we’ve only just got started!

So I finally reached the University of the Fraser Valley in Canada! I’m most of the way through O-Week and I’ve finally started catching up on time difference, cultural differences and the general swing of things. I’m in love with Canada, the people and I am SO excited to get things going! They have so many trips planned for us to go to the surrounding regions, to go on snowboarding adventures and all that, and it’s only just getting started!

Welsh Treats…

Rhys and I devouring some Vanilla Ice-cream treats!

The interesting sweets of Wales…

Becoming really good friends with the “Walkabout” staff and residentials, I was lucky for them to show me around town. I was told of the Vanilla Ice-cream of the city of Swansea. It was easy to get, as it was just a short walk from the pub. Joe’s ice-cream parlour was where it was at. I decided to have a bit of fun and try out new things, with a few extras on the ice cream. It was deliscious but I don’t know if I would go back to the same flavour or not. The Joe’s in Swansea only had vanilla however, and I am not sure where else the ice-cream parlour is. Above is a photo of me enjoying the Ice-cream, with my mate, Rhys, who I grew up with in Australia.

The return to London…

I have arrived safely back to London and am planning to head back to Swansea again perhaps next week. This week has been full of organising and relaxation after my first week was quite full on. money over here is rediculous and I can’t seem to manage my bank account. It has taken 4 days to transfer money from my Australian account to my English.

I will let you know if any new adventures manage to find me here in London.

Stay Classy Australia,


Australia, the Lucky Country…

Here is my friend from Australia who I grew up with, Rhys, our welsh mate Kate and myself.

Wales was full of surprises…

On my arrival to Wales, I was taken to the ‘Walkabout’ Bar (an Australian bar chain) where one of my close friends work. There I met some great people and enjoyed a few casual drinks with them. After returning to the pub after a night out I mixed with the fellow welshmen. One retired to bed, another had abandoned us for a supposed love and the other fell asleep. So there I was alone in a room with a snoring welshman. I had the urge to return to the Welsh night life so I stood and made my way to an exit. Above this pub there were a range of hallways and rooms. It resembled some sort of maze. When I went through one door I would end up in a room that looked exactly the same as the last.

I finally made it down to the main bar at 3 am. I attempted to leave the main door, yet to my surprise it was locked… and alarmed. The high pitched noise continued for half an hour so I decided to sit and wait for the police to arrive where I could tell them my story and what had happened. Fortunately the alarm stopped and none of Swansea’s finest had arrived. I eventually decided that bed would be the best option.

When I arrose I described to my friend what had happened. With a stressed look he turned to me and said, “It’s okay, I am planning to move anyway.”

It turns out that my mate’s boss is quite strict and unforgiving, and that he may get fired for this situation. We had decided to say nothing and see what others were saying. It turned out that I had managed to set 6 alarms in my disorientation and when I sat and waited for Swansea’s boys in blue, I was sitting in the only blind spot of the camera and in the pub. I guess that is why they call us the lucky country. Needless to say, no one was hurt and my mate still holds his good repuation within the “Walkabout” industry.

Take care of yourselves, and each other.


The Obligatory Introduction Post.

Hi. My name, for those of you that don’t know me already, is Annette. I am a mature aged student studying a Bachelor of Medical Science/Forensic Biotechnology through Charles Sturt University, and my normal method of learning is via distance education. This year I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to participate in an exchange through CSU Global, and am currently writing this post from Örebro in Sweden, which will be my home for the next six months. We are halfway through our orientation program as I write this, so I am starting this blog a little late – I hope to catch up soon but the last few weeks have been pretty cool, so I would like to write a little bit about them first.

I wanted to begin by telling you guys a little bit about my new home. Örebro is the seventh largest city in Sweden with a population of around 140 000 people, so it’s definitely big enough to have movies, cafes and bars, but is not so big that I will get lost easily. It is located in southern central Sweden.

The university here (strangely enough called Örebro University) is a relatively young uni, being established in 1999, although some form of higher education had been happening there for around 45 years prior to this. It has around 18 000 students, so a rather large proportion of the town is either studying at, or involved with, the uni in some way – making it a real University Town with a vibrant and fun atmosphere.

Örebro (which means “penny bridge” for you trivia buffs) is the demographic centre of Sweden, with around 70% of the population living within 300km of the town. It has medieval roots, and has a big cycling and sporting culture. And yes, it does have an Ikea!

I might leave it there for something to start with. Take care and talk to you all soon. 🙂

The Wheels on the Bus…

Drama: people love it.

From jet lag to danger zones of the world, we are always warned and I think with good reason. Nevertheless, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to announce that I have arrived safely despite the delayed planes.

A typical tourist, I was layered up looking like someone in a sumo suit, only to realise that it resembled the degrees of a sauna. I was met by a family who have taken me in to their humble home in Essex, where I have been cooked traditional English meals and been chauffeured around the city to see the many sites London has to offer.

From day one of arriving, people continue to tell me how jet lagged I will be. Fortunately I have managed to swindle my way through the week escaping jet lag’s clutches and have pushed through using social adrenaline… and English Pubs.

People continue to be impressed with my accent, yet I continue to explain to them that they are the ones with the accent. I am normal, it is everyone else that are a little odd.

My love of adventure has taken me to the sea side of Wales in a place called Swansea.Here I have met some very interesting people and have experienced nights out where dangers lurk behind every corner. The bus journey over was an experience in itself. A four hour trip I had some uncomfortable bowel movements and had to resort to the throne room which was located at the back of the bus. After some splish-splashing in the toilet caused by the London traffic, I completed my task. On exiting the throne room, I managed to lock the door behind me from the outside (God only knows how) stopping others from ever entering. Surprisingly no friends were made on the journey.

Unfortunately I haven’t had time to taste any delectables, but my host family have shown me some traditional chocolate shops that I am sure I will get my hands on soon enough.

I travel back to London on Sunday and will inform you of any new experiences.

Be gentle… It’s my first time…

This is my first time overseas.

My pre-flight experiences were enough to have me nervous and jittering, yet I am filled with excitement to commence my exchange program. Whenever I told someone I was heading to UEL (University of East London for those commoners who aren’t up with the times) I was met with expressions of danger and drama; “Oh! it isn’t a safe place!” or “You better be careful!” then followed by “You will have fun though…” and then continuous jokes of me not making it back… It was positive times.

For those who aren’t familiar with who I am, there are three things that form the basis of Jacob Gordon. These three are:

– Meeting new people

– Food

– Education.

My time here in London will be quick so I am going to indulge in these wonders as much as possible. In my attempt to be ‘Londonized’ I will immerse in the food of the country, attempting to satisfy my sweet tooth with delicious European treats, then sign up to as many social clubs as possible (perhaps try and run one) then organise to familiarise myself with both Early Childhood and Primary Education settings of Great Britain.

Settling in

Ice cream taco

Shopping at Wallmart

Oswego scenery

SUNY lecture hall


The first week at SUNY has been pretty breezy. I’ve just been attending orientation and setting myself up into a routine. Classes begin next week, so at the moment I’m very happy just relaxing and settling in….