My time in Australia has been one giant adventure. It did not hit me exactly what I signed up for until I got on the first of three flights to get here. After the flights, which were an adventure in themselves, 20 of the 24 hours were spent in the air, we landed and got picked up and taken to our hostel and the adjustment to time change began. After about nine days I could function again enough to start sleeping at night and not getting up at 4am ready for the day. At this point I had found accommodation and began to explore the university and meet so many fabulous people.
For the first week, after classes I went to the beach every single day. In Canada I am at least a 12 hour drive from the ocean so my inner child came out and I was that person running into the water with a massive smile on their face and building a sand castle as well as trying a new ice cream each time. For this activity though it was imperative that heaps of sunscreen were used as I just came from the Canadian winter and burn very easily.
During Orientation week there were so many things to do, collecting all the free stuff and the fair floss and doughnuts, seeing all the clubs. I actually ended up joining the ultimate frisbee league and play a few times a week now. This is one of the best things I could’ve done because I am in all fourth year classes I find it very difficult to make friends here as everyone already has all their little groups. By joining the club, it has given me the opportunity to meet so many new people and make friends. It is also great exercise. When I joined I thought, oh it’s just frisbee, we’ll just throw a disc around but no, there is a lot of running involved! At the end of orientation week was O’Fiesta which was s much fun, it allowed me to experience some Australian music. Ball Park Music had such a great energy and their sound was calm but somehow outgoing.
The trips with the ISS have also allowed me to meet many of the international students which is nice as well because we are all in the same boat, we want to travel or may be homesick and there is just that sense of understanding and kinship between us. Also now, I have friends from all around the world so if I do any travelling after Australia, I have friends in many different countries who I can visit.the bus trip to Cleland wildlife park and got to see some Australian wildlife. This was so exciting! To see all the kangaroos and the koalas.
Fringe festival was really fabulous. There is nothing like it back home so being able to go see all these unique and fabulous shows was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The arts always bring about an amazing atmoshere in places and being able to be here while that was happening was wonderful. I went to as many as I could manage to fit into my schedule. There was also everything that went with fringe such as the Royal Croquet Club which was a lot of fun and super unique with it being outside and all. The whole city just had this energy about it which reminded me of home. Adelaide and Calgary both have a similar feel and size, Fringe reminded me of the atmosphere of the Calgary Stampede back home.
Julie Bettac is on a semester exchange at Flinders University from University of Calgary, Canada: Semester 1 and 2, 2017
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