Unbelievable as it may sound, my semester abroad is already almost half over. We’re currently in our semester break here, which is two weeks instead of the usual one, due to the Commonwealth Games being hosted here on the Gold Coast. My school, Griffith University, is a primary sponsor of the Games and quite a few of the events are happening there. The athletes are even being housed there. Essentially, the Commonwealth Games is a smaller version of the Olympics which only includes the 81 countries of the British Commonwealth. Most of the people in my program have taken off to escape the congestion we’re expecting — Prince Charles is coming, after all, and we’ve been given information to “get set for the games” since we’ve been here because it’s expected to be a public transit nightmare. Some of my friends have gone to Thailand, Bali, Fiji, or New Zealand, to name a few places. Myself, I leave today to spend three days in Melbourne and from there I’ll be spending three days in Tasmania, then heading back to the Gold Coast from there. Melbourne has been at the top of my list of places to see in Australia since I knew I was coming here. It’s one of the biggest cities in the country and it’s known for being very artsy. I can’t wait to get down there and explore! Tasmania looks incredible too — it’s supposed to be a similar experience to New Zealand, sort of rugged but gorgeous. When I get back, it’ll be back to the grind to finish the semester’s assignments — your grade isn’t based on homework and quizzes so much here, it’s mainly composed of two or three “assessments” per class. Personally, I prefer this model because it allows me to better absorb and retain the material. It has certainly made me wonder what a happy medium between our system and theirs might be, because I feel both have merit. Here, you have more down time to study and work, but at home you cram in more material in less time. Why not develop a system that’s somewhere in between? I’m interested in the possibilities.
Well, I’m off to the airport bound for Melbourne! Talk to you all soon 🙂