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Study Abroad

International Services for Students

Exchange Testimonial: Australia

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

By Kelly Rowland, Exchange to Monash University, Australia

I absolutely fell in love with Melbourne in the short time I spent there.  It is, as many Melbournites are keen to remind you, “The Most Livable City In The World”. Melbourne is a huge sprawling city, with suburbs that go on forever, but it still manages to seem small.  The city houses everything from old Victorian buildings, to new cutting edge skyscrapers, and lots and lots of green parks.  Parks which always seemed to be in use, from the hordes that descend to run the track around the Botanical Gardens the cricket games that spring up, or the people like me who preferred lazing under a tree reading a book.

In my time abroad I opted to live off campus so I would be able to live closer to the city.  I’m so glad I did! I was very lucky and was able to get an amazing flat within 10 minutes of the city core.  I used that to my advantage as much as possible as it meant that I could easily take part in the endless sport and festivals that Melbourne is famous for.  One of my favourite experiences was the Australian Rules Football (“Footy”) matches I was able to attend.  Not only is the sport incredibly fun to watch, but Melbourne “Footy” fans take the sport very seriously and love to welcome in the initiated.  At all the games I attended strangers were so excited to tell others about their favourite team, and teach you the chants so you could cheer alongside them.

Melbourne also always has amazing festivals going on.  With festivals celebrating everything from beer to film, something was always being celebrated in the city.  My absolute favourite was the renowned Melbourne Comedy Festival that ran from March through April.  It took over the city and comedians were always on street corners trying to convince people to attend their shows.  I loved all the crazy acts I was able to see and I felt like I learned a lot about Australia through seeing what makes them laugh (mostly it would seem, making fun of Tasmania).  I’m so thankful for the time I got to spend in Melbourne.  It was incredibly hard to leave, not only the fantastic friends I’d made, but also the city I had begun to call home.

Exchange Testimonial: Australia

Monday, July 9th, 2012

By David Di Tomaso, Exchange to Macquarie University, Australia

Going on exchange to Sydney, Australia was probably one of my best experiences as university student. Before going to Sydney I had no idea of what the city had to offer me. But after being there for a couple of days, I realized that the city had so much to offer for people because it is the oldest/most developed city in Australia located in the state of New South Wales. Sydney is probably one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. The most iconic suburb within Sydney is called “The Rocks” because that is where the harbor is (Darling Harbor, Sydney Harbor Bridge, the world famous opera house and the botanical gardens).

The best part of my exchange, though, was meeting people from all over the world. For example I met people from Australia, United Kingdom, United States, France, Poland, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, Indonesia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Turkey, Norway, Pakistan and Mexico. Australian culture is similar to Canada’s, although way more relaxed, but since I made close friends from all over the world I got to experience their cultures as well.

In terms of Macquarie University, the structure of classes is the same as at SFU (lectures and tutorials). The university, though, offers a lot of programs to exchange students such as cruises around the harbor, trips to the south coast, the blue mountains, Canberra (Australia’s capital city), Hunter Valley winery to name a few. The university also offers exchange students a chance to apply for an internship program. This program allows students to volunteer with a company and earn academic credit.

When I first started my degree at SFU, I had no idea that I was going to go on an exchange until I found the SFU International Services for Students. This department offers all students a chance to create an experience like this so make sure that you take advantage of what they have to offer you. Always take look for opportunities and pursue them.

Sydney is truly one of the BEST CITIES IN THE WORLD!

From One Coffee Lover to Another

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

An analysis of coffees from Australia crossposted from here.

by Kristina Laven, Exchange to Monash University, Australia

In Melbourne, there is no such thing as ‘drip’ coffee that we see at Tim Hortons and McDonalds at home. At first I was a little bit upset about this, being a Tim Hortons enthusiast, until I discovered the glory of the Melbourne Latte, and sometimes if I want to be daring and switch it up, the ‘Flat White’.  I’m sure that you fellow North Americans have no idea what a flat white is, as I was when ordering my first coffee in Australia, so here is a brief overview of the types of coffee they have here:

Latte: A latte consists of espresso, and steamed milk served with a small layer of smooth froth on top (usually about 1cm thick). Because of the way the latte is poured from the milk jug it is often possible for a trained barista to create ‘latte art’ on top as can be seen in the pictures above.

Flat White: A flat white is a coffee beverage originating from Australia and New Zealand.  It is prepared by pouring microfoam (steamed milk from the bottom of a pitcher) over a single shot (30 millilitre) or double shot of espresso. It is similar to the latte and like other espresso-based beverages it can be interpreted various ways. (Thanks you Wikipedia for the descriptive definition)

Long Black: A long black is made by pulling a double-shot of espresso or ristretto over hot water (usually the water is also heated by the espresso machine). A long black is similar to an American, which is made by adding hot water to the espresso shot; but a long black retains the crema and is less voluminous, therefore more strongly flavoured.

Cappuccino: is a coffee-based drink prepared with espresso, hot milk, and steamed milk foam. A cappuccino differs from a caffè latte in that it is prepared with much less steamed or textured milk than the caffè latte. A cappuccino is traditionally served in a porcelain cup, which has far better heat retention characteristics than glass or paper.

Macchiato: The macchiato is served in a demitasse cup, it is comprised of an espresso stained with a dollop of milk froth. (A lot different than a macchiato you would order at Starbucks in Vancouver)

Now that you are familiar with Australian coffee, here are my top 3 favourite cafes and cups of coffee to go along with them.

#1 Seven Seeds

It was our first couple of days in Melbourne when a friend in our hostel took us to Seven Seeds, located in the CBD right near the University of Melbourne. At the time I wasn’t even aware that they were voted best Coffee in Melbourne for 2010 and that it was a café world renown for its coffee, but after trying it out it was easy to see why.  Not only did Seven Seeds have a great, hipster, University type atmosphere, but the food was great and of course my soy latte was amazing.

# 2 St Kilda Galleon Café

This café is located just a 5 minute walk from my house in St Kilda and if I could afford to buy a coffee every single day, I would most likely be frequenting this place regularly.  I didn’t discover Galleon until about halfway through my time here, and to my dismay I was missing out big time.  Galleon again has a such a great laid back atmosphere, with great funky eclectic décor.  The coffee here is so good, and strong (just how I like it) and they also have a very very very good breakfast menu.  Every time I pass by this place it is always packed full with happy customers enjoying good food and coffee and its no surprise why.

#3 St Ali

St Ali was recommended to me by a friend, and like Seven Seeds, is also known around Melbourne for great coffee.  St Ali roasts their own coffee beans on site and I was sure to purchase some of my own to take home and brew afterwards.  Located on a hidden street in South Melbourne, with little to no signage, this place is the kind spot that only locals know of or you hear about from word of mouth.  Luckily I had the message passed along to me so seeking the ultimate cup of coffee I took a trip out there for breakfast and this time a Flat White.  The coffee was delicious as well as the breakfast however definitely not cheap, $30 for eggs and toast and a coffee! However the experience was well worth it.  Once again the atmosphere was very cool, it had an almost open warehouse feel, accompanied by miss-matched tables and chairs and worn out floorboards but it all fit together perfectly.  Regardless of the price, St Ali makes my top 3 favourite spots and it is definitely a must-see in Melbourne.

Well there you have it, my top 3 Coffee spots in Melbourne!  If you ever end up visiting the city, please go to at least one of them, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Exchange Testimonials: Australia

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Oi, oi, oi! Aussie’s a real beaut – Spring 2010 Exchange to Murdoch University in Perth, Australia
By: Beatrice Benavides

Prior to my Exchange to Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, I was quite terrified of animals. After Exchange, I am amazed by the courage (and insanity?) I mustered to do some of the things I did. I fed kangaroos, petted koalas and a wombat, swam alongside a turtle, a mantra ray, and a variety of fish, saw one-ofa-kind animals, such as a cassowary and a Tasmanian devil, and had close encounters with quendas, possums, spiders and dingos. Literally, I faced my fears through this trip.

My exchange made me realize that life is so much more than allowing fears and worries to control you. Not only did I gain courage, but I became more confident in myself and my abilities. I learned about Australian history through my Intro to Australian Indigenous course and about various Communication topics through my Public Relations and Cultural Media Policy courses. And of course, I soaked up different cultures, starting with the different kinds of food I tried: German kartoffelsuppe, Japanese Okonomiyaki, Malaysian curry, a delicious taco dip from the friend of a friend, and of course, good ‘ol Australian kangaroo and Pavlova.

Learning more about myself, various cultures and seeing numerous animals and amazing sights were definitely huge highlights of my trip. However, the best part about this whole experience was certainly gaining new friends. It was the best experience ever.