Classes and Sunburns and Food, Oh My!

© April Meads, 2016

I’ve been in the Land of Oz for a month now, holy cow! The time has flown by so quickly and I’d really like it to slow down a bit.

Naturally, coming to a new country I’m inclined to try different foods so I’ve spent probably too much money doing so. I’ve been testing burgers and chips (fries) from different places to see which ones taste the most like American burgers and chips but I’ve came to find that they’ve all been better here! (Not better than my mom’s burgers and chips, of course). We found a place called the Pancake Parlour that advertised the most amazing looking pancakes so obviously we had to go.

If you’re from Portland and you’re reading, this place is like the Waffle Window but for pancakes… AMAZING. I had a hard time choosing but I eventually ended up ordering the chocolate chips pancakes. Brekky for dinner!


Okay so this was amazing. It was sweet but not too sweet. Just enough to satisfy!

A week or so later, we thought we’d find a healthier option but something that was still yummy! The girls chose a cute cafe called Serotonin Eatery. Since some of us wanted to get some exercise in, we did a 10k walk/run to this place on a Sunday morning. For my Americans, 10k is a little more than six miles. I’m very out of shape so it was mostly a walk, but we made it there eventually.


I ordered the banana pancakes with a side of gluten free toast and OH MY GOODNESS this was so good. After such a long run/walk there, this totally hit the spot and stuffed my belly.

Since I hadn’t ran/walked that much in a long time, I basically broke my feet. Every time I walked it hurt so badly that I was almost in tears. It took me 20 minutes to get to lectures when it usually takes 5-10. It was awful. I went to the medical center on campus and they told me nothing was wrong. That was pretty frustrating because I came limping into the office, barely able to keep myself up and they didn’t even examine me.

Oh well.

So with my broken feet, I still tagged along to brunch later that week to a place called Muharam Cafe. This was a lot closer and we rode the tram instead of walked. The inside of the cafe looking like a cafe I’d see in Portland, it was so cute and made me feel at home. I ordered the first thing I saw on the menu: red velvet pancakes. I love red velvet and I love pancakes, so why not combine them?!


I think these were my favorite of the three listed above. However, they were very sweet so I’m not sure I could get them again. They were also $22, so probably just a one time treat.

Obviously, I have spent a lot of time on the beach and for a very pale, red head like me, the beach means sunburns. Lots of them. Now, I get sunburned just walking to class, but I get it worse when I’m laying on the beach. I can put on five layers of sunscreen and will still get pink on some part of my body, it’s not fair.

However, sunburns aren’t that awful when you apply LOTS of aloe vera and take cold showers. And thankfully my sunburns turn into tans. The thing that sucks about that though, is that all my bathing suits have fun patterned straps on the front and in the back, so can you guess what that means? Fun patterned tans! Stripes, criss-cross and some weird pattern I don’t know how to describe.

I also got my first bee sting while laying on the beach. I was laying on my back tanning (a.k.a. burning) and when I rolled over onto my stomach I felt this burning sensation in my leg and immediately lifted my leg up and looked. It seriously was massive and I thought it was a spider. I swatted it away and proceeded to check out the sting area.


We all started freaking out because I hadn’t been stung before and had no idea if I was allergic. I’m still alive so I must not be. Alyssa had to pull the stinger out, which was good sized. After all, the bee that stung me was huge. It basically hurt for the rest of the day. A week later it started itching because it was healing and now it’s back to normal, besides the permanent discoloring in my leg.


For those of you who follow my blog, you’re probably wondering if I ever go to class or if I just spend all my time on a beach. Well, I do both of those things! But since this is a STUDY abroad trip, I guess I should share my school experiences too!

Classes didn’t start until my third week in Australia, which worked out perfectly because it gave me time to settle in and get comfortable. The first day of school came around and I was so nervous! I was at a new school, in a new environment and around people I didn’t know! I felt like I was a freshman again. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited because I had been out of school for two months, but I was mostly nervous.

I was registered for four units, which consisted of two tutorials, two lectures and two seminars. I carried my digital campus map with me all week so I could find my way around and it ended up being easier than I expected. At the end of the week, I realized that one of my classes was basically a repeat of a broadcasting class I took at Linfield and another class was advanced Australian history and wasn’t for me.

I went to the arts and education building, where I could drop and add classes and I filled out paperwork to drop those two units and pick up new ones. When I checked my timetable (schedule) the next morning, I saw that I was taken out of the wrong classes!

As I mentioned earlier, I basically had broken feet so there was no chance I was going to walk across campus to get to the office to fix it. I found a phone number for the office and they voicemail said they were unable to help anyone over the phone. Frustrating! So I wrapped up my feet with athletic tape, that relieved the pain for about 10 minutes, and headed over.

I got everything straightened out right away and it was very simple. The guy who helped me felt so bad that there was an issue and was very nice about everything so that made the whole situation a lot better.

Deakin University is a lot different than Linfield. It’s way bigger, classes are taught differently, each class is once a week and some units have a lecture and a seminar. Compared to Linfield, which is a private college, Deakin is sort of like a state school like the University of Oregon. If you understand how big that difference is, you will understand that Deakin is HUGE for me.

At Linfield, I can leave my apartment one minute before my class start, power walk and manage to get there on time since the campus is so small. At Deakin, I leave my room 10-15 minutes early, power walk and barely make it on time or I’m late. I’ve started leaving 25 minutes early and just sitting outside the lecture hall until it’s time.

So as I said, some units have a lecture and a seminar. A lecture is more than 100 people in a large theatre. A seminar is roughly 20 people and it gives student a chance to interact with the teacher unlike a lecture. The biggest class I’ve had at Linfield is 20 people so sitting in a 100 people lecture theatre is foreign to me.

Grades are based off of an essay and an exam or an essay and two assignments. Not like in the U.S. where grades are made up by a bunch of smaller assignments. It’s a little odd but it’s actually very nice to not have a ton of homework other than reading. It gives me a chance to travel and adventure as much as I’d like to!

I’m currently on Easter Holiday for the next week, so stay tuned for my blog post about my vacation!




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