While the rest of the UNH Her Campus team is holding down the fort here in New Hampshire, some of our members are having the time of their lives studying abroad for the semester in various places.
This week I talked to Gen Davidson. You may remember when she had us all reminiscing about our childhood with her article “Toy’s from the 90’s”. For the past month, Gen has been living it up in the land down under petting kangaroos and surfing. Does it get any better?
Where in Australia are you living?
I live in Gold Coast Australia, which is about 40 minutes outside Brisbane.
Why did you choose to study abroad in Australia?
I have always been intrigued by Australia and the culture. From seeing pictures as a kid, and watching Animal Planet about the Great Barrier Reef it has always been on my ‘bucket list’ of places to travel.
What was the hardest part about leaving?
I think the hardest part about leaving America is not being able to see my family and friends. It is hard to communicate with people back home because I live 14 hours in the future.
How have you been adjusting to life over there?
Like I said before the time change really messed with my sleeping pattern. The food here is overall the same, however there are a few foods unique to the Australian culture. They have this spread for toast called “Vegemite” which is food paste that is made from the leftover yeast extracts and vegetables mixed together. It is dark brown/black and really salty, every Australian loves it but I don’t think it is good at all. Timtams are another Australian food, which are almost like a cookies; they are amazing. Timtams come in all different types of flavors and varieties. Australians don’t make ice coffee the same way as we Americans do!!!! When you order an ice coffee in Australia they make it with ice cream and froth so it is almost like a coffee flavored milkshake (really good but WAY to sweet). The culture in Australia is a lot more laid back, and everything is A LOT more expensive.
What are some slang terms they use over there? What is the equivalent to American slang?
Even though Australians speak English sometimes I feel like they aren’t, they have very thick accents and a lot of different vocabulary words. The first thing I found interesting was the way Australians word activities they are about to do. Instead of saying “I’m going to take a nap,” “go for a swim,” or “take a shower.” They would say “I’m going to have a nap,” “have a swim,” “have a shower”. They use the word “heaps” to mean “a lot”, “mate” as “friend”, and “reckon” as “I think”. They call college, university because college here means something different, and they don’t “go to class” they “have uni.” My favorite term that my Australian roommates use is they call being hung-over “corpsing” because you act like a dead body until you feel better. Last but not least instead of saying “yay!” or “awesome” most Australia’s say “yewwww!!”
What has been the most exciting thing about Australia so far?
I would say that scuba diving/snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef was pretty exciting, I got to see so much wild life and everything underwater was so memorizing. I would also say that hiking to the top of the Cape Byron Bay Light House was amazing because it is the Eastern most point of Australia and the views are breath taking. Going to a glow worm cave, learning to surf, holding a koala bear and a kangaroo, sea kayaking with dolphins, and watching a professional surfing competition were all highlights of my trip so far.
What are you most excited to do in the next few month- any trips planned? I just booked my mid-semester break to New Zealand! I am going on an ice glacier hike, white-water rafting, taking a helicopter ride, jet boating, visiting a sheep farm and jumping off of the world’s biggest bungee jump (if I don’t chicken out). I also plan on going to Bali, Sydney, Melbourne and the Whitsundays before I leave!
Do people even know that New Hampshire exists? What is their reaction when you tell them you are from there?
Surprisingly there about 10 people at Griffith (my uni) who are from New Hampshire. When I introduce myself to Australians, they might not know where New Hampshire is but they know it’s a state in America.
What is a common stereo-type of Americans over in Australia? Are they in any way true?
A lot of Australians think all Americans are crazy party animals. They watch American TV shows and movies like the Jersey Shore or American Pie and think that all we like to do is get drunk. Sadly when most Americans come to Australia for a semester partying is on the agenda so we live up to their expectations of the stereotype.
I think this is the most important question that I ask Gen.
Do all Australian men look like AFL players?
If all the men looked like AFL players then I would never leave! Sadly they Australian men here are pretty standard to American men, besides their accents!