Language and Culture Study Abroad and Exchange

Top 10 scariest things from a North American perspective

 #1 All Reptiles and Insects

Anyone and everyone has warned me that Australia has ‘the ten most deadliest creatures’ in the world. I just want to remind everyone that sharks don’t fly and cockroaches are killable. Also, you need to put yourself in danger in order to get caught in scary situations. Just stay out of trouble, and you’ll survive.

#2 The Transit System

The one down side to going to a foreign country is trying to adapt to their transit system, lucky for me Australia is also English speaking. Not that it makes it any easier, but the bus drivers drive on the wrong side of the road, ONLY stopping if flagged down aggressively. Also, warning, never speak to the drivers while the bus is in motion. There’s  a very helpful app called ‘Moovit‘ that always gets me to my destination safely and promptly.

#3 The Heat

Coming from -30 degrees in Toronto, Canada the heat definitely made me nervous. Apparently I ‘missed’ the real Aussie heat, but I definitely didn’t think so. Mid March it was graciously +35 degrees and I was dripping taking out the trash. Be thankful if you have air-conditioning (because most people do not) and be thankful for the beach! Oh and remember DON’T FIGHT THE SWEAT (you’ll just sweat more).

#4 Store Hours

I am used to being out and about all day, and having the luxury of being able to go to the mall up until 9pm (every night of the week). In Australia, for some weird reason all the malls and stores (thankfully not most grocery stores) close at 5pm. Be prepared if you’re a starving student with nothing in your fridge after a long day at school…

#5 Not Knowing Anyone…

In the traveling world, a lot of people choose to travel solo. This was my first time being and living on my own, and it does take some getting used to. Just like anything else I now I appreciate modern technology (Facetime/Skype).

#6 Being Jobless

As a student it’s pretty scary to go from working everyday to being jobless. I went from saving every penny to not working at all. Having all this free time is definitely a luxury but it feels like I’m always forgetting something. This takes a while to adjust to. Spend your money wisely, or just try to get a job.

#7 The Price of BANANAS

My favorite fruit in the entire world is bananas and at 8.99 Australia Dollars per kg, I completely refuse to pay it. Just to let everyone know, it is possible to find bananas for a decent cost, you just have to hunt.

#8 The Time Difference

For me the time difference was a huge scare at first. Fourteen hours. Takes lots of adjusting but plan skype dates, get a plan or a calling card, it won’t kill you to stay up late one night a week to catch up with home. If anything it will help you get through a tough day!

#9 Needing to Make Friends… Fast

As a student, realizing everyone’s in the same boat is crucial. You are not alone (as much as you feel like you are). There are so many things to do, school related and otherwise. There’s no excuse to keep yourself secluded from this beautiful country. The beach is waiting…

Last but not least….

#10 Aussies

Yes they are attractive; the whole country is well above average… this also takes some getting used to.

– Kristi

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