Bringing the learning home (Australian Learning & Teaching Council)

Miami

Australia Day in Miami

The 26th fell on a wednesday in the States so  a few of the other Aussie guys and I decided to go to the pub. We wore some Australian gear and set out to drink beer, (which Americans are terrible and brewing). We met some cool guys that loved Australians (like all other Americans) so we gave them some Aussie Tattoos and they cheers and partied with us! It was a really good night and they learned about Australian culture and we exchanged stories and gained memories. My first Australia day in the States!

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Feels like Home

So today i have been in the United States for exactly 7 weeks. My last post was a bit depressing as it stated my feeling towards exchange in the first few days. My apologies if i gave anyone the wrong idea but that is truly how i felt in the first few days. I have been wanting to post this for a few weeks now but never have time. The week after arriving in Miami when classes started and i made some friends things got a WHOLE lot better. The party began and it was AMAZING. experiencing SOUTH BEACH MIAMI was an experience i believe everyone should have once in their lifetime. Miami is beautiful and the people are so friendly from the professors and college to the staff at McDonalds, from the Taxi drivers to staff at retail stores. There are a few characters that are rude and arrogant but that is in every country. Overall the people are what makes a country and the people in Miami are  predominantly friendly. I have now grown to love campus life and even my bed and bathroom which I was hates the first few days. I managed to find a way to Target and get a memory foam mattress to put on my bed which makes a world of difference.

Classes are pretty laid back and really interesting. Compared to Wollongong the standard of work required of my classes here is much lower which makes it easier I guess. I have taken a french film class which is pretty extreme and have since watched some horrific films. Miami is starting to feel like home now which makes me think that I want to extend for another semester. This weekend we are going to New Orleans for Mardigras which will be an experience and then the week after that is SPRING BREAK in cancun! March is going to me madness.

I will post some pictures up soon.

Sahil.


University of Miami

So on tuesday I have been in the States for 3 weeks and 2 days. I have finally settled in and bought a lap top, mobile or cell as they call it here and all household items. It was a looong flight to get there as i had to go to from sydney to LA which was like a 13 hour flight and then from LA to miami was another 5 hours. When i got to Miami is was about 9pm so i decided to book a hotel. I ended up staying at a hotel in South beach which is like the Bondi of sydney. I was absolutely exhausted when i got there and all I wanted to do was sleep. My hotel however happened to be on the main strip where all the night life happens so I put my bags in the room and ventured out. I was gobsmacked at all the lights, tobacco shops, tattoo shops, pizza places and night clubs on this road. I walked along with caution as i didnt feel safe at all as it was my first night in the US. I ended up meeting some guys from Chicago and went clubbing with them. I ended up back at the room at 3am. With three hours sleep I woke up and got ready for orientation. Drained as I was a got up ate breaky at the hotel and then ordered a cab to UM. At orientation I met some of the other Aussie blokes and they said there was like 25 people from Australia on exchange here. I was the only one from UOW. Towards the end of orientation I left and wen to  my room and crashed, having not slept in nearly 48 hours.

When I lay down on the bed I was SHOCKED! The mattress was literally made out of some sort of plastic and was sooo uncomfortable. At this point i was sleep deprived, angry lonely and really missed home as this was the first time I would be away from my family for so long. I lay there freezing and trying to sleep thinking how am I going to make it through the next three months. It was not a good feeling, I had never felt like this before, I just wanted to go home. To everyone that thinks exchange will be really exciting and a great experience, think again. Post my departure I only thought about how good the experience would be and never even imagined how challenging it would be. Lying there I kept saying to myself its only you here, you have to be strong, I believed in myself, knowing that if i accomplish this i can do anything. This was a really good experience even though it was challenging, it gave me will power and strength.


Unknown waters

I took this picture while I was in Boracay (Phillipines) earlier this year. I think it captures my feelings towards my exchange trip (now exactly 5 weeks away) as I am going to set sail away from the known and into the unknown so to speak. I often look to one of my favourite quotes by Mark Twain, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”


Miami

Hi this is my first post, just wanted to say that the nerves have started to kick in and I am always thinking of my trip now that Uni is finished. Is everyone else the same?