Today was the first day of O-Week! First time having to get up at a reasonable hour, but we haven’t been going out so it was doable. We walked into the Uni to see it full of students, looking a lot like us – not from Australia, and looking a little losted. Luckily there were UTS Peer Networkers (which we called Orange shirt people, if you can figure out why) to guide us to each session we needed to attend.
The day was filled with semi-boring lectures, just like you would have at most universities, going over the essentials and getting us familiarized with the Uni’s system. The highlights of the day were our random Yum Cha lunch at Marigold where we made friends with an Aussie orange shirt girl, and the Aboriginal dancing at the welcome ceremony. It helped give us a taste of Australia, and I’m looking forward to potentially attending a real Aboriginal event.
The day concluded with an Aussie “Barbie” and a Columbian band that enticed us all to dance to La Bamba. Australians do center things around drinking socially, so we also had our first of several happy hours that night at the Loft, a bar on campus. It was a fun experience because we just went up to a random table of people, and started talking and making friends. Since everyone was new and the majority international, we were all in the same boat and looking to meet new people. Again, to show how small of a world it was, I ran into the one other student from Sac State at UTS! It was nice to see a familiar face, and I’m sure I’ll run into him again in the future.
When in conversation with some of the students from France and other countries, I realized that people were going to be asking me a lot of questions about the US, California, and San Francisco. Everyone was very interested in what it was like, and also how Americans viewed their culture. Before coming here, I was told to not talk about politics and to not talk too much about the US becuase I might run into conflicts. But if people were going to ask, I was going to tell. I think many people that chose Syndey were also looking at studying in the US, so obviously they were intersted in what our culture was like. So far what I could tell them was the Sydney seemed quite similar to San Francisco, but I’m sure after time goes on I will have a better answer with more contrasts.
Since the happy hour started at 6pm, we were heading back home by 10pm, which was perfect considering it was such a long day. Ready for another long day of presentations tomorrow!