going to class my first day was honestly not too bad. Partly because I knew the general area I had to go and also I had my first class with Caroline (thank god). Our Australian Pop Culture class was a little intimidating, since we still don`t completely understand all the terminology and we are not familiar with their major figures or movie stars etc. So a lot of looks were exchanged between Caroline and I. Also there is an Australian slang word for someone who is the equivalence to our redneck or hick, its called a Brogan. They tend to have VERY thick accents and usually can be found walking around campus and stores without shoes. Even though i have no idea what Triple J or what a Bugler is I feel like I will get to know the culture so much more. But it seems like certain Areas of Australia are stuck in a time warp, where going to uni (university) is rare and major like history are not considered practical or as useful. A lot of people in my age group over here will not attend uni but will going into manual labor of some type and tend to be married earlier in life then back home. Which is crazy because Australians socially are more accepting of different people. By different I mean they accept gay & lesbian rights and race or looking different is almost not noticed (granted this is not always the case but the grand majority feel that way of equality). For instance, I was grocery shopping and I passed a guy where no shoes, where in America they would not be let in the store he was casually grocery shopping and locals payed no attention to his lack of shoes.  
As for my second day of class it was almost like a test. I had a 8 am lecture, which means getting up at 6 and catching the 6:47 train into uni. This time I did not have with anyone I knew and I was a big girl and walked and took the train without any glitches. However, buildings are not opened until about 7:30. so I got a really nice security gaurd by the name of Tony to let me in early. So I caught the right train, I found the right building , I found the right classroom......BUT for some reason only one other girl showed up and the teacher didn't even show up... BUT it my schedule said to be there so I was there! SO TECHNICALLY I passed getting places on my own. But i didn't really know what to do other than go to the Library so I spend time there until my next class with Rayna (program mentor). So yes mom I am learning! But the coolest thing about my class with Rayna is we talk about our excursions!!! like Septemeber 14 we are doing the Sydney Bridge climb and we are going to the opera house. Then in the next up coming weeks we are going to a place where we can see wild Koalas and Kangaroos and all those types of critters! I cant wait to actually start traveling! 

 
 

today we went to a footy game which is what the Australians call rugby. While we were getting our tickets, a women came up to me and gave me a free ticket. She had bought the ticket to watch the national anthem and didn't want to stay for the game. Her kindness and generosity caught me a little off guard especially when she didn't want money for the tickets. In America usually they would be fake or someone is scalping their ticket, but this was not the case. It was a genuine random act of kindness that really showed how kind and friendly the people of Australia actually are. 
Our program coordinator Jason told us we should root for the New Castle Knights, who were playing against the Sydney Roosters. In my personal opinion Im not sure how intimidating a rooster is, but whatever they are called these guys where HUGE! Unfortunately our knights were blown out by the roosters.... 12-28. Other then our team loosing it was such a great game! The atmosphere was great between the cheering between the two team`s fans. Australians really know how to support their team, wether it was a super hero costume or flags and banners or just simply the colors of their team (what we did). Everyone was enthusiastic which only made the game more fun. I have a feeling that footy/ rugby will be my replacement for american football while Im over here.  If I dare say it I think I like it a bit more then football. Since there is a constant running clock there is a fast pace of game and the team is very passionate which is partly fueled  by the fans (I really wish I knew the chats besides NEW-CASTLE). but man these guys were rough for the lack of padding and protection . The best part is fighting and being rough is completely "legal".  I defiantly plan on attending more games! Especially since after the game you can go on the field and play around and run around! it would be SO cool to see what the stadium looks like from the players perspective! 

representing blue and red for the knights at the stadium =]
the knights after the scored...( which was rare)
protecting Australia one footy game at a time!
my flatmates for the next 4 months
 
 
So a couple nights back my roommate Melissa and I were down at a pub watching the Liverpool soccer game and meet two guys who told us all the ins and outs of being an Aussie... Like don't say shrimp on the barby.. Because nobody knows what it means. We found out one of our new friends spent some time in the states and loved bud light...( you can't get it in Australia).



But today we got an invite to go to a BBQ and their place and meet some locals. So of course we said yes. And mom before you go and freak out about stranger danger and all that. We made sure they were upstanding citizens. So we were talking and one of our flat mates was kidding around and said to watch out they might try to feed you kangaroo... And as a matter of fact I tried my first roo-dog. Their apartment was on a hill side where we got to see the sun set and see the whole city of newcastle lit up! It was so pretty! However the walk to the apartment was a bit more dodgy. But we chatted with our new friends about the differences of Australia and America which was really Interesting and was a very fun time.

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BBQ time
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Sunset at the bbq
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New castle
 
 

so for Sara`s 21st birthday we had a compulsory class with our on site coordinator Rayna, who thought it was important to know the ins and outs of Australian culture. So I had the slightly unpleasant experience of trying Vegemite. Which is a brown paste that the Aussies here go crazy for. After doing a bit of fear factor I got to eat Tim Tams, which made the whole Vegemite experience a very distant memory. Rayna and Jason got Sara a cake to make it a very special day. After our class and a loud chorus of happy birthday, we took a detour to the local McDonalds where we got a treat and caused some mayhem.  Then we headed to bar on the hill to have a BBQ and some Karaoke. Of course being the loud and proud Americans we went first in karaoke, singing "my milkshake" (by request of Sara). Then we fallowed it up with Sweet Caroline (Durkee) who had a front row view to the show as we serenaded her. I actually met someone who is friends with one of my AXO sisters and met a  guy from Zimbabwe and a group of people from Germany. Also I was taught a few phrases in french by my new friend Elouen. Lets just say he had a good laugh at me trying to copy what he said. haha. 
ill catch you later mates =] 

my face clearly says it all...... but FEAR FACTOR HERE I COME
clearly the love of my life...TIM TAMS FOR DAYS!
the mayhem caused...
happy birthday SARA!!!!! 
 
 
So we just got through our first day of orientation. we got to see just a fraction of the number of students that are on this campusthere are 49 countries represented by the international student body which we meet today. I met some americans who live in a flat nearby. Then i met a really nice guy who is from Switzerland, and he has the a really interesting name (Elouen). Then we got some very cool goodie bags, but I was kinda upset with the fact that the mug we got does not have the university emblem  on it, but hey its free! Wow, I have offically become a poor struggling college student. something that is never felt at HPU with our full size beds and meal plans. We got free lunch at the Bar on the Hill and got to listen to a live band. Everyone seems so nice and down to earth and welcoming. Also we met some cold blooded friends. They were so cute! I got to hold a bearded dragon but we saw a turtle and diamond back python and a blue tongue lizard. Also i have discovered my new obsesion over here in AUSSIE land... They are called TimTams and they are like a mouse chocolate version of Kit-Kats! They are honestly to die for and I am totally hooked. 
my cold blooded bearded friend. 
the type of snake that roam around my campus... YIKES!
 
 

So finally I was able to take some photos of the flat ill be staying in for 4 months!! It's small and cozy! I finally got my little go phone and put up some pictures that will remind me to come back to the states.

Just for the record the wild life is weird over here... We finally discovered what was responsive for our 6 am wake up call.. These Aussie birds sound like monkeys and screaming goats and other odd sounds... Also we have learnt that Australia guys don't like being shown up by knowledge of sports. But as we explore more the the city we see more and more of its charm...

I've learnt that Saturdays and Sundays here are nothing like the states. It's very seldom shops and cafes are open. Also new castle requires a lot of walking and the uni (university) is just the same. The campus is like one large and confusing jungle. I sometimes think Africa was easier to get around. But I love the campus and the city and the style here. But there is a lot to get used to. For instance people call the restroom tiolets and chips are French fries and crisps are potato chips and its a little confusing. But the Australia's seem to love Americans unlike the French :)

I miss you all and sorry if I've been a bit out of touch the weather has made mobile connection difficult

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Two crisps for the price of one at civic station
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My new and improved mobile
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Where all the cooking takes place or lack of it..
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The common area
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The "toilet"
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My bed
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The wall of fame :) miss you all :)
 
 

So we knew sooner or later we were going to meet our neighbors from across the way... But we didn't really expect to meet exactly like this.... Haha so we had seen them around but last night we got a letter address to the fresh meat... I mean the lovely people next door.. And they gave us some pointers... Well we decided we would return the kind favor and tell them a bit about how we Americans like to do things as well... Needless to say we were Instant mates after this...

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The letter we found
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Us writing back...
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Our awesome reply
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The letter from our new mates
 
 
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Bar beach
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Alpha chi omega at bar beach
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Really cool graffiti at the beach
 
 

We had just got to see a bit more of the place we are staying! It's so beautiful and really does have that Boston carm. We also got to see a bit of the beaches and we found a surf board out back..... You know what that means! But after getting all unpacked I'm in a room that's Africa themed... So ironic seeing as I was thee about a two months ago! But after we settled in we went to the grocery store and the bottle shop (liquor store). But the best part was going to a pub down the street to watch a rugby game.. It's like like our Super Bowl Sunday.

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Apartments
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The front of the apartments
 
 

So after a crazy long 15 hour flight I'm final here in Sydney Australia!!! I met a really sweet Australia couple coming back

From holiday and they told me places to go and things to do.. I've finally met some of the Americans I will be Living with in Australia and they all seem really fun and sweet! But right now it's 8:30 am on July 17th.. Total time warp! But now I'm just waiting to take the cab.. "Happy cappy" to drive us two hours to where we will be living while we are here.

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Flying with the sunrise ... So cool
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Landed