4 sleeps until the adventure begins!

Passport & Visa FINALLY arrived today – such a relief!

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m from Albury, NSW and am halfway through my Bachelor of Business (HRM) with CSU. I’ve always planned to travel the world and study abroad!

My exchange adventure is beginning six weeks early as I do some travelling beforehand! I’ll post the odd update of my travels over the next six weeks as venture through the Philippines, Singapore, England and throughout Europe ūüôā

Hope you enjoy keeping up with my adventure!

Je ne sais parle vous francais???????

G’day peeps,

Lots to say, here we go.

The French side of Canada is VERY French. This is not just something they advertise to the world, so if your headed this way learn how to pronounce that title and then just start speaking English… That’s what I did anyway. As you might have guessed we ventured to Quebec, Toronto, Montr√©al, Ottawa, Tadoussac, Piedmont, St Felicine and many more. Some of those are probably spelt wrong. All fantastic places.

We had a great time over there. We explored the capital of Canada in Ottawa which boarders the Province of Quebec. I competed in an international Karate tournament which was great and I managed to get 2nd place in 2 divisions for Australia. =)

Shortly after exploring the east coast of Canada we were west again but in the United States of America! We have done all the cool things in Las Angels including exploring Hollywood, Venice, Santa Monica, Disney Land, Lagoona Beach, Universal Studios and spent lots of time with some family that we have this side of the world. We have also been to Las Vegas and kinda the Grand Canyon. I say kinda… I’ll explain a little further down.

I also have a little news for those of you thinking about exchange. If your not completely sold reading through these blogs then if your still around start of session 2 at Bathurst campus, you can ask the global office for when some previous exchangers including myself will be giving a presentation about our own experiences and you’ll also have the chance to ask us any questions you want as well.

Check out some pics from our adventures below =)

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So I forgot to mention that we went to Niagra Falls. I don’t know¬†how, it was so amazing. If you get the opportunity to see this and you have the choice, definitely see them from the Canadian side, not the New York side. The view is way better from Canada. And also go on the boat not the helicopter. Its no fun if you don’t get really wet =P

We also got to visit a really cool wild life park as you can see. All very open and well trained staff helping to protect and grow different species of animals and stuff.

That random photo of me with a bunch of fog is the best view we had of our only chance to see the Grand Canyon =( Could not see a thing and it was poring with rain in the middle of the desert people!!! Like the only day in its entire history it decides to do that. Anywho we’ll try to get back in 10 years and see it lol.

Anyway guys we have about 3 weeks until we return. I will do one more post at the end of our trip and then remember I will do a presentation at Bathurst CSU for perspective exchangers. You can comment on this post if you like or contact me via email. Please ask CSU Global staff for it, I don’t want to post it up in case I get heaps of junk from somebody with nothing better to do =/

Thanks for reading guys.

Grant.

My last month

imageDuring the last month of my trip to America I was able to travel around a bit more and visit some friends, both new and old.  My exchange visa allowed me to stay in America for a month after my exams, of which I used every day.

During the first week after school finished I stayed with Madison in Wise. ¬†We spent the week getting our nails done, going hiking to ‘Devil’s Bathtub’, going to Outback Steakhouse and cooking Pavlova.

I spent the second week with one of my roommates, Ashleigh, and our friend Natalie in Woodbridge. ¬†Woodbridge is a short drive from D.C. ¬†During the week we went to King’s Dominion (a themepark near Richmond), went to the Smithsonian National Zoo in D.C., went to the Manasses Battlefield (from the Civil War) and had a picnic.

I then flew from D.C. to Miami where I spent a few days by myself exploring the city. In Miami I did the two day Big Bus Tour (the same company I used in NYC).  This was a great way to see the city and learn some history while travelling solo. I then joined my Topdeck tour in Miami.  My tour group consisted of 16 travellers, mostly Aussies, including 4 other exchange students who had been studying in America and Canada.

Key West sunset market view

Key West sunset market view

The first day of our tour we went to Florida Keys, which is in the south of Florida. ¬†The next day we did all day watersports in Key West, the most southerly point of America (it’s actually closer to Cuba than to Miami). ¬†This ended up being one the highlights of my trip – we went out on a boat into the clearest waters off Key West and spent the day jet skiing, on the water trampoline, banana boating (kind of like donuting but off a jetski), parasailing, kayaking and snorkelling. ¬†They also fed us breakfast, lunch, afternoontea and free alcoholic beverages on the way back to Key West. ¬†After the busy and exhausting day we wandered around the town, which felt alot like Byron Bay. ¬†We saw Earnest Hemmingway’s house with lots of six-toed cats running around. ¬†We had cocktails in pineapples and watched the sunset at the Sunset Markets, with lots of food stalls and buskers. ¬†Needless to say that we all slept exceptionally well that night!

11426825_10207121181330928_533745489_nWe then drove to Fort Myers in Florida, on the way stopping at an Alligator and Crocodile farm in the Everglades. ¬†Surprisingly, the first animals we saw were Emu’s! ¬†We took a boat ride in the Everglades (like the boat at the start of CSI Miami) and saw alot of crocodiles/aligators. ¬†The Everglades is the only place that you find both species living together, due to both salt water and fresh water being present.

The next day 16 very excited adults were acting like it was Christmas, their birthday and the last day of school all rolled into one because we finally got to go to Universal¬†Studios in Orlando, specifically Harry Potter World. ¬†Over two days we managed to spent about 17 hours at Universal, spending most of our time in the Harry Potter areas of Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. ¬†And let me tell you – it’s as awesome as you’d imagine! We tried Butterbeer, went on every Harry Potter ride, bought so much stuff (including some every flavour jelly beans!) and took a million photos.

IMG_3067 When we were all Harry Potter-ed out (I know, apparently it is possible!) we went to Panama City Beach, which is the Spring Break captial of USA.  Here we went to Club La Vela, the biggest nightclub in America.  It has 8 different rooms with different themes and music.  This is one of the only clubs that you only have to be 18 to get into, which was good because 2 people on my trip were under 21.  We had a good time dancing and drinking interesting whiskey concoctions in the 2 Buck Saloon.

The next day we went to New Orleans! ¬†Going out in New Orleans is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. ¬†We stayed in the French Quarter, only blocks from the famous (or infamous?) Bourbon Street. ¬†We had a great time in Bourbon Street and surrounds trying Hand Grenades (yum!) and Hurricanes (gross!) and 3 for 1 drinks. ¬†We danced to jazz and country and everything else you could imagine. ¬†We even met up with a guy from Melbourne who heard our accents. ¬†It was such a great night that we were in bed at 12.30am!

Trying the Hand Grenade in New Orleans

Trying the Hand Grenade in New Orleans

The next day my tour finished, but I stuck around until 4pm when I left for the airport. ¬†We wandered around, tried some local foods (Cafe Du Monde’s beignet’s are to die for, but I wasn’t a bit fan of the gumbo from the French Market), went on the ferry over the Mississippi and wandered around some shops that I would never be able to buy anything from! I then flew to San Diego (after some problems with flights) and finally arrived on Tuesday morning!

The last week of my trip I spent with Erica, who had living in my dorm in Bathurst in Semester 2 of 2014.  It was great to catch up with her and meet her family.  We had a great week going to a baseball game, hiking, farmers markets, the Fair and Disneyland.

10850366_10205997246346225_1004233739_n I arrived home on Wednesday morning, with bittersweet feelings! Looking back I’m so glad that I took this opportunity and hope that I’ve inspired others to do exchange as well!