“New-tella? What the heck is New-tella? It’s Nut-ella, ya freak!”
I’m ending my fourth week in Australia this Friday, and I have learned a lot about the continent, the capital, and myself. And, also, that I say Nutella incorrectly.
I arrived at Sydney airport with Bronwyn and her mom, and three days later, I found myself on a three-hour ride home to Canberra with my exchange partner, Estelle. She was shocked that I hadn’t seen Gossip Girl and we started watching it during the ride back. We made a pact to finish all six seasons before my six-week exchange ended. As I said before, I am nearing the end of my fourth week… and we’re already on Season 5. Estelle was still on her winter holidays when I first arrived, so we had a week to bond before school started. In this week, I was able to meet with her friends in fun settings (we went to the Telstra Tower, Flip out- Australia’s equivalent to Sky High, the Mall, shopping, etc.). This was good because I was able to recognize some familiar faces in the first week of school.
When school started, I was extremely surprised to find out that the students of Radford College get less than an hour of homework every night! While I love Athenian, I find this extremely helpful for students so that they can focus on their passions or get a job without the stress of three to four hours of homework each night. Another thing that surprised me was their assessments. Because they don’t receive homework, they have one to two large assignments that count for a shocking 50% (or so) of their grade! Basically, the assessment is their grade; participation and homework count for nothing. Everything considered, though, the environment of Radford College is quite similar to Athenian. While they do wear uniforms, wait for their teacher’s permission to sit down, and call everyone ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs,’ Radford College is pretty laid back and very accepting.
In the past month, I have done so many new and exciting things, such as visiting Tidbinbilla, a nature reserve where baby koalas, emus, platypuses, and kangaroos roam free. This was especially cool, because Estelle wasn’t fazed by any of them. Kangaroos are the Aussie equivalent to deer! I also went to the National Museum of Australia where I had the chance to view authentic Aboriginal art, which I really enjoyed.
I have two more weeks left in Australia, and I am absolutely going to miss everything about this continent, from the Nut-ella to the wonderful friends I’ve made!
G’day to you all.