Friday, February 24, 2012

O-Week (Orientation Week)

No, school has not started yet! This week has been orientation week (or "O-week" as they call it here). Most of the activities were meant for the incoming first-year students. (Don't forget that the school starts after the Australian summer here!) Still, the study abroad students were encouraged to attend, so I went to the university every day from Monday to Friday.

I avoided events run by the university, such as "Getting the Most out of Lectures" and "Success at Uni." Instead I went mostly to events by the Student Union and the student groups affiliated with the union. Many student groups had free barbecue lunch -- in fact, there was more than one barbecue took place each day! But for me, after my first burnt veggie burger on Tuesday, I decided I would avoid the rest of the barbecues...

During the week, when I saw a long line like this around lunchtime, I knew it was for a barbecue!

I checked out all the student groups at the Student Union Clubs and Societies Expo. There were so many clubs!

The inside of this room was full...

... so some tables were set up outside too!

Some clubs sounded fun, like Chocolate Lovers Society. Despite all these clubs, I ended up signing up only for the Mathematics and Statistics Society. Why? I didn't know how much time I would have during the semester to commit to all the clubs I wanted to join. And, unlike Princeton, almost all the clubs charged a membership fee, ranging from 2 to 15 dollars! (The Maths Society was free!) This was really really surprising and stopped me from just signing up for everything like I did at Princeton.

In addition to clubs and other university organizations, there were plenty of companies trying to advertise their services. Some of them gave out (or sometimes, forced us to take) some free stuff!

My favorite event during orientation was the Food Adventure Tour, run by MUOSS (Melbourne University Overseas Student Society). It was intended to show international students some different restaurants around the city. In one afternoon, we had two main dishes and two desserts! A little too much food in too little time, but I got to meet lots of other students!

First stop: A Malaysian restaurant. I had some vegetable curry with rice!
Second stop: Frozen yogurt for dessert! (Just as I was posting this photo, I noticed the American spelling of "yogurt"!)
Third stop: An Italian restaurant. This photo makes the pizza look really big!
Fourth stop: Pancake Parlour for more dessert.
Yummy! But... I think it was a little too much food all crammed into the afternoon! Luckily I didn't have lunch before the event, and afterwards, I decided not to have dinner. (I thought of the Malaysian curry as my lunch and the pizza as my dinner!)

In the middle of all these activities, I stumbled upon an interesting sustainability awareness event at the university. The organizers had bicycles set up to generators, and we could go on and pedal for a few minutes to help provide power for the orientation activities!

Hmm... what's with all the bicycles?
They're connected to generators!
Generating electricity, and exercising at the same time! Awesome!
Now that orientation is over, I am so tired! (And scared! Classes are finally starting next week! Ahh!!)

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