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Live! - Opinion

This article is an opinion piece and should be taken as such. It is highly likely to be biased, but either the article itself or the ensuing discussion will probably be entertaining. Live! takes no editorial line on opinion pieces.

Life on exchange in Australia

Aug 31 2005 13:20
Helen Dawson
A new academic year and a new column on Live! Boomerang reports on a year as an exchange student in Sydney
A Boomerang

I thought that Live was struggling so badly with things to say over the English summer I thought I would introduce a new column.

So, welcome to Boomerang.

I am currently 12,000 miles away living in Sydney while completing my final year in Mech Eng.

Having been almost bankrupted before coming out here just to get my visa (£700 altogether) Sydney is reasonably cheap to live in compared to London. The halls of residence are of a similar style to Cambridge with prices higher than southside (equivalent of £150 a week) But my flat is 10 mins walk from uni, I can see the campus from my window and is half what I was paying in Paddington last year.

There are some rather fundamental issues that have to be dealt with here though:

1)Cadbury?s chocolate here is not real?don?t believe that enticing purple wrapper?it is a trick?it is made in Tasmania and is not the same taste as our be-loved Birmingham chocolate.

2)?Scooners? not pints. Scooners were invented in Queensland and are said to be preferred here because you drink them before the beer warms up too much.

3)Robinson?s Orange squash is not sold here but random fruit cordials that taste a bit weird.

4)Credit or Savings? It?s about $2.25 to £1 at the moment which makes the bank account look good. But when paying with a ?keycard? (like our debits cards) your account is called ?Savings?. Bit of a misnomer perhaps as I?m spending. But all is good when you have the ?Credit? option when you bribe the bank into letting you have a credit card. But be warned banks charge you for everything and anything here.

5)BBQs ? it?s true there are always BBQs here and no silly H&S rules in uni to stop students cooking the BBQs and serving unsuspecting friends with food poisoning!!

6)No turkey at Christmas ? it?s BBQed seafood. Oh and it?s about 30oC as well :-)

Call me a ?girl? (well I spose you?d be right) but the one thing on my mind before coming out here was the fact that 8 of the 10 most deadly animals on the earth are here. Remember ?never trust anything with more than 4 legs and rarely trust anything with less?. At the moment it?s not too bad.

A cockroach made the unfortunate decision of climbing into the toaster which was quite amusing. What wasn?t so amusing was the microwave broke. When we got it back they said it had broken coz it was infested with cockroaches. Who knows how many radioactive roaches are out in Sydney now!! I made a passing comment to my flatmates of comparing micro-waved cockroach to making popcorn but sadly never got to try it. Luckily the Sydney web spider is not around at the moment. It is a very aggressive spider that jumps if approached and will bite.

Apparently the best thing for roaches is huntsman spiders?..?.needless to say a good tip for this country is to check your shoes before putting them on.

If anyone is reading this and thinking of embarking on a holiday or an exchange out here bring a jumper coz it?s cold in July!!

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Discussion about “Life on exchange in Australia”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Aug 31 2005 16:23

Hi Helen! Great to see you're well. Tell me, how well is the latest news on the Ashes series going down in Oz?

2. Sid   
Aug 31 2005 18:37


great to hear from you, hope you and chris have a gd time.

Aug 31 2005 18:40

Chris is doing a year in Oz as well?!

Aug 31 2005 20:08

Sadly not, just a couple of visits, donations to the Chris travelling appeal gratefully received.

5. Dan   
Aug 31 2005 20:20

I don't think mircorwaves are radioactive...

The bugs will just get nicely cooked - unless they are in contact with uranium!

Aug 31 2005 23:13

They have to be radioactive. I shut the door, press a button, a light comes on and the food comes out all hot....that's either radioactive or magic...

7. Chris   
Sep 01 2005 08:38

They also say 'Caution, Radiation' on the side, convinced me!

Sep 01 2005 17:39

Well, if it isn't lil Miss Dawson herself! And wot about the aussie chicks, any report on that, I am sure the gentlemen of the guilds (except Chris J of course) would be interested in you commentary on the situation. All the best down under.

9. Sid   
Sep 01 2005 18:13


now that you have left, we need replacement girls, I have nothing against some Aussie chicks.

Sep 01 2005 20:24

"and rarely trust anything with less [than four legs]"

i.e. Ostriches, snakes, leeches, Guildsmen...

11. Bob   
Sep 02 2005 16:03
Sep 11 2005 14:03

HUR HUR HUR - Atul wants Helen to comment on the situation <i>down under</i>.

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