First Day of Class, Halfway Around the World

After a week of fun, the first day of class rolled around before we knew it! Since I only had one class the first day, there was not all too much to report. My first class, International Marketing, did not have any major differences from classes in America, in fact about 85% of the class is American students. However, a few interesting concepts were introduced and hopefully I will be able to learn information that can be related to my major as well as everyday life.

First day of class in the center of Bond Uni campus

First day of class in the center of Bond Uni campus

Generally speaking, classes here are taken pretty seriously, and the expectations are that you will be responsible for your own work and to act respectably, if not professionally. Most classes are heavily attendance based, and typically have grading criteria including a mid-semester and final exam and a couple case studies. One of the most interesting things I have experienced here so far is the large mix of different kinds of people. They say America is the melting pot of the world, but Australia has all different ethnicities and types of people. I am very much looking forward to meeting and interacting with so many different kinds of people! Since my first day of class was pretty mellow, I decided to blog about some of the major differences I have noticed between here and home over my first week:

1. Dress: People dress well, all the time, for everything. Working out, casual, going out, work.. everything.

2. Physique: Everyone is physically fit, most people work out in the morning and most stores and businesses don’t open until around 9am.

3. Bagels: Don’t exist in Australia. (Just like cough drops don’t exist in Italy.)

4. Sides: In America you walk on the right side, but in Australia you walk on the left. Car drivers are also seated on the right side of the car, and drive on the left side of the road.

5. Accents: Just like American’s, most Australian’s I’ve met either can’t hear their own accent or think it sounds funny. They generally like American accents, and it’s quite amusing to hear an Aussie impersonate an American. I’ve already been told at least three times already that someone likes MY accent.. apparently it’s not too strong/American-sounding, and sounds slightly Canadian?

6. Phrases: Instead of asking “How are you doing?” they ask “How are you going?”

7. Coffee: In general coffee is fantastic here, and much stronger than in the States. Also, when ordering iced coffee, it comes with a scoop of ice cream.

8. Sunshine: There’s a hole in the ozone, so the sun’s a lot stronger here. Sunscreen is definitely a must!

9. Legalities: The legal drinking age is 18, which means the school has an on-campus, licensed bar that hosts theme parties every Thursday night, then provides buses to and from downtown Surfers Paradise. Quite different from home!

10. Apartments: The apartments are WAY nicer, for about the same cost as at home. There are several gated complexes that also come with additional amenities like pools, saunas, balconies, and beautiful views.

11: BBQ: Barbecue is a huge part of Australian culture. Usually sausage, burgers, and veggie patties are served. You also eat it with sliced bread, not rolls, and “ketchup” exists but tastes slightly different.

12. Education: Instead of going to College, you go to University, which is also called Uni. Education programs are also much more intense, so that younger people have higher degrees at lower ages.

13. Travel: People travel a lot more, especially on Holiday breaks or during transition periods throughout life. This includes around Australia itself but also to other parts of the world.

14. Time: There is no rush, ever. Generally if a time is set or an event is supposed to start, that’s when people leave or start setting up. It’s also always just a little more unorganized than it feels like in America, but also less pressure of time and responsibility.

15. There are stores that very much remind you of stores in America, but with different names. For example, Donut King = Dunkin Donuts (same font and everything), Lovisa = Claire’s, and Once in a Year = Aerie.

16. Measurements: Australia is 15 hours ahead than America. As a shortcut, if you are in America, reverse am/pm then add three to figure out what time it is in Australia (depends on exact location, but that’s what it was for me!). Distance is measured in kilometers verses miles and weight is in kilograms verses pounds.

17. Words are spelled differently, and the letter z basically doesn’t exist. Z is also said “Zedd” instead of “Z.” Examples include words like: organised, maximise, customise. Words spelled with o are also typically spelled with ou, like colour.

*Disclaimer! These have been my first impressions of Australia, and some items may not be 100% accurate. However, just trying to give everyone at home a glimpse at how life differs on the other side of the world! While I have definitely come across some differences, I am also loving learning about and experiencing Australia!

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