2011 Spring Australia Erin Shetron External Programs

Surfer’s Paradise + Last Week of Classes

Since the semester is slowly but surely coming to a close, and we’re all trying to escape studying in every possible way, some friends and I took a trip to the Gold Coast. After two bus rides and one train ride, plus Evan almost throwing up on the train from motion sickness, we arrived at Surfer’s Paradise, a beach and little town on the Gold Coast. It is getting chilly here, and the wind from the ocean made it much too cold to swim, but we lounged on the beach trying to soak up the sun anyway. Boredom inevitably set it, which led to a 3 on 3 game of rugby (mind you, I’ve never even watched a game of rugby), which led to Evan stomping on my sand-covered foot. OUCH. That was the end of that.

But I was well enough to stroll around the shops in search of some lunch, so that’s just what we did. We found a restaurant with outside seating that served breakfast all day. Score. We indulged in the most delicious breakfast I’ve had my entire stay in Oz until we simply couldn’t eat any more. So. Good. We were so full and tired, in fact, that we all passed out on the train ride home. Of course, my mouth gaped open as I fell into an embarrassingly deep sleep on Evan’s shoulder. Oops.

After our weekend of fun, it was the last week of classes. Thankfully, Wednesday night was my IFSA Butler Farewell Dinner at the Port Office in Brisbane. Me, Evan, Jess, Andy, Patrick, and Katie all got dolled up and practically ran to the dinner. I was SO excited just to get a break from cafeteria food, and even more excited that the dinner was free! The restaurant was only a few blocks from the bus station, but I was ready to chuck the high heels after the first block. It wasn’t my best idea. But dinner more than made up for my throbbing feet. We received IFSA t-shirts, reunited with other exchange students we’d met at our orientation in Sydney, and got to spend time with Christi, our coordinator. We were served four courses and endless wine or beer. And I mean endless. Before our glasses were empty, a waiter would come by and top it off for us. This also made up for my throbbing feet. By the time the six of us left the crowded, dimly lit restaurant, we were delirious, giggly, and barefooted (the girls, anyway).

The next night was our formal, Italian-themed dinner at the cafeteria for the whole dorm, Belleden Ker. I wasn’t as excited for round two of dressing up and heels, but it was less walking and still worth it. The last week of classes has been full of celebration, but not only do I have to start studying soon, but all this celebrating is making me think of home. I can’t believe I only have 3 more weeks here.  There is so much to look forward to at home, but there is just as much I’ll miss here in Oz and at Griffith. I feel like living in a dorm has been a repeat of freshman year, only better. I feel more at home here than I ever expected, and these next few weeks of saying goodbye will be tough.

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