In Melbourne I live in what Australians call a ‘college’ which is similar to a dormitory except that you eat there and you have your own sports teams and events. My college is International House. The University of Melbourne has twelve. During my first week there I was considered a ‘fresher’, meaning that it was my first year in that college and so I had to participate in the orientation week which is called ‘O-week’ here. It allowed freshers to get to know each other. We had some very fun events planned for us. O-Week started with a game of human fussball where we were all attached together in a huge moonbounce. It was very fun. We also ran around the city with our faces painted, yelling chants which we had been forced to learn earlier all 150 of us crammed into a 20’x16’ room! They called it room cram. It was pretty disgusting because it was so hot. We also did pub crawls, nightclub crawls, had a toga party, went to the beach, had a champagne breakfast (oddly enough our dining center has a liquor license and is allowed to serve people over 18 alcohol). We also made a deal with a dim sum restaurant to get an all you can eat dim sum meal for $10 because our group was so big. It was delicious! We had a cocktail parties, we had a bush dance where we had a band and dance instructors teach us dances from the Australian Bush areas. The university was also hosting O-week events which included the student fair which had a lot of ‘freebies’ and bungee trampoline rides. I did not attend many of their events because I was doing the ones planned by International House.
After that first week of fun and play school started. It felt very weird to go back to a fixed schedule, classes and homework after a winter break of about two and a half months. It was weird being offered so many classes. After a week of shopping classes I finally decided to take Australian Wildlife Biology which is a zoology class that studies Australian animals. It is so interesting because I learn about animals I never knew even excited and it makes me pay attention to wildlife everywhere I travel. I love every minute of that class because the Australian animals we learn about are all fascinating. I am also taking two biology classes to fulfill my Haverford biology major requirement. I am taking ‘immunology’ and ‘gene technology and protein expression’. I am also taking a management class called ‘organizational behavior’ which is very new for me but which I find interesting. I am also working in a laboratory at the Bio21 institute which is related to the university. The lab I work in studies prion diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and ‘mad cow disease’.