Campus Culture Comparison: Murdoch and SDSU

Around this time of the year in California, classes are just beginning to kick into full swing. A new semester brings on new routines and for some — myself included — the cafe-hopping habit makes its return.

Now in Perth, Australia, it’s the end of Week 7 and mid-semester exams are here. My last two weeks consisted of writing a literature review for my abnormal psychology class as well as studying for a biomechanics midterm. Most of my days were spent in either the campus library or my bedroom. It seems my studying routine has not been so cafe friendly this semester (the weekend brunches are entirely their own thing, of course).

Coming to that realization, I began to rack my brain for some differences I’ve picked up on as a student here in Western Australia.

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Sun Daze on a Sunday in Australia

It’s been a little over a month since I’ve moved here and I’m slowly but surely falling in love with Western Australia. It helps that there are some striking features that remind me of home — sitting on the west coast of some kind, watching breathtaking sunsets at spectacular beaches.

And that’s exactly what I did two weeks ago. It happens to be one of my favorite days that I’ve spent here and I love looking back on it.

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Thoughts of Home Will Keep Me Warm

Growing up in sunny southern California, I am not accustomed to a lifestyle where the warmest weather maybe reaches 60 degrees for one hour and it rains on and off for days. A friend I made here who’s from Chicago definitely does not complain about the weather as much as I do.

Then there were days I felt absolutely restless. Other days I felt vaguely frustrated. I thought maybe I just needed a bit more sleep. Or a bit more caffeine in my system.

I began to recognize these were signs of being homesick kicking in as I traced back my frustrations. I wasn’t sure how to deal with it as it never truly sunk in when I first moved out for college. Then I received a timely e-mail from my health insurance provider about homesickness.

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I Got a Job!

Piece of advice for all of those considering studying abroad: Save up way more than you think. Like, seriously, work away the entire summer before you go because before you know it your savings account will be completely obliterated and you’ll be eating oatmeal for every meal of the day.

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A Long Layover in Vietnam

One of the best things about studying at University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) was the 10-week semester. While all my friends in San Diego still were still studying for finals, I was finished with my semester and ready to travel home. At this point I had a few options, I could go home a few months early and twiddle my thumbs or I could take a detour and travel through Vietnam. I picked the latter.

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