Friday, February 10, 2017

The First 24 Hours

G'day Mates!

I am all settled in Albies residence college, and I have absolutely loved my first full day here in Australia!  The town of Armidale is adorable and the people here are super friendly.  What I love most about my experience so far is that all the buildings are extremely open and everyone has their doors open constantly- making it very easy to make new friends and hangout with people.  It seems like everyone is always doing something and everyone is so inclusive!

So far, I have learned quite a few things about Australian culture that differ from the US.  First of all, my biggest shock is that coffee creamer does not exist here! I tried hunting it down at every stores I possibly could, but couldn't find any.  Australians shorten everything- mosquitoes are "mozzies" -and they put milk in their tea.  Apparently people don't eat kangaroo regularly (despite popular belief) and while kolas seem cuddly, they can actually be pretty dangerous, due to their claws.  Instead of trucks in Australia, they drive "utes"- a car/truck hybrid that's much smaller.
Thatcher's Gold Cider

During my first night in Amidale, I went to my first Australian pub.  It was pretty laid back compared to US bars, but we weren't there on a very busy night.  I got a cider- very delicious and less sweet than US ciders.  Unfortunately, jetlag has been killing me so far, so at 9pm that night, I was ready to hit the hay.

Australian Iced coffee
After orientation yesterday, I went to a cafe on campus where I got my first (of many) Australian coffees.  To my surprise, when I ordered an "iced latte," I got a giant coffee with ice cubes made of coffee and a scoop of ice cream on top!  It was like drinking a milk shake.  Shortly after, I scheduled my classes for the semester and I'm quite excited.  I will be learning more about Australian agriculture in my Cotton Production and Ecology of Plant Population courses (or "units," as they call them in Oz-land).  I will also be taking a Communication in Digital and Social Media class, in addition to Genomic Analysis and Bioinformatics (not required for me to take, but I really feel like it will help me to prepare for grad school).

Koala and Kangaroo sign
The UNE campus is roughly a 20 minute walk from my residence college (and uphill, too), so I will definitely be getting my exercise this semester.  It's the late summer season in Australia, and the high was 92 degrees F yesterday.  It's been brutally hot so far, but I'm not complaining, since all my Purdue friends are dealing with snow this week.  Right now, it's Saturday morning, so I think I'm going to catch up with some of my new friends and go swimming.  I'll be posting more of my first week- "O Week" as they call it, so stay tuned!