I feel like a freshman again.

I successfully survived the first week of schooling here at the University of Sydney. Survive does not equal aced, though.

You see, the University of Sydney is a big place. The main campus is spread across two suburbs , Camperdown and Darlington. This is because the school caters to about 50,000 students, quite a bit more than Northeastern’s humble 13,000.

In fact, the typical Australian university (or, “uni,” as they like to abbreviate it here) is a bit different from American unis. We can observe one such difference from a sampling of my conversations with USyd students:

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In the US, college is almost equated to independence. Kids graduate high school and move out, often to schools hours away. In Australia, it’s much more typical for kids to live at home and commute to their local university. A daily commute of an hour or more is normal.

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But I digress. The University of Sydney is huge, and its campus is suitably large as well. And since I have a terrible sense of direction, this did not bode well for my first day of classes.

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The campus is so big that asking for directions from students might not result in success.

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Or faculty members, for that matter.

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Luckily for me, Australians are laid-back. They’re rather famous for it. So my professor didn’t care when I burst into his class…

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…20 minutes after it started.

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And that’s how I showed up to my first class 40 minutes late.

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Dayum, USyd. You big! 

Perhaps USyd’s large size also has to do with its age. The University of Sydney is the oldest uni in Australia and is resultantly home to the oldest buildings in Australia, which Asian tourists love to come and photograph. Like me.

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So, when was this grand university established?

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As fond as I am of Northeastern’s campus, it’s pretty neat to go to a school that looks like the set of Harry Potter. There’s even a Quidditch team!

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This will be an interesting semester.

11 thoughts on “I feel like a freshman again.

    • Whoooaaa, really? That’s awesome!! Ever since going abroad I’ve always wanted to host someone, but I don’t think that’s going to happen before I’m an established, settled-down adult. When is she coming? Are you excited? 😀

  1. Hi there! Enjoyed your post, but the suburbs are Camperdown and Darlington, not Darlinghurst. Darlinghurst is another suburb, even further away from Camperdown 🙂

  2. Glad to hear you survived! You’ll have to tell me how being on a Quidditch team works out… I’m trying to imagine exactly how that will work… I mean, what are you going to do when it rains? Do they have like, an indoor flying arena? (;
    Hope you’re enjoying Australia! 😀

    • I don’t think Quidditch is ever cancelled unless the rain is REALLY bad. As for how it works? It follows the same rules as in the the books, except with a few modifications due to the fact that we are Muggles, such as:
      –We really do run around on “brooms,” except they’re usually PVC pipes with padded ends to prevent injury.
      –The Golden Snitch is a cross-country runner in yellow spandex who is allowed to run anywhere on campus, but must return to the pitch once every hour. And the USyd campus covers two suburbs, so it can take quite a while for the Seekers to find the Snitch…
      –We use dodgeballs for the Bludgers (no bats) and a volleyball for the Quaffle.
      –In the States and some parts of Australia, full contact is allowed. Oftentimes rugby players will play Quidditch. Sydney doesn’t allow tackling, though– whew!
      Really, it’s kind of like an amalgam of soccer, basketball, and a bit of other sports too. And it’s a lot of fun! 😀

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