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AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 1 March 2017 | Views [353] | Comments [1]


Lots have been going on this week, I will start updating more because I feel as if I'm already forgetting things!

It was definitely rough finding my footing, and I don't think I've perfected it yet (will I ever?), but this week has been one opportunity after another. 

I am doing the intro-pack at the local yoga studios to try and find one I enjoy. Currently I'm doing yoga synergy's 2-week package, and I already know I won't go back after I get my money's worth. Definitely not my style, and the teachers are all slightly..quirky. One way or another it introduced me to Bridget, a lovely girl from Newcastle, Australia. We seem to be very like minded and we bonded over our love to travel and annoyingly close relations with our family (we both are struggling with the homesickness/missing our family). She happened to have just moved in down the street from me, and is attending uni as well. I made sure to thank my guardian angel for the blessing! 

O-Week (Orientation week) started Monday. It started with an international student orientation, which had a couple of good speakers. It's really interesting, every presentation starts with an acknowledgement to the Eora aboriginal community as the original owners of the land. I recently learned about the genocides that took place on the aboriginal tribes throughout the settling of Australia. Apparently it wasn't even included in textbooks here until the 80's, but I think it's a really unique tradition to honor the community. 

Mostly we just sat and listened to people who wanted us to join their clubs. Followed by morning tea and "delicious pastries" (that weren't actually very good), we went to a BBQ and, even though the food still wasn't good, I met a handful of other international students. Moving from group to group the questions got old quickly. Where are you from? What are you majoring in? Why didn't you go to school in America? How did you choose uSyd? They were good ice breakers, but it became repetitive quickly. It was exciting showing people my Dad's facebook page though. Nobody believed me when I said my family owned guns, I had good aim, and lived through 4 months of snow every year. My ignorance was exploited when I met a couple of really interesting students from China. They mentioned to me that they purchased air to breath. When I asked for clarification it was clear that this is a norm of their society, and they giggled. The pollution effects most people's ability to breath, especially if they leave the country and come back. I was familiar with the masks they wore, but purchasing air? I sure do take my Rocky Mountains for granted. 

Today (Wednesday) I had the business school orientation. It was significantly better than the international student orientation. There were a couple of professionals from corporations (Nestle, Google, P&G) the university partners with to talk to us about what they are looking for in the job markets and how to begin developing our resumes. They also had a panel of students to answer some questions. They were all international students, so I asked if there was any benefit in doing an exchange (study abroad) if I already was an international student. They basically said no, unless it's something I'm simply interested in it wouldn't significantly add to my resume. The follow up question was where I was from, when I said Idaho the whole auditorium giggled. It was very mature (if you don't get the joke, you're better off). They also talked about the Industry Placement Program business students can apply for. In place of one class you can do an internship at a corporation in Sydney that relates to your major, and it's something I definitely have an interest in and am excited to learn more about. The career center also told us about all the services they offer (developing resumes, cover letters, interview skills) and I am excited to take advantage of that! Apparently there are odd laws here, like you can't include your picture on your resume or age? Things I definitely need to learn. 

**Side note, I just spent 2 minutes chasing a small bug through the spaces in my keyboard. The bugs here are not underrated and the spiders are HUGE and everywhere. I was walking on the sidewalk, in the middle of the city, glanced up, and there was a spider the size of a plum that looked like it was straight out of the Amazon. Nobody seems to mind but me? 


The job hunt is going! I keep getting lots of almosts, but it hasn't quite worked out yet. I was offered a job as a sales representative for a company called Too Good To Go. It's based out of Europe and their goal is to reduce food waste, so they partner with local cafes to sell food at a lower price, that would otherwise be thrown away. It sounds like something I'm interested in, but the details of the job aren't promising. My Dad advised me if I were to do it, to plan on it as a short term job, and I agree (shocking). I'm hoping to find something more long term, but if I don't by the end of the week I will probably take it. At least until I find something else/experience the job enough to decide if it's for me. 

The safety here continues to amaze me. Harry (my flatmate) and I go on walks pretty often. The other night we walked to Sydney park around 9:00 PM, it has amazing views of downtown. I noticed a girl running through the park on her own, and made the comment that I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that. Harry looked slightly confused at first, and said he understood why I was saying that, but it’s not something to be concerned about. “Women could run alone at midnight here and not think twice about it.” He said it’s always smart to travel in groups at night in general, but women in Australia aren’t brought up with that fear. “If you were murdered here, it would probably be super premeditated and have little to do with the fact that you’re a woman. You’d have to seriously piss off the wrong person.”-Harry. He has quite the way with words, but it’s one more source of comfort.

I cut my hair! Sorry, I sound superficial just talking about this. I'll attach a picture underneath the facebook post. I had an undercut done, I couldn't think of better timing and had been looking to change my hair up. Less hair, less heat, cuter messy bun. 


*men be warned, periods discussed below*

Fun fact about Australia: You can't find tampons that come in the plastic or cardboard tubes ANYWHERE. I need to just ask someone about it. I'm sure it's an effort to cut down on the plastic the country produces, but oh my gosh have you ever tried to put a tampon in when it's literally just the tampon?! It may just be the privilege/ignorance in me coming out, but wow the learning curve was steep. 


All in all, meeting people is going well. I told my parents today that the hardest part is feeling like I'm starting over. I know it's part of the adventure, but it is really hard missing that connection I have with my best friends and family. All of the friendships I'm making are still very surface level, and I know all good things take time..but I just want to skip this part. I know, I know, that's not how it works. It had made me substantially more grateful for the connections I've formed, and even more excited about the connections to come. Missing Allie's birthday was not fun, but she went to my go to birthday restaurant. It was a really cool thing for me, even though that’s silly. I don't know if she did it intentionally either, but it made it easier for me to be there in spirit!

My glorious sunburn has finally faded (don't tell Kaye), and I have beach plans this weekend (don't worry, I learned my lesson). Hopefully the job of my dreams is around the corner, and I will have everything school related prepared by Monday (first day!).


I am so unbelievably grateful for this opportunity, and thank you to everyone for your prayers and support since I've been here. I genuinely feel that I'm where I’m supposed to be (thanks, Mr. Seaman) and plan to fully take advantage of the opportunities ahead of me. 


Love from Sydney!


Tags: #oweek



Just finished your last two entries, piercing through tears to make out the small print and everything between the lines. You are so amazing to have sought out this great opportunity, as scary an adventure as it something must seen. Everyone should view their country from abroad at some point in their life. It's not unlike viewing your parents and family from the other side of independent adulthood, and you may be doing both at the same time. You will either come through more convinced or with a new and different view, either way you will have grown.

On homesickness: home is where your heart is, and you carry a mighty big one with you at all times. With a heart as big as yours you will be home wherever you land. Then you will miss people, but that is truly a good thing. It's an expression of your love. Generally the people you love have touched you in ways that shape and mold your own person. When you look inside yourself (use your meditation), you will find those people in YOU, and the things you love about them. You'll still miss them, but it'll more of sweet feeling than sad. And you feel better about yourself too.

With love and true excitement reading your posts,
Uncle Johan

  Johan Hultin Mar 6, 2017 11:26 AM

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