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Philosophy, Politics & Religion six month exchange at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, 2008-09
Going to Australia is exactly like what you think it is - it's donkin' awesome! My experience, as you may expect, was no different. There are a bazillion reasons why anyone would love the formerly-known-as-convict-island and I could write two dissertations about my excellent six months over there but more generally speaking I enjoyed it so much because, on the one hand I had a super-friendly bunch of beautiful people and on the other a different social and academic environment, enabling me to put my knowledge and experience into context. These two reasons, added together, equals for me pure and uncompromising fun!
I don't know whether it is the incredibly warm climate in Australia or the fact that the continent is more secluded from everything else that makes the people over there be so positive, optimistic and genuinely chummy. It's like, similar to Australia's unique fauna, the humans over there have evolved and developed a "happy-gene". Everywhere I ended up I was always met with generous smiling hospitable crazy Australians. Truly a "no worries" mentality rules over there.
You might think that "Yeah man, it's all cool-beans going to a place where everyone lives carefree lives, but I'm still in uni and need to get a decent education, man! Education first, man!" Which is what I was also worried about before I left but as I got there I discovered that my studies gained an extra dimension. An exchange student can gain from different learning approaches and standpoints and at the same time use his own knowledge and experience in a new setting. It's combining different paradigms! I learned a ton of stuff over there and believe that it's something very valuable we all could do with (the "new dimension" thing, although we could all do with a take-it easy gene as well).
I could write long stories about how I almost stepped on a stingray whilst surfing in Byron Bay, about how we watched the Australian Open in 47 C degree heat or how we plunged down a 7m high waterfall with a raft. I reckon that Australia is one of those "things to do before I die" things and if you're contemplating whether to go now or "when you're older", I say now because there's much much more Australia has to offer now that you're a student. Do it! What?! Do it!
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