The first two weeks I was in Australia, I kept track of all of my “first”s: first time SCUBA diving in open water, first time ordering a drink in a bar, first time white water rafting, the list goes on and on. And I had a first for 14 out of the first 15 days though I will admit it was occasionally things like “my first night in a residential college!”. Still, I’d just landed in Australia for the first time ever.  Every thing, down to the smallest detail, was exciting.

Well here I am having finished up my first week of classes and admittedly things are a bit less exciting. I don’t get to spend my days exploring the rainforest or just laying on the beach. But I’m taking classes that are more closely aligned to my desired career than any available at Whitman. It seems that the best part of going to school in a major city will be the numerous resources available. My zoology classes are taking me to the zoo, botanical gardens and other field sites around the city. The elective class I’m taking is Art and the Indigenous Voice and we’ll hear from Elders, Activists and other influential people. These are all advantages that I’ve missed out on a bit by going to a school that’s surrounded for miles by nothing but agriculture.

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The only directions provided to find the classroom

Another upside of a big school is the number of professors here. Three of my four classes are team taught. One of which has had a different lecturer for each of the three lectures held last week, a trend which is supposed to continue. This allows us the opportunity to hear from experts about their own field where they’re not only extremely knowledgable, but the most passionate. Not to say it’s without it’s disadvantages. Not only does this class have different lectures, but it also has different lecture theaters. One of the most disconcerting things about the first week of classes is walking into a room and not being totally confident that it’s the room your class is being held in. With lectures being held different classrooms AND being taught by different people you get the joy of going through that experience multiple times for one class.

That’s not the only way it feels like the University is trying to trick us. I had the hardest time last week finding one of my classes. I knew where the building was so I wasn’t too worried about it, but every time I went in an entrance I found a dead end in a hallway that did not contain my classroom. It wasn’t until the fourth unique entrance that I finally found the elevator that took me to where I needed to go.

Now that I’ve successfully made it to all my classes and settled in Melbourne, my firsts have begun to dwindle. But stayed tuned because in a couple weekends I’m going on a trip to Phillip Island and I just booked my Easter break trip to Kangaroo Island.

Until next time,


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