Busy day today!
My body woke up around 6am, but I wouldn't let myself get out of bed until 8:30am. I'm still trying to train my body to the time change! It doesn't want to change! So I got out of bed around 8:30 and went for a brisk walk around campus. It was a nice start to the day. Cold air on my face and music blasting through my iPod in my ears.
11am I was off to the International Office where I was to meet my Financial Advisor to discuss my Financial Aid. My Advisor, Michael, hasn't made the greatest impression on me in the past while I was applying to Griffith and figuring out how I was to pay for it all. I was hoping that he'd be able to change my point of view that I had for him after I met him. Not the case. His office is based in Gold Coast and he was only at the Nathan campus for today. Well, turns out that he left my financial file in Gold Coast! So he wasn't even able to give me my checks. Wonderful huh? He was, however, able to walk me through the process (FAFSA is crazy when you go overseas... complicated procedures) so I was able to figure out how everything works. Tomorrow the checks are supposed to be couriered over to the Nathan campus and I will have to sign for them. (Sorry if this makes no sense at all...)
12pm I was back in my room to call home to talk to them about everything I learned from my financial aid officer and just say hi.
2:30pm I was back across campus to attend another orientation for new, International students called "Fun, Facts and Friends". It was a well-put-together mixer where International students were able to discuss their homesickness, their concerns, their fears as well as what they've learned and what their hopes and expectations are. The mixer was hosted by our International Advisors (Liz and Jane... for those of you that read the previous post where I got the free hat... Liz was the one that "volunteered" me) and also some Griffith University Mates (helpers). I met Katrin, a girl from Germany here for only this semester for a student exchange, who invited me to dinner with a big group. I said "definitely" and got information about where to meet and so on.
4:30pm I practically run back to my flat to tell Bryan that I'm going out to the City with Germans!! (He's a fan of the Germans because he is one... or so he says).
6:15pm I'm waiting for the 135 bus to show up at the bus circuit with some of the girls that I would meet up with, including Katrin.
6:40pm the bus finally arrives and I meet Katrin, Kathrin and Marion (all from Germany) and Frieda (from Sweeden). We take the bus to Queens Street - a popular in downtown Brisbane, kind of like a Promenade with stores and restaraunts.
We met up with a HUGE group of international students. People from Germany, Sweeden, France, Italy, Norway and even Mexico! It was wonderful!! No one knew everyone and we were all just introducing ourselves to each other and figuring out where everyone was from and what everyone was doing in Australia.
We ended up going to a place called JoJo's. Let me see if I can explain it well... You walk into the restaraunt and request a table. Once you receive your table you can go to any of 4 different stations of food. They had a sandwich/pizza station, an Italian station, a Thai station and a Seafood/Salad station. I chose the Italian food. I wanted to get some Pad Thai, but the Italian food was a little bit cheaper and I thought with the extra money I could buy a glass of wine - which I did. So I ordered some Tortellini and glass of Merlot.
It was so great being able to get out with other people that were in the same type of situation that I was in. One of the girls expressed how homesick she was to which I replied that I too was homesick. Then a few of the other girls chimed in and explained that we need to push those feelings away and have fun!! Pretty much take the time that we've been given and not let it go to waste.
Most of the people in the group are only here for this semester as a student exchange. But it was still really great to hang out with people and talk with people.
I had a lot of fun.
Katrin and Marion from Germany.
Sofia (France), Freida (Sweeden) and me.
The head of the table...
Daniel (Sweeden) gives a toast... to the International students and their stay in Australia.
Javier "Jay" (Mexico) and a girl from Norway (I'm horrible and can't remember her name!).
Matias and Steffie (Sweeden). Matias is studying at Griffith and Steffie is his girlfriend that insisted she come along as well. She is a hairsylist and offered to cut my hair!
Random picture... but they call Burger King > Hungry Jacks.
Bus ride back to school (Katrin and Frida)
(Me, Kathrin and Marion)
Tomorrow the girls (Katrin, Kathrin and Marion) are planning on going to the Koala park and invited me along. I said I would love to but that I should finish up with orientation (and my financial aid checks are coming in). They said they would probably be going again before the semester was finished and that I was welcome to come along.
I made friends!!!
And I even learned some German!!!