First week of uni!

Hey guys,

How are we all? I’m pretty good, not feeling the best (I think I’m getting a cold). Other than that, I’m in another country, so not much to complain about haha.

I just thought I’d catch you all up to speed on the first week of uni and my life as a temporary Canadian resident.

So the first day of uni, Monday 18th August. I wasn’t nervous, like I mentioned in the last blog, we got a tour on the Friday and had already met the head of school and nearly all the staff. Within the first presentation on Monday morning, the Australians were pin pointed and asked to stand up so the remaining 200+ students could see who we were. For the remainder of the week I attended uni from 8.30 – approximately 3.30 everyday. By Friday, exhausted was an understatement.Because we live on the other side of town to where the uni is, we have to take 2 buses to get to the university. Meaning I get up at 6.15am to catch a bus that leaves at 7.45am to arrive at uni by 8.30.

Anyway, back to the university, it is absolutely incredible. The CSU Ontario campus is also referred to as “teachers college”, it’s pretty much only for aspiring teachers, allowing the whole focus to be on this profession. The staff and lecturers are also so passionate about teaching and their careers, it’s so inspiring to see. The work content, so far, has also just been so relevant and handy. Everything that the lecturers use within their classes, mirror strategies that we can use within the classroom. We also do a lot of reflecting on why we have just completed what we did within a lesson. Everything has been so properly organised and thought out, I can’t speak highly enough of this wonderful campus. I have found that I’ve been comparing it immensely to my Albury campus and come to the conclusion that maybe they can take a leaf out of the Ontario campuses book. Especially in regard to orientation and the introduction to the course.

In regards to size, this campus is really small and only a single building with 2 floors, but the size is perfect. All the students that attend have already completed undergraduate degrees and have qualifications in a whole range of professions. Ranging from history majors to psychologists. This one year course allows them to attend and then teach once the year of study is complete.

On top of their welcoming and caring environment, they have been so organised with placements. I already have my school that I’ll be doing my upper primary placement in for November. Like I mentioned last time, we get to go into a school 2 days a week until November’s 3 week block.So I go to my placement school Mondays and Tuesdays and to uni Wednesday and Thursday, and then every 2nd Friday. It’s such an organised and beneficial way to structure the course and placement subject. It really allows you to get to know the students and the way they learn, before you’re expected to teach them complete lessons. My school is a public school in Burlington, and I’ll be visiting on Tuesday 26th to meet the principal and get a feel for the school. The 2014/2015 school year begins on Tuesday 2nd September so I’ll get to see what a first day of school looks like for not just students, but also teachers. I’m really looking forward to this experience.

So while at uni I’ve had the opportunity to meet some really, really lovely people. Pretty much everyone in Canada, that I’ve come across has been so extremely nice, but I could call these people my friends already. It’s not long till my birthday and I’ve already had a lot of lovely girls offer to take me out and do cool things for it. Within 5 days I was already having dinner with a lovely Canadian cat lady named Lisa hahahaha. She’s not a cat lady but she does like them. I also made her try Vegemite, the videos attached hahaha. I’ve also been invited to Amanda’s home town to go snow tubing once winter hits. And actually yesterday (Saturday 23rd) we were supposed to go boating with Chantal, but the weather was crap, we went out for lunch instead and I tried a poutine. Poutine is chips, gravy and cheese, other things can be added to it but that’s the original. It was nice, but apparently a traditional poutine from Quebec is where the real one is at.

Anyway, I think that’s my life up to date for the while!

Talk soon!


Little squirrel 🙂


Charles Sturt University Ontario

The gorgeous Lake Ontario!

The gorgeous Lake Ontario!



Ontario’s version of Poutine

In transit…

As I’m writing I’m heading from New York City, where I just spent 3 days roaming about, to my semester home in New Haven, Connecticut. There is about 45 minutes to go but so far looking out the window Connecticut seems like a pretty nice place 🙂

My last few days were pretty jam packed and I’m pretty sure I either drove jet lag out with exhaustion or now I’ve got a combination of the two. I visited a ton of attractions in NYC, but wasn’t too concerned with doing them all as I’ll be back within a month; I went to Central Park, Rockefeller Centre, New York Public Library, 9/11 memorial, Staten Island, 5th Avenue, Times Square, saw some broadway shows and also went to see Gotham Girls Roller Derby’s semi finals for their home season. Amazing.
May have also fallen in love with breakfast from Al’s Deli and this tiny Irish bar that local NYers go.

But that’s all from now, I’m nearing my station where a uni representative will be picking me up and saving me from having to drag everything around while I get lost haha.

Some photos!





5 days in!

Hey guys,

Just thought I’d write another post before Uni begins! The last 5 days have been a whirl wind experience!

Getting off the plane was easy, I thought immigration would take longer after the girls’ experience but it was simple. Once through immigration I collected by bags and went to wait for my ride. What I noticed was that I told the lady picking me up the wrong terminal, so I started to fret that no one would be there to pick me up. While waiting, I met this really lovely Canadian that ended up helping me find my ride, such a relief.

The first nights sleep was absolutely terrible! I mean waking up at 3am and not being able to get back to sleep. The first day (Wednesday 13th) I went to the grocery store, it’s not all that different. The prices are similar and you have to stack your own bags haha The food variety is different though, and a lot more sugary I’d say. After groceries I went back to the apartment, once I sat down the tiredness sunk in and it was a battle to keep my eyes open. By 2 o’clock I had to have a lie down. I was absolutely exhausted. I put an alarm on for a half an hour nap, but ended up waking up 5 hours later.

The second day I went to “Mapleview Mall” (how cute’s the name) and got a sim car for my phone. It’s currently not working but I’m in the process of getting it fixed. If you want my number, feel free to inbox me and I’ll give it to you. Anyway, at the mall I found “The Body Shop” and if you know me well, this place is a weakness. First of all, the prices are soo much cheaper than Aus and there was a “buy 2 and get the third free” deal. I didn’t go crazy but I did sign up for the loyalty card.

On Friday we had a tour of CSU Ontario! OMG it is seriously so cute! It’s pretty much only one building, but I get the impression that it’s a tight knit uni. All the rooms are named after the Australian campuses or animals and the lecturers are all so nice and welcoming. I’ve been told that it’s a lot of work but I think it will be ok. As long as I stay organised and on top of things it should be good. Also, we get to go into our primary schools at the beginning of September for 2 days a week until November. This then gives us the opportunity to get to know the students and the classroom environment really well before we start the 3 week teaching block in November.

Anyway, after the uni tour, unfortunately we had to get medical exams, that included blood tests. One of my biggest fears is needles and mum wasn’t here so I could squeeze the life out of her hand. I think I did well though, I didn’t cry or faint haha

On Saturday, we went to… NIAGARA FALLS! I have never seen/experienced something so incredibly beautiful. We caught the train from Burlington early to arrive at lunch time. We got our tickets, ate and then set out to explore an amazing site. With the ticket we purchased we got to go on the boat ride that gets you really close to the horseshoe falls. Because we are on the Canadian side we rode “The HornBlower” where the American side you ride “The Maid of the Mist”. Either way you get wet from being so close! It was so amazing. Our ticket also included; a 4D experience that detailed the creation of the falls, an underground experience called “behind the falls” where you get to walk through tunnels that are behind the horseshoe waterfall and a white water walk that lets you walk alongside the class 6 rapids. Overall it was an amazing day and we decided to stay later to watch the colour show they put on. Where the falls light up with colours. It was seriously such an amazing experience that I’ve been so blessed to be able to do.

Overall Canada has been amazing. The people have been so kind and helpful and go out of their way to help you. As much as I love it here, I do miss my family and friends, but I’m still proud that I made it!

Jess xoxoxo P1120144P1120061


A day in Philly

July 24th

On this particular date my brother and dad saw a baseball game in Philadelphia in which my mum and I went off to our own adventures.The drive from New Jersey to Philadelphia was about two hours we left rather early so that we could have a full day to see the sites

We first visited the Liberty Bell. It dates back to 1752 and is really important in American History and a symbol for American Independence.Its worth seeing if you are in Philadelphia!  My mum and I then went on to find the famous L O V E sign which is located in the L O V E park and of course had a picture taken right in front of the sign. A typical tourist thing to do.

After we had some lunch at a lovely Irish restaurant and yes they did have free Wi-Fi too we went onto to see the famous Rocky sign and climbed the steps.The Rocky statue is located just outside the Philadelphia museum of Art. To climb to the top you have to climb 72 steps but once up the top its an amazing view of Philadelphia.

There’s still so much left to see in Philadelphia and hopefully I will return to this beautiful city 🙂10410405_10152318322341633_2929417810056581123_n 10580072_10152313589306633_9203883022538574177_n 10910_10152313750936633_97454662170971841_n

Oh Times Square…

10505275_10152304606391633_5457537369208432507_nJuly 12th

I went back into New York City but mainly just went through Times Square.

There’s plenty to see in Times Square that will keep you busy all day.

Of course there’s the massive shops and the biggest Macy’s in the USA isn’t that far away. However walking through Times Square you will see many people dressed up in costumes such as Minnie Mouse, Spiderman, Winnie the Pooh and even SpongeBob. You give them how much money you want to and can take a photo with them..

But there are some even funnier costumes that you probably might only see in Times Square such as the naked cowboy right here..10492589_10152290602581633_3323317960868784309_n

I found the friends fountain!

July 10th

My brother, mum and I caught the train into New York City which is about an hour from my parents home in New Jersey.

Not cheap train tickets either but who could not resist going into the biggest and one of the most famous cities in the world?!

We decided to walk through the beautiful Central Park to find the famous fountain from friends.

This fountain is also known as Cherry Hill fountain that was designed in 1860. The Cherry Hill fountain in Central Park is ALOT smaller than the one in the TV show.

The fountain used in the opening credits of the TV show isn’t the same as the one in Central Park. It is based of it and the replica was built on set in the LA studio.

However seeing a fountain that is close enough to the ‘friends fountain’ is still pretty cool 🙂


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Arriving in the USA :)


Hi all 🙂

I’m finally typing up my blogs after six weeks of already being in the USA! Which has been amazing so far 🙂

Living on the East Coast of the USA is very different than when I lived in California as its very humid here and have slightly different accents..

I left Sydney  Australia on July 2nd and almost thirty hours later I arrived at my final destination until the semester exchange. My flight from Detroit Michigan was delayed by  four hours due to bad weather but I eventually made it to my parents home in New Jersey 🙂

Getting to see my mum,dad, brother, cat & puppy after nearly three months was certainly exciting!

I  had a huge breakfast the day next in which I ate waffles which were huge as you can see from the photo above!

(for those that have lived in the USA or visited before you will understand what I mean by huge portions!)