G’Day Mates!

So I’ve finally arrived in Australia AND found the time to blog about it. After my 24 hours of flying, with layovers, I’m extremely glad I’m not making that trip again for another 5 months.

My first impression of Brisbane is that it is very Americanized.  While the shops in the malls are generally different from what we have in Canada, they all “feel” the same.  For example, the supermarket, Coles, is essentially our version of Zehrs.  All in all, I’ve had a very seemless adjustment to the commerical life here in Brisbane. 

The Forgan Smith Building at the University of Queensland

After my first weekend in Brisbane, which was spent mostly getting over my jet lag, my residential college at the University of Queensland (UQ), International House (IH), began its o-week festivties.  I particpated in activities such as ice skating.  Yes, despite the extremely nice weather in Brissie, they do have an indoor ice rink. Although, I question the quality of the ice and skates here, they’re not quite as good as what we have back home.

I also spent part of my orientation week at the Gold Coast amusement park, Dream World.  There were some great rides and a small zoo.  I was incredibly excited to finally have a chance to pet a kangaroo after being here for a week.  It was pretty much everything I hoped for, haha!

Group shot at Dream World

On the last night of O-week, last Sunday, our International House, O-week leaders decided we had to complete an initiation before we would become official “Housies” at IH.  Let’s just say I finished up the night with paint, water and various food items all over me. 

On Monday a few friends and I decided to head down to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary here in Brisbane.  It’s about a 30 minute bus ride from where I am on the UQ Campus.  I’ve been told by friends that the zoos here in Australia are really amazing and I’d have to agree.  I was able to wander around with Kangaroos and get a photo cuddling a koala. It was a really up-close and personal interaction, I highly recommend!

Our group photo at Lone PIne Koala Sanctuary

Monday evening was our first formal dinner at IH.  We had a 4 course meal and I tried swordfish for the first time.  It wasn’t as terrible as I expected. It was actually a pretty impressive meal and it was nice to see everyone looking so fabulous!

IH Formal Dinner

I spent the rest of this week attending my classes.  They all seem pretty interesting.  I’m most excited for my Human Trafficking Working Group Course.  The Working Group is really well known throughout Australia as the students and professors have been producing some great academic research on a field that has been traditionally ignored.  I’ve attached the link to the working group website. You can find information on my project as well as the other research currently being completed by other group members.


Last night I finished up the week by attending a local snow party in the city.  I never expected that I would move to Australia and end up tobogganing within the first two weeks of being here, but I’m quickly learning to expect the unexpected here.

That’s it for now!