When France is your country, fresh bread, fine cheese and wine are your everyday, and Australia is « on the opposite side of the world », somewhere animals look to come directly from creation, and every youg man is a long blond haired surfer. Build castels and find sea shells, but what else ?
With crocodiles and kangaroos, the picture is full of clichés, but what does it really look like ? What does the air smell like ? What are the surrunding sounds, what do the fruits taste like ? The airport customs revealed a forgotten apple in my luggage. This country tries to preserve its native plants and agriculture, and I also discovered the Australian airport staff to be easy-going and considerate people.
Make the most of life, this expression doesn’t even find it’s equivalent in my language.
Find yourself is one of the purposes of an exchange semester in UQ . They make the transition into australia a truely enjoyable experience, where even the most timid of person is encouraged to take part . ‘Yes’ creates more where everyone can have a positive impact , bringing out the best of oneself, in a global acting vision, when the individual mind reigns.
I was looking for this way of life, and realised that I could find it here, certainly, and find a part of me I have never met before. I look forward to meeting myself through others, through this culture!
I’ve been here one month now, and every day contributes to change me a little more. Here, everything is upside down from what I used to see or live. The sun comes from the north, people drive on the left, it’s winter right now, and people thank the bus drivers when coming out! People are very engaging, respectful, and most of all I see here that people are free to be themselves without being placed in a frame, and without being judged. We feel easily that the country was built by immigration and thus, foreigners who continue to arrive are very welcome.
I had an extraordinary opportunity when I arrived: I found a home within 24 hours! Actually, I had already spotted the anounce of roommate before leaving, and we had a meeting on skype with the two girls who share the house. It was a great meeting and I was delighted by the house too. Other ads were not worth this one, and the day after my arrival I moved in! Just as simple! It was a miracle, compared to all the people I met and who had trouble finding a proper place! This is a true blessing, and we get along very well with the two girls, also students in Saint Lucia.
Something strange in relation to food here is the absence of Australian culinary identity. You can find everything easily, even if the import increases prices. But nothing is typical, even in the ways of eating, which are borrowed from some cultures.
For this first month, I have not been in many different places. The new semester came very quickly and even if the ryhtme is relaxed (although studious), I am still in my habits of stress and busy week. I’ll have to make the most of my spare time by moving! Nonetheless I was with one of my roommates on a beach near her parent’s house, then we ate fish and chips “fresh from the sea”, great! I was on a lookout of the city, atop a hill, it was nice although the night didn’t allow me to fully enjoy the view.
Another blessing is one of the groups I join on campus, it’s called CCM (Campus Christian Movement), and that’s exactly what I needed, and I was afraid I would not find that here. The group brings together students and some young workers who spend an evening each week on campus, and also do other outings together. We share very deepely, full of fun times also, and real fellowships! I have quickly found people with whom I can develop real friendships!
It’s amazing the number of groups and active society on campus. I think the number approaches 100! Still an amazing thing about campus is that it is a city in itself! It includes everything from hairsalon to the pharmacy, sports halls to medical center ! Many things are put in place for students, and everything works fine, despite the large number of students. I also realized that the size of the campus is the same than the city center of Strasbourg, the city I come from!