Cheers from Western Australia!
My name is Kat and I’m a kinesiology major now studying sport and exercise science at Murdoch University.
It’s been a few days since I’ve arrived in Perth and I’m still working on settling in. Honestly, it’s a slow and trying process but I’m optimistic even as I plod my way through my first week here.
“Everything is a huge learning curve at the moment, from something as small as pedestrian etiquette to something as important as opening a new bank account.”
Before flying out, I spent my last two weeks at home torn between panic and excitement. I knew worrying would do me no good yet I was also cautious of my enthusiasm setting up too many expectations.
Being here now though, it’s a mixture of emotions with confusion taking the lead. Everything is a huge learning curve at the moment, from something as small as pedestrian etiquette to something as important as opening a new bank account. Although I’ve had similar moments of “wow, this is growing up” when I started to live on my own in San Diego for college, I think it’s safe to say moving to an entirely new country all by myself takes that to a whole new level.
And boy, it is hard.
But I tell myself I have to keep going. I have to keep going. I have to keep going.
One by one, day by day.
I also have my first Murdoch friend to thank for through all this — her name is Liyanga.
Thanks to a buddy program provided by my host university, I’m paired with a local student to guide me through transitioning. On my third day here, we agreed to meet at a train station between us where we would then both take the train together out to the city. I must have looked like a child with all the wide-eyed wonder I felt as I experienced more of Perth.
To think this is only my first week here, classes have yet to start and I’ve got five more months to go!
Kat Hidalgo is a fourth-year kinesiology (physical therapy emphasis) major. She is studying at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia for the fall semester.