Australia, Here I Come

According to the Study Abroad Office I have a 4000% chance of getting accepted to the Australia college in Melbourne that I am applying to. So…it looks like I’m going abroad next semester. I’m going to try applying to an Apple Store for a job when I get there as well. I have a lot of paperwork to take care of for classes to make sure they count toward my major and GEs. I’m also going to start looking into loans and scholarships. Scholarships don’t look promising but there is one tuition assistance program that I’ve applied to through New Paltz. I am continuing to enjoy my first year of college at New Paltz! I CAN NOT WAIT TO GO ABROAD! This will be an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.

Good-bye freedom…

As the first week of the semester has blasted off with me grasping for the edge of my seat, I have had a difficult time trying to find some way to sum it all up. With overwhelming emotions, as a result of uni life and the extremely high costs of everything, here in Perth, it is difficult to be completely positive. I have fully enjoyed my first two weeks, from the orientations to the people and great friends that I have made; however, I knew there was more to come: not just great and exciting moments, but also the stressful and very aggrevating moments. By having a full plate, with classes Monday through Friday, I am struggling to find time for job; something I am required to do in order to cover my living expenses. The seemingly “low cost of living” in Perth has now presented itself to me as deceiving, and according to many people that live here, it is in fact one of the most expensive places to live in Australia. Cheaper than Melbourne or Sydney? Not so true.
I’m sure this will all be worth it, but for right now I have to pay for additional class activity fees and purchase geology equipment that I am expected to already have for labs and field trips. Seriously in search of a job…
On the other hand, I have been working on my tan a bit, even with a ton of sunblock, and was able to attend a day at the beach with some friends, Sunday, before the commencement of the semester, with which comes the drastic decrease in my freedom.

Hurdling the registration obstacle course

Sorting out messy timetables when registering for courses has never been easy. In fact, when the tedious task of rearranging and fenagling the list of classes into a practical schedule of weekly classes is complete, and if everything has somehow fit together smoothly, then it is quite the job well done. At the moment I am enrolled in four classes that I plan to study while I am here at CU. Of the four classes, two of them are conflicting…this is a fairly normal and almost expected circumstance that many college students face, especially if they are nearing the end of their undergraduate career, like myself. This situation only lengthens the process of registering for classes, and I am now forced to meet with advisors and coordinators once more, to see if there is some way to squeeze myself into the unobtainable Mineralogy and Geochemistry class (or unit as it is referred to at CU), which conflicts with my Calculus class (unit), or find an alternative. This is all fine and dandy, for I’m sure something will work out, but it’s safe to say that it is a cause for a bit of a aggrevation.
How do I reflect on this with a positive note? Just by simply reminding myself that this small hurdle is only for my benefit. Meeting once again with my mentors/advisors, establishing the reason for the conflict of interest between myself and the schedule, and by creating a solution to the problem, I will not only feel better, but it will also help to strengthen bonds with advisors/mentors/professors. By successfully hurdling the registration obstacle course, I will leave myself with one more reason to feel the pure bliss of one more accomplishment.

The process of settling in

I arrived in Perth five days ago, already, and I am enjoying every minute of it. The people are great and the weather is fantastic! I have found so much to do, and have been involved in so many activities with my flat mates, so far, that I have not had much time to post some blogs…not to mention that I did not have access to a computer until yesterday. However, when classes begin, roughly a week and a half from today, I will be in Curtin’s library more regularly (my main access to computers and the internet), and will be postings blogs much more frequently as well. Hopefully by that time, I will have transitioned from the unknowing newcomer to Perth and CU, into the more familiarized and savvy inhabitant and student of my temporary home and life. With much more to say and only moments before the library closes, I am forced to end this blog with much less than I planned to include; however, one way or another my blogs will tell the story of my adventure abroad here in sunny Perth!

Breaking through the Writer’s Block

     The first of the many blogs to come, this one was the trickiest to start. My name is Ashley Peters, and I am an Environmental Geoscience major at SUNY New Paltz, trying to get over a bit of writer’s block. However, once this blog is posted, I’m sure the others will come more easily.
    Amid working full time over the break at a local grocery store in my town, finishing up tedious projects around the house (such as completing the task of painting the upstairs), and cooking/baking the promised treats and dishes for everyone, my winter break has been quite busy.  Fortunately, I have still found some time to research and explore the much anticipated Curtin University, near Perth, Australia, where I will be staying for the next five months.  Through books, movies and the internet I have tried to familarize myself with some history, politics, geology and culture/lifestyles of Australia, Perth and Curtin University, so that I am not completely ignorant when I arrive overseas.  I realize; however, that a great majority of what I will learn will not be encountered until I am actually there and interacting with everything around me.

     The last few weeks have been especially busy, as I have begun to really prepare for my trip.  Both physically and mentally strenuous, this is only the prep, and therefore only the beginning of what is to come.  At this time, I am free to say that I am prepared for almost anything, and am more than willing to take this new step in life, so that I may embrace all of the new experiences to come, both the fun and exciting, and the difficult and scary.   

     For the meantime, I still have a great deal of tasks to finish and loose ends to tie up at home before I begin my estimated 33hour journey.  Tonight some friends are coming over for dinner, so I have a lot of cooking and preparing to do before then!  Until next time…~Ashley