Excerpt from Kimberly Christie’s personal blog “Australian adventure”. Kimberly is a Spring 2016 ASC student from Azusa Pacific University (CA). Reproduced with permission.
So first off, I absolutely love it here. I decided pretty much as soon as I stepped off the plane that I am going to need to be forced back on the plane when we fly home. The people are amazing, school is amazing, basically everything is amazing. The only thing that is not amazing is the humidity and the bugs but you can’t win it all right? I have gotten lots of bugs bites and a lot of them have swollen up a lot but nothing has killed me yet here so that is a good thing!!
Major events thus far:
-Class trips: For my Aboriginal class I am taking while here, we have gotten to go on class trips! One trip was to a place called North Stradbroke Island where we learned all about Aboriginal history and got to speak to the elders that were there and they shared their life stories with us and it was awesome. I am not a big history person at all so this class has been a little bit of a struggle for me, but the island trip was awesome because it put everything we have been learning into perspective. Also, it was really beautiful so that was a plus.
^it was so beautiful!^learning how to make fire
-Friends: There are 20 americans who are also in the program with me and they are all amazing. We have all become so close during our random adventures around Brisbane and I am so thankful for them. We all are starting to realize how hard it is going to be for us to say goodbye to each other when we get back to America so that’s sad. But for now, we are enjoying all of the time we have together and taking in every moment!^our very first day here!
-School: School is so different here it is really weird. For example, in one of my class we have one paper that is worth 40% of our grade and then another paper that is worth 60% of our grade…and that is it. No homework, no tests, no quizzes..just the papers. This is quite an adjustment for me because I am used to the American schooling system where you have homework and 50 different categories of things that factor into your grades. I am in four classes here: one aboriginal class, one about the history of Australia, one business class, and one class about the Bible. It has been really awesome to interact with the other Australian students and learn from them as well!
-Service placement: While in Australia, we have to complete 35 of service at a site that was picked for us. My site that I am at is called Regis Bulimba and it is an elderly care facility! I go every Monday morning with Laina (another American) for 4 hours and we love it. I don’t really have much experience working with the elderly so I was kind of scared at first. But since we have been going for a little bit now, we are starting to get to know the residents more and more and we are gaining relationships with them which is awesome! I love hearing all of their stories of how they ended up in Australia and what they were doing before they went to Regis Bulimba. I have bonded with one resident named Les and him and I talk about golf every week lol.
-Random things: I saw my first Australian koala the other night. I was driving with my host mom to go buy me cough medicine (because I currently have the plague), and something ran across the road that we thought was a cat. But when we got closer, we realized it was a koala! I was pretty excited even though I saw it for 2 seconds and was in a car that was nowhere near it..but it was still cool. My host family is the best. They are so beyond welcoming and nice to me and they have made the transition so much easier. I also have mastered public transportation as we take the bus everywhere.
Alright if you read all of that you are a star. I have about a month and a half left in this beautiful country! Hopefully I post again before I go back to America but at this rate we will see if that actually happens lol
peace and blessings 🙂