a city I was completely unfamiliar with, sleeping in a room with four strangers. But I promised myself that I would give this experience a chance, wake up the next morning, get breakfast and start seeing the city. And that’s exactly what I did.

DSC00089I bought a two-day bus ticket for visitors of the city for only $10. My first stop was at the National Gallery of Victoria – Australia’s oldest and most historic art gallery. It was beautiful – the art was centered on various cultures and themes, including love, Italian renaissance, and Asian decoration. I took the bus to Flinders Station, where I visited St. Paul’s Cathedral. I’m not sure why I have always found cathedrals so enticing. Perhaps it is the eerie silence, with nothing but whispers and the echo of shoes on the tile penetrating the quiet. And despite my lack of religious dedication, I do feel at peace while inside the walls of a church.

EC16EDAE-B58E-43C1-9F1C-953922B40580I then took the bus to Little Italy – a street full of authentic Italian culture and cuisine, and a place I would find myself often during my time in Melbourne. I enjoyed a simple yet overwhelmingly delicious plate of spaghetti while I read my favorite book – Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. It was at this moment that I fell in love with solo travel. I loved the idea of stopping wherever I wanted to stop, eating where I wanted to eat, leave when I wanted to leave and return if I wanted to return. I caught the bus to return to my starting point of the National Gallery of Victoria, but made my way to the botanical gardens and the Shrine of Remembrance. It was a gloomy but beautiful afternoon – perhaps it made the scenic Shrine of Remembrance even more beautiful with the clouds in the background.

The next morning I got my daily breakfast at the local café right next to my hostel. Scrambled eggs, toast, hash brown and a small flat white. I walked the two miles back to the National Gallery where I caught the bus to Carlton Gardens. It was a beautiful day, perfect for a wedding photo-shoot among the garden fountain in front of the massive Parliament building. I walked around for quite a bit until I came across what I learned to be the world’s largest IMAX 3D screen theatre. I saw that Beauty and the Beast was to be playing that night at 9:15 and immediately asked a girl I knew to be in the city from Curtin University if she would like to go. I then went back to Little Italy for lunch – this time it was a Margarita pizza with a glass of Cabernet Merlot. After lunch I caught the bus to the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel where I took a thirty-minute ride on the Ferris wheel and saw the whole city in a beautiful 360-degree view. I then used my paper map (yes, a paper map) to get back to the city to meet my friend for dinner, drinks, and to see the Beauty and the Beast.

It was a beautiful night. I met my friend, Grace, for dinner at a local diner on Exhibition street, then we made our way to a rooftop bar that was most definitely too nice for us to be finding ourselves in. We watched the city below us as well as the skyline above us while we sipped our spiced rum and coke, eventually making our way to the IMAX theatre. The movie was absolutely outstanding with the screen taking our entire field of vision. Emma Watson truly is and will always be bae.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetThe next day I met back up with Grace to explore the famous Hosier Street, featuring graffiti art from various talented graffiti artists. We stopped for a glass of wine on our way to Little Italy, where we met up with a friend of mine from Perth for dinner. Seeing as there was a comedy festival going on in the city for two full weeks, it was only appropriate for us to catch a comedy show together with another friend of mine from Perth. It was truly a magical night full of friends, food, wine, and laughter.

It was Thursday that I took my highly anticipated road trip along the Great Ocean Road.DSC00201I was picked up at 7AM and transferred to our tour van where I met two other girls my age from the States – one was a girl in her mid twenties that was about to start her job as a Graphic Designer for Starbucks at their headquarters in Seattle, Washington, and the other girl was studying abroad in Brisbane but solo traveling through Melbourne for her holiday. Both were lovely and we enjoyed the thirteen hour day together visiting Lorne, Victoria, Apollo’s Bay, the Twelve Apostles, Gibson’s Steps, and much more.IMG_6684The trip was absolutely one for the books. It rivaled my favorite place in the world, which is Haleakala in Maui, Hawaii. Truly a breathtaking experience.

My final day in Melbourne was mostly spent resting, but I met up with one of the girls I met from the Great Ocean Road tour to check out the penguins coming back from feeding during sunset at the St. Kilda’s pier. Two of her hostel friends met up with us – one from California and the other from Holland – and we all went out for dinner and drinks. We met up with two of my friends from Perth, one of which who goes to my home university in Virginia, and dinner and drinks soon turned into a night out clubbing. We had so much fun together, and by the end of the night, we were all equally sad that we more than likely would never see each other again.

It was okay that we would never see each other again. Sure, it was sad, but that is part of traveling alone. You meet people that you become close friends with in a matter of days and then you part ways.img_6736.jpg That is perhaps the best and the worst part of traveling alone. There’s something beautiful in knowing that you will never know each other beyond your time together in those short few days. There’s no reason for you to not open up to each other – in fact they’re the perfect person to open up to. You also bond over the fact that you both know no one in the area and are willing to explore it together. It is perhaps some of the purest friendships I have formed in my life. I also learned that traveling alone, though extremely cliché, really does teach you about yourself. I realized that I can be independent, that I can navigate my way through a massive and unfamiliar city with nothing but a paper map, my purse, and a camera. I was raw during my trip to Melbourne – no one to impress, no one to accommodate, no one to make me feel bad for wanting to do one thing while they wanted to do something else. I spent my days in Melbourne allowing my senses to be my only source of navigation, and it was liberating. I can’t wait to go somewhere alone again.

Love,

Hallie.

March 27, 2017 – Wine, Chocolate, and More Wine

This past weekend, a group of international students along with some locals and I ventured down south to Busselton and Margaret River. Processed with VSCO with f2 presetI remember the morning I left home to get on a plane to Australia, all too terrified that I wouldn’t make friends or find my place while abroad and wondering what in the hell I got myself into. But there I was, surrounded by the best of people while driving through beautiful wine country in Western Australia. As we headed straight for the first of many wineries – windows down, music playing, the sun beating down on the pavement before us – I fell in love with life for the first time in what felt like a lifetime.

We made our way from winery to winery, stopping only to take in the view at each of them. We drove to a chocolate factory, tasted chocolates until we were satisfied, and then we headed for more wineries. We sat on a picnic blanket for dinner as live music filled the background behind our conversations. We drove and drove and drove a little further, letting only our sense of desire direct us. We had nowhere to be but there. We had no one to please but ourselves.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetI have dedicated a large percentage of my time to furthering myself in my career, focusing on my academics and extracurricular activities, and making sure that every step I take is taking me in the right direction. I don’t regret any of it – in fact, I take pride in it. It’s a part of me that I love, along with all of the other parts. But there is one part of me that I’m not able to indulge in often. There is a part of me that is spontaneous, carefree, and wild – a part of me that sometimes I have been afraid to express out of fear of being seen as a “wanderer.”

If I learned anything that weekend, I learned that it is okay to let yourself go when the time is right. And if you end up wanting the same things as before, you are still taking a step in the right direction.

Hallie.

First Impressions

February 21, 2017

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetEverything is very overwhelming in the best way possible. After having worked so hard over the past 2 and a half years, I feel as though a weight has been lifted off of my chest and I can finally breathe. It’s almost as though I didn’t even know the extent to which I was stressed out about everything – school, extracurricular activities, dental school, etc. – until I got off the plane in Perth, Australia.

I’ve already made some friends, most of which are from the United States. We went to the zoo together and took our first beach trip! I can already tell that this country is going to be amazing to explore and get to know over these next 5 months.

 

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March 3, 2017

Despite the fact that school just started recently, there are so many differences from the U.S. education system that I can spot already. The most noticeable difference is the fact that Curtin University posts a video and audio recording of every lecture onto an online website for students to access. Initially this struck me as very convenient, but I’m starting to realize that perhaps it will serve to remove initiative from students to actually attend and participate in class. One of the most important parts about learning for me personally is being able to ask questions and engage in classroom discussion during class, and posting every lecture online for students will make students think they don’t have to actually attend class. It will be interesting to see how this plays out during the semester…

I couldn’t be happier with my experience studying abroad thus far. I’m starting to meet more international students, most of which are from all over Europe. I like that we all come from different backgrounds and cultures, but are able to get together and find common ground every day. I wasn’t expecting the international student group to be as close as we are becoming, but I have to say – I love it.

Hallie.