Wednesday, February 24, 2010

UQ Campus - Homeless in Australia

Wow. No words can explain the feeling of being homeless on the other side of the world with such limited contact to family and friends.

The fact that I'm posting this means everything is fine and I found a place to live. Blogging was the last thing on my mind these last 5 days. Upon arriving in Australia, we knew we had to find a place to live soon. We just didn't know how hard it would be. It was just scary navigating around an unknown city, paying $3.90/bus ride, eating out all the time, walking as much as we could, trying to keep our valuables safe in the hostel, while being overwhelmed by all the orientation sessions we were attending for school.

Orientation was overwhelming but a bit of a relief. It was organized well and they had lots of free food. We got to meet the students that are studying at Wisconsin next semester. We were trying to explain Badger football games, but they'll just have to find out for themselves. On Wednesday they had "Market Day", which was basically a huge campus fair that all the campus orgs and clubs attend. There were TONS of booths set up all over campus and everyone was handing out free stuff. I looked into a bunch of different orgs and such. The only ones I was really interested in were the tennis club, beach volleyball, mechanical engineering society, the Lutheran campus group, and maybe rugby. I'm sure I won't be able to keep up with all of those, but I'll give them all a try.

So besides orientation, we spent all our time searching for somewhere to live. We literally wandered around looking for real estate companies. We found a bunch of places, but all the crappy and cheap places were taken. We don't want to live in a mansion! In Australia, rent is payed by week (why? no clue, I ask my self the same thing every time)And the cheapest we were finding was $180/week. That's 720/month! Not including utilities! We almost gave in and signed a lease for a nice place, but we decided to keep looking. Good thing! We talked to the accommodation services on campus and they suggested splitting up, instead of trying to find somewhere for all 5 guys. We continued our search individually (even scarier), and had better luck. I happened to stumble across a 2 bedroom apartment that would fit 3 guys. Rent would be about 135/week. Not bad compared to the previous price. We scheduled a showing and loved it immediately.

We just moved in today. It was so nice to finally unpack my suitcase and do a load of laundry. We are now in the process of getting internet set up, finding things to decorate our empty walls, and getting our class schedules organized. It's such a relief to be settled in.

We are going to a rugby game tonight and classes start on Monday. I'm sure I'll have plenty to write about in the next week or two. I'll post some pictures soon.

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