Deep Fried Mars Bar

Hi guys,

Time for another update =D Look at the excitement!

So last week I had a week off from uni for a mid-session break. Kody and I took advantage of this time to see a bit more of Canada which took us to the next province (state) of Alberta. We stayed in Calgary, Banff and on top of Lake Louise for 1 night in one of the most amazing hotels I have ever experienced!

Banff is the go to tourist destination for explorers in Alberta. There are so many restaurants (good and bad) and heaps of little knick-knack shops for picking up cool stuff to take home. We bought a really cool terracotta pot with some Inuit art on it, that we are really happy with and some souvenirs for the family. Afterwards was Calgary which is a destination that I really recommend for anyone who is considering the west coast of Canada in future. We went to the Calgary Tower, a roughly 600 floor building that overlooks the entire city. There is a little electronic guide thing they give you which explains all the buildings you want (which is quite a lot) and there is some really interesting history that we got caught up in that happened in the area as well. That brings me to our visit to the Fort Calgary museum. Here we learnt heaps about the Mounted Police unit that was established in the area and a lot about what happened between the Colonists and First Nations people in Canada along with the extinction of the Buffalo from the area. We also visited a 4 story museum in the downtown area that had fantastic works in it. We were so tired after a trip through there both mentally and physically because we had no idea that it was so huge when we went in.

After almost a week in those great places we finished off with a night in the Fairmont Château on Lake Louise. We had great food, ice skated on the frozen lake and relaxed in a great room with a fantastic view (picture below).

As you can imagine I had a rough day on Monday going back to uni after such a great week off, but there were exams to focus on light at the end of the tunnel for the end of session! The focus now is on the group work projects that I have due soon which some of you may remember me stressing about in my early posts.. I am a little more relaxed about them now but its definitely under the pump time for me for the next 5 weeks =/

Anyway fun time now =) Here are the lasted photos for you guys to check out. I’ll try not be too long before my next post. Again thanks for the support everyone and keep the comments coming =D

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It Snowed…The End

Me in the snow between the Caf and my room, reppin my CSU dorm clothing from last year

Me in the snow between the Caf and my room, reppin my CSU dorm clothing from last year

This week has been very uneventful.  We haven’t even had classes due to the consistent snow and below freezing temperatures.  When it snows a lot classes are called off due to the dangerous conditions on the roads (a lot of students are commuters and as are the teachers of course).

When classes are cancelled just about everything else is not open.  Suddenly, the only cafeteria is open and the gym (for limited times).

We have spent the week catching up on work, watching people trying to dig their cars out of the carpark (pretty entertaining!), sleeping in, watching Netflix, having sleepovers and going to the gym (because it’s the only thing you can do!).

Sledding at the football fields.

Sledding at the football fields.

Yesterday Wise County was declared a state of emergency due to the snow.  It also rained yesterday which made the snow heavy and today it’s gone icy and more dangerous.  The roof of Walmart also caved in so it’s closed – you know it’s bad when 24/7 Walmart is closed!

We went sledding one night at 9pm (not our best idea) at the football fields.  For the video of my less-than-graceful sledding attempt see my instagram @larryharry16.

On Friday night we went to a friends for a sleepover off campus and got stuck there all Saturday! Finally at about 8pm we decided to walk back to campus in the snow and rain – there were a lot of slips and giggles as we fell through slow that was as high as my waist at some points! It was safer to walk than drive as cars drove past us going about 20km/hr and sliding all over the road.

Our walk home in the rain

Our walk home in the rain

 

I’m a Theta Phi Alpha kinda gal!

Hi everyone!

The sororoties and fraternities have been promoting themselves outside the Student Center

The sororoties and fraternities have been promoting themselves outside the Student Center

I haven’t posted for two weeks but so much has happened in that time. These last two weeks I decided to rush for sorority recruitment and it’s been wonderful!

For everyone in Australia who doesn’t know what a sorority is, it’s a sisterhood of girls who look after each other, are best friends and have some great times together.  They also do a lot of philanthropy activities.

So two weeks ago we had sign ups where you put your name forward to go through recruitment.  The first event was ‘Meet & Greet’ where you meet all the sororities (we have 4) for about 15 minutes each.

Then throughout the next two weeks we attended parties where we got to know everyone in the sororities and what they do.

Then on Thursday 15th we had ‘Pref Night’ which is when you get invivted by a sorority/sororities to join them that night in a ritual.

Me and my Pref Night invites

Me and my Pref Night invites

The next day is Bid Day (which was Friday).  On Bid Day you receive a bid/bids from sororities that want you and you have to choose which one to go with.  Then that night we have a big reveal and we meet our new sisters!  It was so exciting!  Bulk photos were taken and there was a lot of hugs involved! We had a great night together and I feel like I’ve really found wonderful friends already!

My pledge class of TPA!

My pledge class of TPA!

 

One Amazing Month in Finland

Hi Everyone!

After a few awesome days in London, I travelled with my good Finnish friends (Evie and Jasmin) to Helsinki. The three of us stayed in Helsinki for two nights before making our way up to jyväskylä (My friend Evie’s Uni town). In Helsinki we looked at the Christmas markets and went to a Zoo. Many of the animals were hiding because of the cold weather. Therefore, I was unable to see any bears 😦

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Jyväskylä

Jyväskylä is a nice little city. Evie, Jasmin and I stayed at Evie’s home for a few days. We did a Finnish tradition of making a gingerbread house. It was a lot of fun to make. However, our time together had to end as Jasmin travelled back to Helsinki to be with her family for Christmas, while Evie and I travelled further north to stay with her family in Oulu.

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Oulu

Oulu was approximately around the middle of Finland. I spent about three weeks there with Evie and her family. They were all really kind and helped me to have a proper Finnish cultural experience. I was lucky to try many Finnish Christmas traditions and foods, such as eating rice porridge on Christmas morning. The Finnish celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December.

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On the first weekend after Christmas, Evie and some of her family and I travelled to Iso Syöte. Iso Syöte is a ski resort about two hours away from Oulu. The temperatue was the coldest I have ever experienced! It was -25 degrees when we were skiing!! The skiing was a lot of fun! I just had to remember to cover my nose to prevent it from falling off from the cold haha

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Another new experience in Oulu was doing ice-fishing, where we walked out over a river! Yes we were standing in the middle of a river that was connected to the sea!

Middle of a frozen lake

Middle of a frozen river

Joe 😀

And loving it!

Hi everyone,

It has been busy as the bus that comes by on Monday morning at 7:00am round here (fullest bus in the world)! So I’ve been studying at TRU for about 5 weeks now, midterm exams are a week away. Midterms are exams that they have here half way through a semester that account for huge portion of your subjects overall mark. On top of that, I have been assigned huge group projects for all of my subjects that are due pretty soon after I have to sit the midterms!

Organising groups for these projects really freaked me out at the start of the year but it has been easier to get together than I thought it would be… so happy =D
Preparing groups for the projects has actually been a great way to speak and get to know my peers here at TRU. When you have a few people you know and chat to about uni life it can make the university experience a lot better, especially when you are on exchange overseas.

It hasn’t all been uni study though, last weekend Kody and I got away to the Silver Star ski resort. This is Kody’s favourite place in Canada, she has been here a few times but it was all new experiences for me. Apparently there’s a rule in Silver Star that all the buildings have to have at least 5 colours! It makes for a colourful town lol. I’ve thrown in a few photos for guys below…

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While we were there we tried night skiing for the first time. The conditions were a bit icy which made for a few funny falls. We both wished that we had more time to stay because just as we were leaving they started getting a lot of new snow which would have made it nice and powdery again, we had a great time anyway though =)

Here’s a slightly older pic of me in front of the international building when I first started classes at TRU..

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As you guys can see the uni is always covered in snow as well =)

Not too long ago we also went to a local wildlife park that rescues animals that have been injured and aren’t able to return to the wild. We saw a bear and some massive birds and also a tarantula (big spider)! Got a few photos of that for you guys too..

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They had some wolves and a few different types of bears as well but they hibernate at this time of year.

Anyway that just about sums up the latest happenings! I’ll write again soon people. =)

Chester, Manchester and London

Hi Everyone,

After I came back from Prague, I sadly realised that I had only a few more weeks in the Chester before I was travelling to Finland. I spent my time completing my assessments and spending time with the many friends I had made at the University.

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One of my final weekends, I went with a few international friends to the Manchester Christmas Markets. The markets were really busy, which made it really hard to move around and look at all the shops. However, the decorations were really good!
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During my last weekend in Chester, two of my friends from Finland came and stayed with me in Chester. I met these two girls in Australia at Bathurst Campus. It was really good to see them both again. I acted like a tour guide and took them both around Chester.

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My home :)

My home 🙂

 

At the end of the weekend, my Finnish friends and I headed off to London for a few days. We found London really BIG!! It was a lot of fun exploring the city and seeing many of the tourist attractions, such as London Bridge and Big Ben. It is also worth going for a walk around these areas at night, because the attractions and city changes with all the lighting. We were also really lucky in London because of the warm sunny weather.

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Hope you enjoy the photos!

Joe 😀

Joining In!

Hey Ya’ll from Wise!

This week I’ve actually been pretty busy.  I went to the basketball on Thursday night.  Even though UVa Wise lost both the womens and men’s games it was still fun.  I ate pizza and a huge bag of popcorn while I tried to explain netball to people.  Sports are taken very seriously here and the athletes are treated like superstars, even at this tiny college.

My healthy dinner at the Basketball

My healthy dinner at the Basketball

I have joined the student newspaper as a volunteer writer.  You can read my first story at http://www.highlandcavalier.com under ‘From a Dorm Down Under’. I’ve had lots of positive comments from my story. People especially liked my ‘translations’. The newspaper is published fortnightly.

My first story in the student newspaper.

My first story in the student newspaper.

I have signed up for Greek Recruitment to hopefully join a sorority.  Just learning about the process is making me excited!

I spent the weekend at my roommate’s house with her lovely family.  It was nice to get out of Wise for a night and I loved looking out the window as we drove.  The ‘bush’ is different here… obviously.

This week I booked a contiki tour for spring break in March.  The tour goes to California, Arizona and Nevada, focusing on LA, the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas!

Tomorrow is the Super Bowl!  My room mate has just informed me that you cannot buy alcohol here on Sunday’s – what is this!! Got to go for a dash to Walmart! Toodles!

 

P.S. Have already got my suite mates into saying ‘Uni’ and ‘breakie’.