Senior Year in Australia Begins (Jaime Kamps-Duac)

Original Date: July 24, 2011

Classes began yesterday afternoon for me. My last summer as a student has officially ended and now I begin the end of my formal education! Exciting, yet somewhat strange to grasp. Introduction to Indigenous Australia was a bit tedious for the two hour lecture we had yesterday, the professor spent 80 minutes reading the course outline word for word, the same outline I had previously read before class being the adept student I am. Nonetheless now I know what to purchase for textbooks, and what I can find online. TodayI attended my Sustainable Tourism, Leisure and Event Management class which already intrigues me with the title and how my professor repeatedly spoke of herself as a “tree hugger”. From what I’ve learned so far we will get along very well.

Job hunting is much harder here than I had hoped for, but tomorrow I’ll head over to the plaza and try to find something that can help me with extra cash. For now I’ll just enjoy the sun and the friends I’ve made. A majority of the people I’ve been befriending are German, which I find brilliantly amusing, for they speak in their language all the time, and I have asked them to teach me one new word of German each day. Yesterday the word was Sonnenschein, meaning sunshine, and today it was Kuste, meaning coast. I felt that they were good words to know since we are living on the Sunshine Coast. In return for them teaching me German, my friend Jessica and myself have been trying to teach them a word in English that they do not know, but that task is much harder than there’s is for me.

Today went very well for me overall. I went onto campus early this morning to pick up a ‘go card’ that can be used for riding the bus or train. It already had 65$ on it, I was lucky to fill out a survey as one of the first 100 applicants so I received this in return. Happy is an understatement. On the way back to my apartment I saw a sign that said volleyball! So I checked it out, turns out there’s an open gym every Wednesday at noon for Volleyballers. Jess and I attended and I had a blast being able to play again. Sadly, I jammed a finger that’s hurting as I type right now.

As for the differences between home and here, I haven’t caught on too many yet. There’s definetly a laid back ‘no worries’ life style, which I find suites my personality perfectly. Shirts and shoes are only worn when attempting to dress up for an occasion. ‘Keen’ and ‘reckon’ are used so often I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say I like or think anymore. And the best part of this whole experience is the accents I hear daily, and my adaption to them.

Since I’ve traveled around Europe before I arrived here, my American accent is barely existent, and I’ve picked up a bit of an Irish/British tone. Now I’m adapting to the Aussie way of speaking, which is pretty much ending everything as if it is a question.

The friendships I’ve made here will last a life time. I have met people from France, Germany, Norway, Canada, and so many more places it’s incredibly. Everyone is friendly and open, and I have some best friends I never imagined I would meet.

All in all, life here is good.

Jaime Kamps-Duac is studying abroad at University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia.

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