Surfing Into Week 3

Aussie Slang Lesson: Week 2: Op shop = Thrifting

The last week has been a blur of getting settled in our apartment and starting at our uni (slang for college) for the semester, Bond University. We had orientation, which included a school-sanctioned pub crawl (of the pubs around campus- just a little different than the United States), chatted with representatives of the school, played some Australian trivia, met people from all over the world, and finally started classes. I think I will feel more settled once a routine has set in.

The classic first day of school pic – just for you, Mom!

Classes have been quite different here than at Hope. They are longer and you have them less frequently during the week. It is typically one lecture (2-3 hours) then a tutorial (1 hour applying the skills and knowledge we learn in lecture) per class per week. I don’t have any classes Monday or Wednesday. They are also on the British school system, so we are graded on roughly two assignments per semester. This is certainly a tad unnerving to me, as I worry a lot about receiving high marks, but as long as I stay proactive on the content, then I think I’ll do well.

Bond Uni at night.
Learning how to wax a surfboard so you don’t slide out.

Something non Bond-related that was a highlight of this week was purchasing my very own surfboard! My friends and I all chose a 7-foot foam board. These are excellent for beginners and are super easy to ride and play with. I have been out multiple times already and am beginning to see small improvements. From growing up body surfing (or trying to surf on paddle boards) on Lake Michigan, I am pretty good at being able to tell which waves will crest far enough to surf on.

A highlight was seeing dolphins swimming out about 50 yards from where I was sitting on my board! I saw their fin and tail emerge every few waves, and there were a couple of them. For about 5 min, we sat on our boards and watched for sightings of them. It was serene, the waves carrying us in close proximity to marine life.

All of our matching boards
Emily (my roommate- she also goes to Hope) and I!

On Saturday, we had a beach day and this was probably my favourite day I’ve had here. The weather was the warmest it has been yet (about 78 degrees), so about 10 of us went to the beach close to our apartment and played spike ball, soccer, and swam. Spike ball is not really a thing here, so we got a lot of funny looks from people walking by! Overall, the day was so needed for many of us. It was a day to reset and appreciate the location we get to live in for the next 3 months.

The Queen passing will be mourned by everyone in the Commonwealth next Thursday, September 22nd. This means that we do not have class that day. It is interesting to see the differences of how things are handled in the Commonwealth versus in the U.S. I am thankful to have the opportunity to thank and mourn the Queen in the Commonwealth.

Next weekend, I will be taking my first domestic trip to Sydney! A weekend trip was recommended to us to help with culture shock or if we are feeling unsettled, so I am really excited to explore a new part of Australia and go on an adventure with some friends.

Published by Maddy Baughman

Class of 2024 English and Language Arts Elementary Education Major TEAN Gold Coast, Australia

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