Part one – settling in

Ok, so I have been in Brisbane now for around a week and a half and it is the start of orientation week. When I arrived I was picked up at the airport by a guy called Lucius. This airport pickup can be arranged free through the uni so look into it because it was a life saver as I arrived at 2 o’clock in the morning. I was spending my first 6 nights in a youth hostel in the West End. In hindsight this was probably not the best thing to do because on a map it looks close to the uni but unfortunately there is a big river running through Brisbane which doesn’t make it ideal to get to uni so if you are planning on staying in a hostel pick one with good transport links. Luckily enough one of the girls in my room showed me where to get the CityCat and from there it was a doddle. The CityCat is a ferry service run by the council that goes from Apollo Road to UQ stopping at many points in the city so it’s really handy to get to uni. Not taking any advice (obviously) on how to get over jet-lag I headed straight to uni after 4 hours sleep. Once there I went to the accomodation office and I was given advice and what I should get done such as getting a matric card, what orientation lectures were compulsory etc. They also run compulsory getting started and safety information sessions along with useful accomodation sessions so the best thing is to evaluate what you need and want to attend once you arrive. However, try to get your matric card as soon as possible as it allows 50% of all public transport in southern Queensland. It’s fairly easy to do as UQ have a desk for that purpose in the library. 

As I was around the university frequently I managed to get a lot of things done early and so I am not left rushing around in orientation week. Books are quite expensive out here (mainly due to the weakness of the £) so I found 3 of 4 in the second hand bookshop on campus. There is also another bookshop which provides new copies if the second hand shop does not have what you require.

I also had to signon to classes. In Australia class sizes are much larger than back home and so what happens is that one half of the class attend one lecture and the other half attend another at different times. I therefore had to signon and choose the class to suit my timetable the best for all subjects. Be aware that classes do run on till 10 o’clock at night out here so make sure you sign on promptly.

I am, therefore, feeling quite content now that I am settled and no longer living out of a suitcase and looking forward to starting uni for a change. I must admit it is lonely for the first few days especially when campus is relatively deserted as it is outwith term time but once you get through that phase things get a lot better. Anyway orientation continues tomorrow with the international students welcome and BBQ which should be good but I’ll post next week with how orientation and classes went.

P.S. I now have a camera and will try take some photos so keep an eye on Flikr or whatever photo thing we are using

Much love



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