Editor’s note: today we hear from Kylie Dillon, Alex Nuelle and Yousef Alagha.
G’day mate! Arriving to Sydney Australia at 8 am was a bit of a struggle. A 16-hour plane ride over the Pacific Ocean is not one that you’d take on a normal trip in the United States, however it was one I’ll never forget. The anticipation was finally over. As soon as we could see the country of Australia you could see the relief on everyone’s faces. Everyone looking out the widow, people waking up people next to them to look at the beautiful country, the excitement was increasing. We were finally here. Right off the bat you could hear the accents in people voices, but not just Australian accents, ones from all over the world. Since arriving, I’ve learned that not many Americans come to Australia. Why you might ask? Well, the plane ride says it all.
After the short plane ride to Brisbane, we were rested and ready to go! At first, it didn’t even feel like we were in another country at all, until we realized that walking on the right side on the sidewalk was NOT the way to do it. People could definitely tell we just arrived! When we made it to the YHA, we had a short time to settle in. Our guide, Cole, took us around the city. We got to see many restaurants, shops and even some amazing wildlife at the botanical garden. The botanical garden even has WiFi so we can work on our assignments while enjoying the weather and the beautiful views. The QUT campus was absolutely beautiful and we are so excited to be able to visit it multiple times during our stay.
We noticed from the moment we landed that everyone is so polite and patient here. The slang and sarcasm is something we’ll definitely have to get used to. One thing that particularly stood out was that you do not have to tip your servers. The minimum wage here is about $18 an hour and most people will not accept a tip. Walking around and learning about the culture here is something we want to continue to do. So far, the group and we have had an amazing time and we’re not sure that we’ll be ready to leave when the time comes.