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Thread summary:

Studying abroad in Australia, study abroad academic programs, best city in Australia, theater importance, coffeehouse culture, young college girls, outdoor activities

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Old 10-30-2008, 10:12 AM
 
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heh I just got an email that there was new reply to this thread.

Heh, I've been using several message boards so I guess I never 'resolved' this one, but yeah, I decided on Melbourne a few weeks ago and will be officially going now in the Spring!

Thanks for all the help guys!
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Old 10-30-2008, 06:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Amazing-Spiderman View Post
Hi guys.

I came across these forums while helplessly trying to research various places to study abroad, and let me tell you I'm so glad I did. I hardly know anyone from outside the US (I'm in correspondence with one Aussie right now, but I'd like more help!) - and these forums seem to be a great resource above the typical travel brochures/ random trivia that tell you hardly anything about a country or it's cities and towns. Annnyway...

I guess I'll tell you my quick story. I'm basically a US student in my third year at college, and I'm planning to study abroad for a semester this spring (Jan/ Feb - May/ Jun).

Why do I want to study abroad?

1. I've only been outside the US for a week, and that was in Cancun (laughably American and touristy). I would definitely like to expand my worldview and experiences.

2. Who doesn't want to have an adventure? I moved 1100 miles across the country to attend college because I really enjoy going off on my own and just saying **** it. I have a solid group of close friends, but I'm a guy who easily (and sometimes prefers) going out alone to a party or event, instantly befriending and meeting people, striking up conversations with strangers land talking to them like I've known them for years, etc. Just explaining who I am a bit so you can tailor your advice to my questions (coming soon I swear hehe).

3. Study purposes-- hope I don't come across as a fool here -- although academics are usually my top priority, they are not a high priority here. I feel I can study a large majority of topics just as easily in the US as anywhere else. And from what I've heard, even the most rigorous "study abroad" programs are a farce in their workload and that you'll forget most of it years down the road anyway. If I can take classes related to my major(virtually completed already) or of great interest to me, great -- but I'm always surprised when ppl ask me what I want to study there as if it's very important -- uh, I'll be doing most of my learning outside the classroom. Any commentary/ cynicism on my thoughts here are welcome lol.


Also, I only want to study in a country that speaks english. Not because I'm somehow xenophobic (I actually love hearing foreign languages) - but because I actually want to have deep meaningful conversations with the locals. So --- basically, I was trying to decide between Ireland and Australia for studying, but I think I'm leaning toward Australia. Ireland is cool because 1. I'm half irish. 2. A cool friend told me it was ABSOLUTLEY AMAZING. 3. Access to the rest of Europe, including other abroad friends. But on the other hand, Australia --- well it's mother****ing Australia! That and an Aussie who's traveled a lot of the world told me to go there above anywhere else (but he's probably a tad biased lol). Any thoughts here would be appreciated.

Basically, my questions: What do you think is the best city in Australia for me to stay for a semester? What universities for that matter?

I'm looking for a great city for young people. The more young hot student girls walking around the better. Lively music/ dance and arts scenes a plus. I'm a huge theatre nerd, too --- been a lead actor in several plays -- would love a great theatre scene, if only to watch even. I've only been to clubs/bars a hanful of times because I'm 20 (21 age limit for US mostly) but would love to start exploring them. So vibrant nightlife a plus. On the other hand, I don't want to be harassed by xenophobic locals or raging *******s while I'm out (saw some of this in Cancun). I mean, I'm a very friendly guy, level-headed and disarming - prefer not to be harassed for being American, not that I'm expectin it. I can easily deal with it just prefer not to, ya know. For the day --- any city have a big coffeehouse culture or is just pretty social during the day?

I'm am also very outdoorsy, love physical activites, sports, and the water. I would love a city with great beaches, landscapes, forests, mountains, parks --- or just lots of physical activities to do. Warmer weather would be nicer too.

Also preferring a city that is very typically "Australian," if that makes any sense. I mean, I came to Australia to see Australian culture and see what it's all about. I'd really, really, really like to pet a kangaroo. That sort of ****. However, I don't want to go to a touristy or tourist centered place --- I'd prefer authentic places, not locals trying to sell me bobble-head dolls or 'sacred artifacts' on every street corner.

Of course, public transportation, *affordability* (I am a poor college student so cost of living/ doing things a big consideration), access to other Autralian cities also all big pluses.

My Aussie friend (30 year old guy who's wildly social) has recommened Brisbane. Obviously, the other cities that come to mind off the top of my head are Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth. So any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
I studied in Australia for a year when I was in College. I went to Deakin University in Geelong. It's about an hour south of Melbourne. I loved it because it wasn't a huge city but it definitely had stuff going on every night of the week. In all honesty the college I went to sent most of their students to Geelong because of the great feedback they got. I went up to the Melbourne campus a couple times and in all honesty the Melbourne area was just to big for me to be in constantly. I had an internship and went up to Melbourne 1 time a week and it was a good time.

Edit: Nevermind, just read your last post. Check out Geelong while you are there. It's a nice place.
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:28 PM
 
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I am currently here on exchange from Texas. A few pointers:

- Choose a school in Sydney, MAYBE Melbourne. Anywhere else will be very boring fast.
- The universities here are not as challenging as America's top school schools so don't expect a tough workload.
- Australia is the quintessential study abroad location. There is so much to do and see, from exploring mountain trails to rainforests to the Great Barrier Reef to fairy penguins on Kangaroo Island to hanging with kangaroos at Australia Zoo, it just doesn't get much better.
- The people here can be really friendly, but don't expect much in the big cities.
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