Indiana University Overseas Study

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Bitter Sweet

Alexa Stegemoller

It’s finally beginning to set in that I only have four weeks left in this beautiful city. It seems like mid-semester break was just yesterday, yet here I am reminiscing on the trip. I had two weeks off and began the holiday by attempting to survive a classic Australian vacation in Bali. I suffered some extreme food poisoning but managed to make it out with nothing but great memories. I was even fortunate enough that my amazing mother was willing to meet me in Australia for the remainder of the break. We met up in Cairns and made our way down the east coast until we made it to Adelaide.

posing in front of rice fields

The rice fields of Bali

My mom and I exploring the Grampians National Park

My mom and I exploring the Grampians National Park

Our trip was near perfect and it meant the world to me that she made the trip, but it made me miss home more than I’d like to admit. Now as the semester is coming to a close, I’m torn between returning home to my friends and family while also dreading the day I have to say goodbye to the friends I’ve made here. I’ve become so accustomed to the lifestyle and feel as if I’ll have more culture shock returning home than I did when first arriving here.  My friends have become my family and St. Mark’s College has become a community I can’t imagine not being a part of.

My Australian soul mates/flat mates, Bree and Miz

My Australian soul mates/flat mates, Bree and Miz

In these remaining weeks, there are countless events to attend and countless assignments to complete, yet I plan on enjoying every second of it. My friend will be coming to visit next week and will give me the perfect excuse to do all of the tourist attractions in Adelaide that I’ve continued to put off. After her visit, the weekends are booked with 21st birthday parties (mine included) and end of the term college events. The busy calendar along with final exams, will hopefully keep my mind off the inevitable goodbyes looming around the corner.

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Time Flies

Alexa Stegemoller

With only a week left before mid-semester break, I look back on my time here thus far and am truly amazed at how fast it has gone by. Since I haven’t been able to post much, here are a few things I’ve noticed about studying in Australia:

  • Sometimes you really do think they’re speaking a different language.
  • The course structure is so different from in the States: far less time in class, much more time on your own.
  • If you don’t have a favorite AFL (Australian Rules Football) team than you better get one fast.
  • Dinner is “Tea.”
  • McDonald’s is “Macca’s.”

Honestly, the list could go on forever so I won’t bore you with the details. Nonetheless, I’m starting to get very used to everything here and expect some serious reverse culture shock when I return home.

Uni

My view on the way to Uni

I haven’t been able to travel much since Uni started but have gone on a few weekend trips to various towns around South Australia. Having friends that are willing to take me back home with them for the weekend has made for an amazing first half of the semester and some truly Australian experiences. Turns out if you live in the middle of nowhere it’s a requirement to have some sort of off-roading vehicle suitable for chasing wild animals around the desert. Wild goats, kangaroos, and emus — you name it, we’ve chased it. Apart from that, I’ve tried to get myself involved in everything I’m not able to do back home. For example, I tried out for a Netball team as well as a Footie team. Turns out, netball isn’t my thing (couldn’t get over my basketball instincts and kept trying to break all the rules). In regard to footie however, they say I’m not bad for an “American” and I choose to accept that as a compliment.

I’ve kept myself very busy but can’t help but think I’m not making the most of my time here. I have a very big mid-semester break planned and hope to continue with that sense of adventure when I return for the second half of my semester. My goal is to do something new each week; whether that be a simple evening at the beach or just making more out of my time here in Adelaide. It’s an absolutely wonderful city and I need to take advantage of it while I can. For now, my goal is to survive this upcoming week of deadlines so I can truly enjoy my break.

Sunset over the College and Adelaide Oval

Sunset over the College and Adelaide Oval

P.S. If you want to check out more photos/videos head to my Instagram: a_steggy

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On to the Next Adventure

Alexa Stegemoller

It may be odd, but for me I find that when I’m traveling I’m often the most comfortable. Although I may say Bloomington or even my hometown is home, it’s really just a stop on the road where I can save up money for the next adventure. This year, studying abroad was my adventure and I wasn’t going to let a single day pass without living it to the fullest. I had two months prior to the start of my program and although most would stay at home in preparation of their journey abroad, I packed my backpack and went on my way. I’m lucky enough to have quite a few friends around the world and figured I’d use these connections to my advantage. Long story short; I stayed in England for a week, New Zealand for a month, Brisbane for about 10 days, and have now made my way to Adelaide. It’s strange to say that arriving in Adelaide is “settling down” but it does feel nice to unpack my bags and know where I’ll be staying each night.

NYE London

New Years Eve in London

Te Henga Coast on the North Island of NZ

Te Henga Coast on the North Island of NZ

Petting Kangaroos on the Gold Coast

Petting Kangaroos on the Gold Coast

I can definitely say that all of my previous travels will play a huge role in the way I perceive my study abroad experience. Traveling, especially solo, forces you to open up to absolute strangers and make friends in the most unlikely places. Hopefully, these experiences will allow me to make the absolute most of my semester!

While I’m in Adelaide, I’ll be staying at a residential college called St. Marks. I have two amazing flat mates, both of whom are from Australia, and everyone is incredibly friendly. From the short time I’ve been here, I can tell it’s very comparable to Greek life in America. They have loads of rituals, traditions, a crest, a motto, and an amazing sense of community. I’m in the middle of Orientation and with any luck, by the end of the week, I’ll be a “fresher they can’t refuse.”

flying

Flying into Adelaide!

 

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