I've been residing in my new apartment for a week now. After doing some grocery shopping and buying some blankets and space heaters, it's beginning to feel like home.
Not only have all of my roommates moved in, but my whole building consists of students studying at the University of New South Wales, or UNI as they call it. There are around 25 students in my building representing very diverse backgrounds. Floor one consists of three girls from Norway and one guy from Sweden. Floor two houses a girl from Germany and one from Romania. And floor three consists of a guy from Italy and once the other roommate receives his passport, Colombia will also be represented in this house. Everyone else is from all over the States.
The difference between where I'm living and where the majority of other study abroad students live (Coogee) is this diversity. It was very important to me that since I'm investing time and money into this experience, that I don't travel across the world, purely to surround myself by Americans. This obviously defeats the purpose of studying abroad, so I'm very happy with my living arrangement so far. Bondi beach is widely known by surfers and backpackers around the world. Bondi beach has some of the best waves for surfing. Yesterday was one of the sunniest days I've experienced here so far, and when I walked down to the beach the ocean was flooded with surfers. Often these surfers are also the backpackers who are traveling from location to location and essentially living out of their backpacks. I suppose this is how they got their names. So in an odd way, I'm more permanent than many of the individuals in Bondi as they are merely passing through and I'll be here for the next four months.
Last night was the big rugby match between New Zealand and Australia. I was prepared to go the actual game until I was told the tickets were $120. Even though I've spent one week of my life participating in a rugby camp at Penn State with my dear friend, I was a little rusty on the rules. I figured I didn't want to spend that money if I was going to be confused the entire time. So instead we went to a local pub to participate in the game. I figured I'd use this game to orient myself with the rules, etc. However, the entire time I watched the game, all I could focus on was the size of all these rugby players. I couldn't tear my eyes away from their necks that resembled tree stumps or their thighs that looked as though they could explode any second. And I couldn't help compare it to American football. And I apologize to all of the football fans reading this blog, but come on guys, what's with all the helmets, and padding, and the breaks that occur every 30 seconds!? Rugby is the most impressive team sport I've ever watched, and it really did put American football to shame. Not only could these men run like the wind, they could lift each other in the air, and run head first into one another as if it was nothing. Scrum caps were the closest form of protection I saw, and from my experience, those "helmets" act more as an object for absorbing sweat than anything else. It was truly remarkable and once Australia won I was pumped to watch more.
So far, this trip has felt like vacation. I've been ignoring the fact that classes start on Monday. Actually, somehow I lucked out and managed only to have classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays every week, so I have a couple more days before I start my classes. But still, the routine begins again and I have to get back into the academic mindset. I still haven't figured out what books I need to buy and I don't have any pencils or notebooks, so I need to get on that today. Considering I've only had about one month of summer, I don't think it'll be as hard to get back into the flow of things compared to other years where I literally don't pick up a pencil for three months. Wish me luck!