Hi! My name is Mirela and I am from Alberta, Canada. I decided to study at Flinders by fluke, as I couldn’t get placed at The University of Adelaide. I remember walking to campus for the first time with my orientation week group, and being amazed by the gorgeous bridge suspended above the ravine. I realized that if I had done enough research, Flinders would have been my first choice after all, as the inner city campus of UAdelaide pales in comparison to the nature that Flinders is nestled in.
This exchange marks my first time living alone. I live at on-campus housing in the University Hall, and when I do my laundry I am quick to pat my back and say “Wow I’m such an adult!”. Living at the hall has been incredible, truly. Not only is it easy to make friends, but the House Committee quite literally planned a whole week of activities for us during orientation. I hadn’t unpacked my suitcase for 7 days, that’s how busy I was! I had one girl say to me “It is so weird that I didn’t even know you one week ago”, because our friendship blossomed so quickly over a few days here. Living at the Hall makes you feel like you belong to a community, and I credit it as a large part of the reason why I don’t feel homesick.
Onto Adelaide! I am still in shock as I was in my first days of living here, as to how green this city is. Climb up any sort of elevation and you will see a vastness of sheer greenery. The amount of trees is shocking to me, and is a great contrast to someone from my city feeling “lucky” if they have a single tree on their front lawn. Adelaide is so cool! The public transit system rocks, and the beaches are pretty. I am planning on going to Brighton beach once a week, to take in the sun and read by the waves.
The photos below mark some great adventures I’ve had in the last month. I went to the Botanic gardens in February, and was stunned by how vast it really was. Me and another Canadian on exchange went to see Lorde in concert just a week ago. The music was amazing, but Lorde’s essence was even cooler. She has this way about her that makes things feel a little magical. Recently, I visited the Adelaide Hills for the first time, and saw the quaint little German town of Hahndorf. We went strawberry picking and had a look at the shops down the main street; one was entirely full of nutcrackers and wooden forest clocks! Lastly, there is a photo of me at Noarlunga beach. I got to visit this beach during a ‘South Aussie Bus tour’ planned for Flinders exchange students by International Student Services, and I’m so grateful this trip took place. The colors of the water gradient were fantastic, and the houses along this beach are a sight to see on their own. Think Bel Air or Malibu beachside homes.
I have been learning a lot about myself while on exchange in Australia, and I believe I’m going to be a better person because of my time spent abroad. Check back in May for my next update:)
Mirela Alcaz from University of Calgary is undertaking a semester exchange program at Flinders University during Semester 1 2023
Check Mirela’s 2nd blog HERE