By Rachael Harrison (University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia)
Its been nearly two months now since I arrived in Perth, so this blog is long overdue. Since my arrival here, its been non stop fun and games, that even includes the uni work! So many new people and faces to learn, from your home of residence to the multitude of different units undertaken. Living in Trinity college was probably the best decision I’ve made. For me being a fairly social character, the chit chat is endless, I have to force myself to go and do some work otherwise i would literally spend my days socializing on the college grounds. It doesn’t help that Anni (resident mum) has just bought a new puppy….. she’s so small and cute.
I can’t believe how quickly the time is going. In a few days time i will have been here 2 months, thats the longest amount of time I’ve every spent out of my home country. Ill tell you what though, its probably its definitely the life for me. Everybody is so relaxed and easy to get along with and everybody wants to know how your doing and what you’ve been up to since you’ve been here.
The only downside to my experience is that the workload is weighted very differently here then back in Manchester. With Perth (and Australia generally) I thought that the universities may follow similar workloads, but this is not true. Here there is much more focus on assignments. In first semester alone I have 12 assignments most weighted at around 30% or more. Group work is also much more prevalent here. From speaking to other internationals and exchangers, they agree, with a lot more of there marks being participation marks. Another thing I’ve had to adjust to… 8am lectures! However despite this, the campus is so beautiful and full of life. It over looks Swan River and Matilda Bay, where dolphins can be seen (if you get you early enough). This softens those 8 am lectures and makes it more worth while.
(Photo 1: Swan river, Photo 2: Blue Boat house)
Despite the workloads I’m still finding the time to explore Australia. I recently attended an event called STUMPS. Nobody really knows what it stands for but it involves a car, your passengers and of course fancy dress. You basically have a series of challenges to complete around Perth and then your final challenge is to find the Party for the end of the night. My car decided to go as old people, and we pulled it off that well some people actually thought that we were from a residential home and were lost on the campus…. no joke! And if I’m honest I agree I thought we looked fabulous.
One thing, I’ve learnt since living here is that the opportunities I’ve had to travel to different countries across the world is priceless. Many people here would die for the chance to travel across Europe, even to southern Asia, that realistically isn’t that far from Australia in comparison. Even though Perth is considered one of the richest cities in the world, the wealth is disproportionately distributed and so many people just simply cannot afford it. You can see the excitement on their faces when you tell them where you’ve been, and many people aspire to many live in the UK one day, or travel through Europe for a fraction of the cost here.
Anyway that’s me done for now. Ill try and post more regularly.