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Tuesday October 21st 2014

The weekend just gone we had fall break in which we got one day off classes. I went away to Pittsburgh for the weekend with MISO which is Mansfield International students organisation. It was a very busy but awesome weeekend.

I of course went to the bar on the thursday night beforehand and then went to a social gathering afterwrads with friends.

Myself and 27 others all went away to Pittsburgh for the weekend. We departed around 5:30 pm on friday october 17th. The drive to Pittsburgh was about 4 hours but we stopped  for about an hour halfway through so that we could eat dinner. We arrived in Pittsburgh at around 11:30 pm . Our hotel was a litte outside of Pittsburgh as that weekend alot of hotels were all booked up!  I shared a room with Solene,An ne and Sandra. The rooms were really small but as we were only there mainly to sleep we didnt complain!


Saturday October 18th

We had breakfast at the hotel and left around 10:30 am for the days activities. We went into thw city of Pittsburgh in which It was about a 20 minute drive there.  Some of the other students went shopping or went up the tram, I spent the morning with An ne, Hans and Ben. The three of walked around Pittsburgh it was a long walk but it was a really good way to see the whole city. The only bad part about it was that it was bloody freezing!

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Some facts about Pittsburgh!

It is the second largest city in the United States

The city is known for steel

it has a population of 305,841

It is home to the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team, the steelers football team and the Pittsburgh penguins ice hockey team

the city was founded in 1758 by general John Forbes in honor of Englishman William Pitt

It is home to the University of Pittsburgh which has a total of over 28,000 students

Pittsburgh is often high on the list of most livabale cities

In 2009 it was the best sports city

We met the other students around 2 pm  to go on a Duck Tour! Duck Tours  (DUCKW) are a very popular tourist thing to do everywhere in the world. They are both a vehicle and a boat. The tour lasted for about an hour and a half and it was a really good way to see all of Pittsburgh and the many bridges throughout the city! The only downside of all it was that it was bloody cold and it started to rain.

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That night I ate some delicious Mexican food for dinner with some new friends I made on the trip! I went out into the city that night with An ne and 6 other girls! We went to a bar in which we could get any drink for $2.25!!! very very cheap! and for the first time in forever I was able to dance!! After that we left to go to another bar in which they were a little picky about my Australian drivers license but we eventually found one that I was allowed to go into!! We got home around 3 am it was a rather fun and cheap night out!

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Sunday October 19th

we departed form the hotel around 10 am to have another full day of activities. Today we went to the Carnegie Museum of natural history and the cathedral of Learning. The Cathedral of learning is a gothic style skyscrapper that was bulit in 1926. It is one of Pittsburghs landmarks and is the main campus for the University of Pittsburgh. The building  itself is  over 500 feet tall, we all went inside and got the elevator to the top in which it has a really lovely view of Pittsburgh!

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After we visited the Cathedral of Learning we went  into the musuem. It was really interesting as there  is  alot of beautiful artwork in the building aswell as  a whole section on Dinosaurs!  The museum was established in 1896. It is one of the top 5 natural history museums in the United States. We spent three hours in the musuem looking around as there was just so much to see!


Around 3 pm we departed Pittsburgh and went onto a huge mall called the waterfront. I walked around the mall with Ben in which we came across a huge halloween store! Although halloween is slightly celebrated in England and Australia you dont come across huge stores just full pf costumes!


That night all of the group ate dinner at P.F Changs which is a chinese restaurant and the food was delicious!

I went out again that night with a few of the girls however since it was a sunday not many bars were open so we went to a Hookah/Shisha bar instead. It was a pretty good night overall.

Monday October 20th

We departed from pittsburgh around 10:30 pm and made our way back to Mansfield however after almost an hour of driving, the bus that I was in happened to get a ripped tire so we were stuck in the middle of nowhere waiting for the AA to show up and fix it! Almost two hours later we were on the road again this was around 1:30 pm.  About 2:30 pm we all stopped for lunch before heading on the road. We still had another 3 hours to go until Mansfield.  Due to some other delays we finally arrived in Mansfield at around 6:55 pm. Although it took almost 9 hours to get home it was still a very fun weekend overall! I will make sure to go back to Pittsburgh next time to do the tram and to see either a football or baseball game!


Well it has been a while…

It has really been a while since I posted here, probably because I’ve been rather busy that the time has just got away from me. I’m sitting just over the half way mark for my exchange and there is still SO MUCH MORE TO DO. Seriously though, you can never try and do too much. Well you can, but it will still be fun and worth a few mornings of struggling through minimal sleep!

Here in Connecticut fall is well underway, most of the trees have turned by now and everything is covered in leaves and just looks really pretty. However, for us Sydney-sider’s the weather is starting to approach our winter weather which naturally leads to my friends laughing at me for being absolutely frozen while they are just a bit chilly. They also delight in being the modern day versions of the Starks constantly cautioning me that winter is coming and that I should be prepared for all it’s cold, cold and more cold.  So that part will be interesting, I’ve already stocked up on some warm winter coats 🙂

I can’t remember the last post I put up here but since I’ve been here I’ve joined the schools women’s rugby team, apparently having an Australian accent makes you have to join a rugby team so I was told. Well I joined to see what it was like [I don’t play rugby at home, my friends do, but I never got into it] and just ended up loving it! The team is great and do a lot of things together, I’ve gotten to travel a bit to play games (Massachesetts, Rhode Island, Providence) and also made a bunch of friends which has made the whole exchange program even better 🙂 So my advice on exchange is to join a sports team or a club, certainly a good way to make friends.

I’ve been travelling around a bit getting to see lots of different places. I’ve been to Cape Cod, had weekends in New York and last night I just got back from a 3 day tour to Niagara Falls and Toronto which was pretty awesome. The falls are spectacular and I spent ages just taking photos. We went on the boat ride at the bottom of the falls and got drenched but it was all totally worth it [as you’ll see from the photos below!]. The tour also took us to Watkins Glen, Toronto City and the Thousand Islands region, where I’m pretty sure I found the Adams Family’s house.

Next up on my travelling schedule is Orlando Florida to go to Harry Potter World 😀 I’m super excited about that, then I get back for a day or two and then head to Maryland and Washington D.C for thanksgiving with my roommates and then come back for about 3 days and then head off to Dallas, Texas for the roller derby world cup!  SO after that I will be dead, but happy.

So this isn’t all text, heres some photos!

From Niagara & Toronto Tour
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From multiple NYC trips
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Hiking in Snowdonia, Wales

Hi Friends

I have now finished my Distance Ed subject via CSU, which has given much more free time, as well as time to catch-up with my blog.

On the 11th October I went out for a hiking weekend with the Mountaineering Society here at Chester University. We went to the Snowdonia National Park in Wales. We arrived late at night on the Friday so sadly there is not much to tell apart from going to bed. The next day we rose really early and divided ourselves into groups. In these groups we chose walking tracks that we could navigate. I was feeling a bit inexperienced because I have never really used navigational skills to hike a mountain, so I made sure I went with the most experienced guy in the society. The group I was in had a girl from Germany, a girl from Georgia and two guys from the UK. We decided to hike to a lake nearly half-way up the mountain and then to do a light scramble up the mountain called Cadair Idris, which was approximately 893m. Lyndon, our group leader helped us with our navigational skills. He was really good at teaching us, and I felt as if I had really accomplished something when I returned back to our lodge 🙂

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Looking at where we still had to go

Looking at where we still had to go



After several fantastic hours, we met up with the others groups in a nearby town. We then all decided to drive to a few waterfalls that were nearby. The waterfalls were really nice!


This was followed by returning back to our lodge for a three course dinner (thanks Jenny!)

The next day we made new groups. This time I was feeling a bit more confident with my navigational skills. Though I still made sure I was in a group with an experienced leader. This hike was really good because the weather was perfect! The sun was out and there was very little cloud. All of us this time climbed another area of Snowdonia. The mountain that the group I was in climbed was Aran Fawddwy, which was at a height of 905m. The walk started off harder than the day before, because we had a light scramble towards the start. However, the 360 degree views were well worth it as you can tell from the photos!

Beautiful day!

Beautiful day!

The lodge

The lodge

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What we had to climb at the beginning..

What we had to climb at the beginning..



The weekend was FANTASTIC!! I am really looking forward to doing more hiking with this society. I learnt many news skills, and made a number of friends from around the world!

Joe 😀

Now it’s your turn

Now that exams are winding up it’s the perfect time to start working on your own exchange application for Session 2, 2015. Follow the lead of our adventurers and spend one of your CSU sessions at one of over 300 partner univeristies. The application deadline for the next exchange period is December 1 so get cracking!

You’ll find everything you need to get started on the CSU Global website http://www.csu.edu.au/special/global/student-exchange/outgoing  and if you have any questions please get in touch with us.

Happy reading and adventuring.

CSU Global

Back to New Jersey and Fleetwood Mac Concert!!


Sunday October 12th

Wow what a weekend it has been! I got back today from going back to New Jersey to visit my parents, brother cat and puppy! It was a busy but fun weekend!

On the thursday before  I went home I went to the bar like usual. This time I went with a couple of different friends but it still ended up being a blast! Towards the end of the night the bar ended up playing some old music from the early 2000’s which was nice listening and dancing to different music! Although I love going to gregorys bar they have cheap drinks and everyone is super friendly I might try a different bar next week!


On friday October 10th My parents came to collect me from Mansfield to drive me back to our home in New Jersey. It was so good seeing them again and my puppy was so excited to see me when I got home! That night I went out to dinner with my parents and my brother. Finally I was having a decent meal! My parents and I first went to a bar beforehand where I had a cider Margarita it was delicious! My brother then joined us for dinner at an Italian restuarant where I ate a chicken parmigiana!



On the saturday I walked my puppy, did some homework, packed all my winter clothes, had a massage and a haircut and then got ready for Fleetwood Mac Concert!

My parents, brother and I went to Fleetwood Mac Concert that night and they were amazing!! They played at the prudential centre in Newark, New Jersey! The concert started around 8pm and they finished up about 10:30. They played two of my favorite songs which are Landslide and Everywhere! I was so excited when Stevie Nicks announced that Landslide was dedicated to her Australian friend in which before she started playing she said ” This song is for all the Aussies out there”  I was hoping that one of their songs would have been dedicated to the British but no luck! They played many of their other famous songs such as Go your own way and Gypsy!

A little bit about Fleetwood Mac

They formed in 1967

they are a British and American band

They have five main members which are Mick Fleetwood, John Mcvie,Christine Mcvie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks

one of their most famous songs is Landslide which was recorded in 1975 it was sung by Stevie Nicks.

The concert was really amazing and probably one of the best ive been to even though our seats were up really high!


On the Sunday  I said goodbye to my brother and to my fat cat. My parents,myself and puppy joined this time for the three and a half hour trip back to Mansfield! It was my puppys first long drive in which he loved it! We had lunch at Night and Day coffee in Mansfield which I had a delicious chicken salad. I then said my goodbyes at the university. Thanks for the great weekend mum,dad and Greg!  🙂  I will be returning back to New Jersey next month for another weekend!


Next weekend I am off to Pittsburgh! keep posted on my next post 🙂


Scranton and PA Grand Canyon!!

Thursday October 9th

Quite a few things have happened since my last blog post!

apart from the endless amounts of homework to do everyday

I went to the bar like usual last Thursday night was able to have four beers for just under 11 dollars so so cheap $$10414898_10152461630891633_3067427416520751278_n

not much happened on the Friday night and i had an assignment to finish so for once I had a friday night in.

Saturday October 4th


I went to Scranton with the International students to visit a coal mine and a American brewery it was a awesome day out!

The coal mine is Lackawanna County Coal mine which is located in Scranton Pennsylvania. It opened up in 1860 and today serves the purpose of being a retired coal mine and museum. The mine retired in 1966 in which the tour stops where the miners ended their final days.

The tour lasted for about an hour in which we went backwards on a mine car down a 190 slope. On the tour which was a tad chilly we got to see what the lives of miners were like and what some of the terrible conditions they were working under. We even got to wear super sexy helmets! 😉 I was highly impressed by the tour as I found it fascinating going back through time and seeing what the working lives of miners were like! Our tour guide was brilliant and really funny too!10624666_10152469629416633_5242761859090149711_n10689820_10152465179961633_8974047683423418588_n

Our next stop was Susquehanna Brewing company! The company is located in Pittston Pennsylvania which inst far from Scranton! This brewing company has been around for awhile and although it isnt very popular some of the beers are really nice! We got there around 2 pm and had a tour of the brewery which lasted for about an hour. I tried two samples of the beer called 6th generation stock ale and pumkin ale both were really good!


After the tour we went and had dinner at an Indian resturant which was really delicious. We got back to Mansfield around 8:30 pm.

That night I went to a social gathering with friends and met even more cool people!


On wednesday Otober 8th Ashlee, and our friend Zach drove to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon is about 40 minutes away from Mansfield. The actual name for it is Pine Creek Gorge but everyone calls it the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon as it looks similar in a way to the Grand Canyon. The deepest point is 1,450 feet at waterville . It is a product of the last ice age. Its a very beautiful place to visit and you get the most spectatcular views aswell as many walking trails! I would love to go back to this beautiful place agaian one day!

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Going to the bar again tonight which should be fun! Going back to New Jersey next weekend, cant wait! 🙂


Its Been a While!

So i could make up a couple excuses why i haven’t blogged in over two months but im going to be completely honest, I’ve been having the time of my life and it got away from me. In the lead up to going on exchange i questioned it many times did i have enough money; will i miss my friends to much; will my 3 year old neice remember me when i get home and will the cool kids over here pick on me.

I can say that you will never have enough money to go on exchange, however much you take you will always wish you brought more. You will miss your friends but you will make a million new ones that you will wonder how a wine and cheese night was ever fun without them. Your 3 year old niece will remember you and might have learnt how to use skype and snap chat while your away. Lastly the cool kids will always pick on you but who cares.

So far i have seen Montreal which was like a bigger and cooler more hipster version of Newtown in sydney. The bars there are awesome and tequila shots are dirt cheap. The city is built around some amazing parks, one where i spent alot of time. There was a big group of people from all over the world who would play soccer everyday. I had no idea what anyone was saying to me but it didnt matter when we were playing.

So then it was on to Thunder Bay, where i have been studying for the last 5 weeks. It is amazing here because as soon as anyone finds out your Australian they are keen for a chat. However you have to get used to people just knowing you as “Aussie” or me and Calum just get called the Aussies.

I will post a more detailed version of my stay in Thunder Bay shortly!