Jennifer Gross – Australia

Alice SpringsHello from Alice Springs, NT, Australia.  It has only been two weeks and I have already learned more than I ever thought I would.  Not only am I learning about Australia and how they call McDonald’s “Maccers,” but I am also getting to experience cultures from around the world with the other exchanges at St. Phillips.  There is a wide variety of people in such a small town that I’m am glad to get to be a part of.  So far my exchange experience has been wonderful, and I hope each day will continue to amaze me.

On my first day in school, I mostly hung out with Gabby, my exchange, and met her friends.  However, by the end of my third day in school, I had my own group of friends to enjoy.  I met people from Alice Springs to Nepal to Germany to Canada and even Texas.  Everyone was so welcoming,IMG_2125 it was hard not to have a good time.  I never thought my exchange would be so easy to settle into, but it’s like I’ve been here all year. Everything is different, but there are similarities to California in every person, place, meal, and experience, except for the Kangaroos and Koalas.

Around two weeks into exchange, my host family took me to the peak of a small mountain.  Once we conquered the bumpy ride to the top, we sat for hours taking in all of Alice Springs and the surrounding nature.  I got the chance to really get to know my host family.  I IMG_2295learned about themselves as individuals and who they are as a family.  We watched the sunset and made a campfire to stay warm.  It wasn’t necessarily a traditional camp out, we ate chicken from Red Rooster (fast food) and Doritos.  But I felt welcomed, like a part of a new family.