January 12, 2013

Australia, nice to meet you!

My flight from North Carolina to LAX was long (but definitely not as long as my flight leaving LAX to Brisbane: 15 hours).  However, I was fortunate enough to be seated next to an actor!  His name was "Finneus Egan" and he's played in movies such as: Pirates of the Caribbean, Bones (the TV show), Minority Report, Providence, and ER.  He was really interesting and had actually been to Australia before (and overstayed his visa).  It was so helpful to ask him questions and get advice from him before landing in Brisbane.  At the Brisbane airport, I met 30+ kids all travelling to Bond University from the United States.  We were easily identifiable with our untanned skin, American accents, and confused expressions.  The airport transfer shuttle took all of us directly to our accommodations on/off campus.  I have accommodation at The Reserve, a classy upscale apartment complex that looks more akin to a resort.  My accommodation is shared with two other girls: Amanda (whom I travelled with) and Royye (a girl from Papua New Guinea).  Together we share a large kitchen, living room, and large balcony.  There are two bathrooms in our apartment with showers.  Additionally, our apartment came fully furnished with couches, beds, a kitchen table and chairs, a washer and dryer, book shelves, a TV, kitchen appliances, and kitchen cooking accessories.  The Reserve has a large saltwater pool, spa room, theatre room, hot tub, fitness center, and game room as well.  It's a shame that I'm studying abroad and not just LIVING abroad.  Staying in my apartment complex will be like a four month vacation!
Throughout the week that I've been here in Australia, I've done a lot of cool things.  I've attended orientation week (o-week) at Bond which included: finalizing my school schedule, getting my Bond student ID, going to free barbeques, taking a campus tour, getting a bus pass (for travelling around the city), picking up my books, learning about different facets of the campus, and watching a midnight movie on the campus lawns.  Outside of orientation, I've travelled around the city by bus and by foot.  I've been to the fabulous shopping center of Robina city and have enjoyed the warm sun of Brisbane's Broadbeach.  This entire week has gone by so fast.  I've spent most of the time in the sun (learning the hard way that I need to apply sunscreen more generously), swimming at the beaches, walking around the city, eating at different local restaurants (ordering the famous "fish and chips"), and learning about the different things that the Bond University campus offers (clubs, trips, etc.).  School starts tomorrow and I am beyond excited to finally commence the semester.  I can't wait to meet my fellow classmates, learn some more Australian lingo (because I am picking up quite a bit), try group exercise classes through the campus fitness center, and travel on my free time.  I understand how Finneus managed to overstay his visa!
(Below are pictures of my Australian home and Bond University)

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