It’s been three days since I landed in Melbourne, Australia, and I apologize that my first post is so late! I’ve had a bit of trouble getting internet up and going, but, I think I can successfully remember and recount all that’s happened…

My flight from JFK left at 6:30 PM on New Years Eve (yes, I missed partying and bringing in 2011 in style, but I also saved a lot of money by flying out a day early). After a 6 hour flight to LAX, I got ready to board my 14 hour flight to Sydney. At 12 AM LA time, while sitting on the plane waiting for takeoff, the captain announced the time and everyone clapped. That and champagne with my dinner a little later on was all the celebrating I got to do. Once I arrived in Sydney I had to collect my bags, rush through customs, recheck my bags and go through security, and then board my 1.5 hour flight to Melbourne. The other students on this flight and I were picked up in Melbourne by the Study Abroad coordinator at Deakin University, where we are studying while we are here. An hours drive, and we were in Geelong. We were dropped off at the house we will be staying at (in the picture below). All in all, it was an exhausting almost 2 day trip.

It’s pretty nice: three single rooms, for Jenny, Shanni (my housemates) and I, a kitchen, bathroom, and living room (all pictured below). It’s only about a 20 minute walk to school, and since the weather is gorgeous, that’s no big deal.

Coming from the blizzard in New York, the minute I stepped outside (first at the Sydney airport) and felt the 70 degrees F + weather I couldn’t help but smile. I have no idea how I’m going to readjust when I go back home, but it’s nice that I’m walking around in shorts and a tank top in January. Since Monday was a public holiday, and therefore, school didn’t start until Tuesday, my house mates and I explored Geelong, found some of our fellow students from New York at their various residences, and just generally did alot of walking. Even though it was relatively cool, only in the 70s, I got a bit sunburnt because the sun is so much stronger here (something to do with the angle…ask a scientist).

Yesterday was the first day of class. We got our Deakin University Ids, toured the campus, sat through orientation (long and boring, the way orientations usually are) and then got a 1 hour overview of Australian history. My housemates and I then bought wifi (still not up and running quite right, though thankfully the University has free wifi) and phones (which are up and running, thankfully, so we can call tech support about the wifi). At 6 Deakin university hosted a nice welcome dinner for us at a restaurant at the water’s edge called Edge (appropriately named) which was nice but lasted until 9! We headed home and went to bed almost straightaway (at least I did, I was exhausted).

This morning was a lesson on Multicultural Australia, introductions and then thankfully we have the afternoon off. I’ll be catching up on my readings, as will many other people I gather. (Since we only got the materials yesterday, we haven’t really had time to do much reading).

And that’s that! I’ll make some shorter posts about more interesting tidbits I’ve discovered, and then try to keep you all updated on my daily activities for the next 18 days or so. Cheers!