Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Melbourne Welcome Orientation Program

I've just gotten back from the Melbourne Welcome program, and I am so glad I participated. I met a lot of other study abroad/exchange students and got to try a bunch of new things!

For the four days that the program lasted, I stayed at Newman College, which is a residential college affiliated with the university.

Standing in front of the Newman College chapel. This reminds me of Princeton's chapel!
Inside, in the quad.


I got to campus Friday morning, and first got settled into my room.

(This was only my room for the duration of the program. I'm not staying here for the entire semester.)

Then we had a barbecue lunch, which included a burger! There were chicken and beef and... kangaroo! But I opted for a veggie burger.

Eating by the fountain! (There were more people to my left.)

Here are two pictures from breakfast on Saturday morning.

"So excited! I wonder what this will taste like!"
"Umm... too much saltiness for me..."

Hopefully my next attempt at Vegemite will be more successful?

Surfing at Ocean Grove Beach

We left early Sunday morning to spend the day at the beach! Part of that time included surfing! I can't quite say I was quite successful at surfing. The instructor helped me a few times, but I was never able to stand up on the surfboard while riding a wave. This means that I must return to the beach and master the technique! Although, I guess I could do that in California as well. (Isn't there a stereotype that all Californians go surfing all the time?)

I didn't take many pictures at the beach because I didn't want to get sand in my camera. Here are two, and they some important lessons:

Before heading down to the beach!
Back in my room with sunburnt ears...
The lessons are: (1) The sun in Australia is very very strong, so use lots of sunscreen! (2) Put sunscreen on everywhere, including on your ears!

I was aware of (1), so I applied sunscreen at least three times during my time at the beach. Unfortunately, I forgot about my ears. It doesn't help that they stick out the sides of my heads, completely free to catch all the rays of the sun.

I guess some other people were worse off than me, but burnt ears were bad enough for me. I had trouble sleeping that night, because my head had to lie flat on the pillow, facing up. If I turned a little to the left or right, one ear would touch the pillow and hurt.

Pokemon Snap at the Zoo!

The Melbourne Zoo reminded me of the San Francisco Zoo, which I went with my family last summer. (By "summer," I mean summer in the U.S.!) This is probably because most of the animals were the same.

I decided to entertain myself by pretending to play Pokemon Snap while I was at the zoo. (That's a video game for the Nintendo 64 where you go around and take pictures of Pokemon, and get scored by how well the pictures turned out.) So I went around and obnoxiously tried to take pictures of all the animals!

The meerkat is centered, but I lost a bunch of points for size...
Good size, but the tiger is looking away, which means I lose points for pose...
Same Pokemon bonus! Or, "same animal" I guess.
Peaceful sleeping gorilla! And it's centered, so bonus points for pose and times two for technique!
?? - This cannot be identified.
At this point, you might be bothered by the lack of kangaroos and koalas. Well, here they are!

But wait... I traveled all the way to Australia, only to find these animals in Australian zoos!? (My ignorant tourist side thought they would be all over the city!) I now have another goal: Go into the bush and find these animals in nature!

Formal Dinner

Our last dinner of the program was a formal dinner. And by formal, I mean really really formal! Yikes! I've never had anything like this before! There's a rule that the bread should be on the left? And the arrangement of the utensils is fixed?

Everyone was quite dressed up!

Some other activities

Getting ice cream while exploring the city!

Viewing the entire city from the Eureka Skydeck 88!

The Shrine of Remembrance is such a nice and peaceful place! And all the clouds make the perfect background!

Going through the laneways in Melbourne. (All the busy shops in the narrow street remind me of Taiwan!)

Some alleys in the laneways have been decorated quite extensively!


I didn't go to all the parties and late night events that the hosts organized, but I did get to try some alcohol for the first time. (But just a little bit! And guess what? It's actually legal here!)

Wine and cheese tasting during the first night. Tried out both red and white wine! (What is that kangaroo doing there?)

More wine tasting at the Queen Victoria Market.

Champagne before the formal dinner.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Real Time Analytics