DanielaRoman's Travel Journals

DanielaRoman Daniela Roman

  • 26 years old
  • From Massachusetts, United States
  • Currently in Massachusetts, United States

Semester on the Gold Coast

My semester abroad studying at Bond University in Australia


Australia Queensland, Australia  |  Oct 13, 2013
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 Things I would have never done at home came easier to me here. 

I have been in Australia for a little over seven weeks, and although I had a rough start, I’m at the point where I don’t want to go back home. The 14 hour flight was pretty bad, because I got sick within the first hour. There was a TV screen in front of me, and I could watch the plane/where it was located in the world. I went to that screen a lot, watched the image slowly move, and just listened to music as time went by slowly.

I met up with my orientation group after shamelessly asking some people for directions, and then we got in a bus to go to our first hostel, which was located in the oldest part of Sydney. Right around the corner of our hostel was the Sydney Opera House. Being in Australia still didn’t feel real to me. I wondered when it would kick in, but it still hasn’t. I know I’m here, but I feel like it’s all a dream that I’ll wish I could revisit once I’m back home.. 

Jet lag seemed to have hit me the worst since I travelled for 40 hours and barely slept. I decided to not go out at all for the first couple of nights, which was also good for my wallet. After two days in Sydney, we drove to Newcastle, stopping at a zoo/park first. I finally got to interact with kangaroos! They are probably the most relaxed animal I have ever witnessed. They were all just lying in the shade together, and when one sensed food (we were given bags of food to give them), they would casually get up and hop over. They are wonderful and most of them are adorable, some are creepy looking.

On September 1st, I finally moved into Bond University. Since then, I have met amazing people. Most of them are American, which isn’t unfortunate, but a surprise. I didn’t expect there to be so many. I thought I would stand out being one, but the people that stand out are actually Australians. However, I make sure to meet as many as I can. The campus is unbelievably beautiful and looks just like the pictures.

I have definitely gained some insight about the person I want to be, and what I want in my life. I have never felt more myself than I do here. I’ve noticed that Australia is full of relaxed and non-judgmental people, which makes me feel comfortable everywhere I go, which is how life should be. As for academics, there are two classes a week per subject. One is a lecture, and the second is a tutorial. I honestly think that the tutorials are great because it’s about 5-10 other students from your lecture, and knowing that there is a good chance of being called on makes me study the material more.

Culturally, I’ve noticed that most of the college population love the same type of club music. It plays everywhere, even at cafés at 9am. However, this is the opposite of my kind of music. I’m more of a rock/metal person, and that surprises most of the people that I meet. I haven’t met anyone that had similar taste in music, so when I saw that one of my favorite bands was playing at a bar in Surfer’s Paradise (20 minutes away from campus), I decided I had to go.

This was extremely out of my comfort zone, because I hate going places alone. And here I was, going to a concert in a foreign country without any company. It ended up being my favorite night so far. I was an anonymous person in a sea of people that assumed I was Australian, which I liked. It was easier to meet people too, because after all, I just needed to say a couple words for someone to ask where I was from and why I had travelled to Australia. I ended up making new friends, and I’m actually going to a concert with one of them this weekend. Things I would have never done at home came easier to me here.

My goal for the rest of the semester is to keep breaking this ‘comfort zone’ and to make more unforgettable memories. Although traveling with friends is always fun, there is a nice feeling of being independent when I travel alone. I want to meet as many Australians as I can, and just soak up as much of their lifestyle as I can. I have fallen in love with everything about this country, even the gross bugs and high prices of everything. It will definitely be hard to leave this place.

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