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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Perth and Foremost

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.

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Everything I Won’t Miss About Studying Abroad

As I write this on my final flight back to the U.K. from Berlin, I can’t help but reflect on all the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve met these past few months of being abroad. I’m blessed to have a group of women here who share the same love for knowledge, adventure and (most importantly) incredible food as me. I now have friends from the U.K., the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark and Australia. I only hope they’ve grown from me half as much as I’ve grown from them.

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Holidays Away from Home

It’s cliche to say, but the holidays really are my favorite time of year.

Many of you are probably still eating leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner. I would ask you to save me some, but I’m not sure they’ll make it to next month (let alone next week). Now that Thanksgiving is over, Christmas lights and decorations will finally be making an appearance in parks and shops back in the states! Spoiler alert. They’ve been up since the beginning of November here in the U.K. I know, crazy talk!

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The ‘Studying’ Part of Being Abroad

Being abroad is a constant adventure. Every day, I learn or experience something new about European culture.

One of the biggest cultural differences I’m experiencing is school. I often get asked what school is like in America. People ask me loads (look at me using some British vocab) of questions about my experiences in high school. Did you have a prom king and queen? What were football games like? How was your class schedule?

I really had no idea how different school was in Europe.

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