Bronwyn Brown – Australia

What I learned on exchange

1. Bring Uggs to Armidale – You will wear them all the time! Honestly, I brought shorts too. Don’t bring shorts; it’s way too cold to wear them, even in the dorms.

Bronwyn Brown 12. Stay in the Dorms – If your school has a dorm, take advantage of it. I didn’t have an exchange partner, so it made it way easier to make friends. Even if it gets tiring for you to socialize constantly, just do it. You’ll learn a lot of new things about yourself when you’re surrounded by people.

3. Live in the Moment – Try disconnecting from back home for a week, or even more. My Whatsapp stopped working two weeks before exchange ended. I only had Skype in the end, which I used to chat with my parents twice a week, because of the time difference. In a way, it was nice to be disconnected. I was able to focus on the people in Australia rather than the technology.

4. Use Dorm Time Wisely – You’re going to have a bunch of spare time. Download a bunch of movies before you go. Every weekend in the dorms, we would all get together and watch movies all day. Order out. Try the local food joints.

Bronwyn Brown 25. Socialize with other Exchanges – It’s always interesting to hear what others have to say. I learned South African slang, French sayings, and Omanian practices. French-British accents sound so cool. And it seemed like every South African is gorgeous. I also learned how to eat Indian food properly from the Omani.

6. Armidale Slang/Aussie words

  • Bloody – Very
  • It’s Alright – You’re welcome
  • Barbie – Barbeque
  • Bloke – Guy
  • Bogan – A kind of hippie
  • Rubber – eraser
  • Joggers – Running Shoes
  • Biscuit – Cookie
  • Jumper – Sweater
  • Tuning – Flirting
  • Feral – Hippie
  • Maccas – Mcdonalds
  • Hungry Jack’s – Burger King
  • Lollies – Candy

7. Homesickness will happen – And it happens often, depending on the person. You will get homesick. I thought I wasn’t going to become homesick, but it did happen. Every two weeks, I would wonder why I was on exchange, that maybe it was a mistake. I would begin to think that maybe I didn’t have any friends and being around dormies was completely pointless. It faded away after two days, at most.

8. Pack light – I packed four sweaters and two pairs of jeans. If you have uniforms, you barely need any clothes. It also helps with the weight of the bag. My bag was overweight (the airport guy made me pay for it too).

9. Prepare your speech on the plane – On the way to your exchange destination, you are really reflecting about what exchange will be like. It’s a long flight, so you might as well get some work done anyway.

10. GO GO GO on exchange – I cannot emphasize this enough. Even if you don’t want to go, GO. I didn’t want to go, but I loved it. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, just go. It’s a great experience.