Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Back to School

Hello Friends!

I just finished my first week of class here at USYD! To celebrate a successful first week my friend Emma and I went to a chocolate cafe. Yes, a chocolate cafe... they have those all over here. I ordered a chocolate soufflé (a warm chocolaty cake with gooey chocolate in the middle) with vanilla ice cream and Emma had a white chocolate, cookie, and caramelized pecan shake! It was DELICIOUS enough to take up a paragraph of my blog ha ha!

School: Anyways, school here is very similar to Ohio State with big lecture halls and smaller tutorials (or as we call them recesitations) a few times a week. All of my class assessments are papers and presentations. Unlike what I am used to, which are quizzes, midterms, and finals. I also found out that in between finals week (which is 2 weeks here) and the end of classes is something called a StuVac (Student study vacation) where you have a week off to study.

Along with going to classes I have been visiting Physical Therapist (or as they call them here Physiotherapist) and trying to line up some sort of internship or volunteering. Living costs and travel costs are pretty pricey here so I have also been looking for a part time job, a task that has proved to be harder then I expected. Cross your fingers that those two things work out!! 

Future Travel Plans: My friends and I have spent the evenings this past week looking at travel guides and trying to decide what we would like to see this next semester. There is so much to do around Sydney and some of the things on our list include: The Sydney Olympic Park, The Rocks (where the first convicts were brought to Sydney), The Hunter Wine Valley, The Sydney Aquarium, Taronga Zoo, and the Australian Maritime Museum. I also plan to take full advantage of the local beaches while the water is still warm!

Since I do not have finals to study for and travelling costs are lower (because it is their winter in June) Emma, Lindsey, and I decided to take that weeks vacation and go to Fiji. Originally we were planning to go to Fiji for autumn break (spring break), but it would have cost double to go then. So for autumn break one of our new Australian friends volunteered to let us spend a weekend at their holiday house that is 2 hours north of Sydney. From there we plan to travel up the coast to Byron Bay, the Gold Coast, and Brisbane.

Miscelaneouse Goals: Learn to play an Australian Sport, learn to surf (Xan volunteered to teach us over autumn break), run a road race, meet lots of locals, earn all HD and D’s in class (HD=A D=B’s), eat new kinds of food, and attend different kinds of church services each Sunday. Also my apartment complex is having a rec soccer league and running club that I may join. That is all I have so far. Any suggestions?

Other news: I tried my first meat pie! While lying out by the pool at Xan’s house his Mom brought us home some meat pies from a local pastry. Apparently you are a true Australian if you can eat the meat pie with out making any crumbs and without a fork. They also suggest that you smother tomato sauce (ketchup) on top for the best flavour.

I feel so fortunate to be on this trip of a life time and thank God everyday for this amazing opportunity! Sorry for no pictures this time!  I promise there will be some next time.

Cheers, Betsy


  1. Betsy -- So glad that you are having such a great time and so many great experiences already!

  2. Well I would add learn another language to your goals but they already speak English in Australia! I'm sure you're picking up some new terms/slang though. It sounds like you are really getting the hang of things over there. And great idea to talk to physical therapists there - it is always good to have contacts :)