Simone Blanchard '12



When my friends asked me to go to the  prom-I couldn’t refuse. It wasn’t what I had expected, and was absolutely NOTHING like prom back home. No, there were no dresses or corsages, this was Wilsons Promontory, known by locals as ” the prom”. Wilsons Promontory is located in Gippsland, and is the most southern point on the Australian main land. The prom is beautiful, boasting several amazing beaches, and a lush green landscape. Not only is the scenery breath-taking, but Wilsons Prom is also home to a diverse range of Australian wildlife.  It was truly an amazing time, and nothing like the proms I’ve been to before- it was  better!

In the rocks


It’s summer time in Melbourne, and the weather is finally nice (No rain, yay!) Not only is Melbourne a wonderful place to be, considering Massachusetts is experiencing sub-zero temperatures (Sorry guys!), BUT, there is also the tennis! Yes, the Australian Open is taking place in Melbourne at the moment, and I was most fortunate to be able to attend.  It was a great experience, and not what I initially expected. Turns out in the last couple years the Australian Open has become more of a “must-attend’ event, similar to Melbourne’s famous horse races, The Melbourne Cup. I previously believed that I would be sitting for hours on end watching the tennis, but to my surprise, was greeted with tons of sponsor tents with activities and free stuff, and college-aged students anxious to be apart of the scene (some were even dressed up in funny costumes). Turns out, a ton of Uni kids enjoy going to the tennis and spending the day with friends.  So, like my peers, I purchased a grounds pass and enjoyed the beautiful weather, and what seemed like endless amount of tennis courts. After a long day of perusing sponsor tents for free samples, and watching a few games in the minor courts with friends, I was lucky enough to gain admission to Hisense Arena, one of the major courts at the tennis, where I got to watch Maria Sharapova play! It was awesome! Firstly, because I actually have heard of her (I don’t normally follow tennis), and secondly, she played quite well! Since then I have been regularly watching the tennis with housemates, and demonstrating my “knowledge” of the game. I’m no expert, but I’m learning!

Hisense Arena

Maria Sharapova

wine glass bay

cradle mountain

Hello All! I just got back from Tasmania and had heaps of fun! In my last post, I briefly touched upon the famous Falls Festival, but that was just the beginning of my vacation in Tassie. While in Australia’s “deep south”, I went to Cradle Mountain, Wine Glass Bay, The Raspberry Farm, Batman Bridge and many more places. Cradle Mountain was great fun to hike (and quite the workout), but Wine Glass Bay was hands down my favorite; due to  stunning views  of cerulean blue waters cupped by the white sand from which the bay gets its name. Once I finished scaling mountains, and basking on the beach, my friend and I checked out the Tassie wildlife at a local sanctuary. Whilst there, we saw Tasmanian devils up close and personal, and even got to feed the wallabies! Unfortunately, Tasmania like many of life’s amazing things, had to come to an end, but at least I left with some incredible memories.

So I just got back from Tasmania and I had a blast! While there I went to a music festival in Marion Bay called The Falls Festival. It’s  a three day festival that welcomes in the New Year with a killer line up of bands and thousands of people. During the festival everyone camps out in tents, which I was a little apprehensive about, but it turned out to be a ton of fun. It’s also ritual that everyone travel down to the beach for a quick dip on New Year’s Eve morning (something I am  not used to, especially in New England  during December) All in all, it was quite amazing to be apart of it.

Christmas in Oz was wonderful. The weather was great, but not quite the weather I am used to because that 27 degrees is Celsius (80 degrees F). So needless to say there was no winter wonderland this year for me but a very enjoyable green Christmas.

I finally traveled to Sydney… IT WAS AMAZING! I went with a  fellow crusader Elizabeth and new friend from USC Jen. Together we climbed the Sydney bridge, saw the Australian Ballet perform at the Opera House, and visited world famous Bondi Beach! I’ve attached some pictures… check em’ out!

Today marks the fourth month of my being in Melbourne! It’s amazing how time has flown! It’s wierd to think that just four months ago I was nervously walking off of the plane wondering if I had made the right decision to come to Australia.

Well, it is now four months later, I am in the midst of final exams, stressed beyond belief, PRAYING for it to end so I can get away from ALL that is Melbourne University!!! BUT, despite all of the stress  of exams I am soooo happy that I came to Australia! 🙂  Even though I have spent my four month anniversary with lovely Melbourne studying for my Biology final, my day has been pretty great!

I told myself I would be better at blogging. I know, it’s November. Unfortunately, my boring life paired with a very, very busy work and Uni schedule tends to prevent me to do so. But, it is Nov and I am going to make a better effort…

I have been here for almost four months and  all I have done is work, attend university ( & do uni work), and socialize. The time has flown by, and now it’s time for final exams! I never thought I could be so stressed in the world’s most laid back country, but here there are fewer exams and they are larger percentages of the total grade in the class. As of now, I have two 50 percent exams, and two 70 percent  essays to write. No pressure! I just can’t wait until the summer. I can’t wait to travel.

I have yet to really travel. But that is all about to change…I have booked my first REAL trip. On Nov 27th after final exams this girl is going to SYDNEY! 🙂 I cannot wait! My first REAL traveling since I have been in Australia. I am also planning to go to Tasmania for New Years and to travel to New Zealand. So that’s what I am looking forward to at the moment.

I am so excited for all of the new and exciting things that await! But, as of now, my papers are calling…

I have been here a little over 11 weeks now, and after numerous occasions of being confused with the new Australian terminology and sayings, I finally think I may have it down…hopefully. So, I have listed below some of the many new words/phrases I have learned (& have been attempting to incorporate into my vocabulary).

Arvo- Afternoon

Aussie- (pronounced Ozzie) Australian

Bloke- Man

Brekkie- Breakfast

Blind- Very intoxicated

Bush- Outside the city

Cabbie- Taxi Driver

Chewy- Chewing gum

“Couldn’t be bothered”- Had no time, energy, or interest to do something/ complete a task.

Ex. I was going to clean my room, but I just couldn’t be bothered.

Doona- Quilt, Duvet

Drop Bear- Mythical aggressive bears that jump down from trees and attack people. This myth is told by Aussie’s playing jokes on unknowing foreigners to scare them. **If you are gullible like myself, you will discover this to be a joke only after weeks of being hesitant to walk by trees late at night.

Fanny- CAUTION when using, NOT to mistaken for one’s backside, it is actually quite the contrary.

Footy- Australian Rules Football

Fortnight- Two week period

Full On- Intense, relentless

“G’Day”- Hello

“Good Onya”- Good for you

Heaps- Lots, Many (One of my favorite)

“How you going?”- How are you doing today?

Jocks- Men’s underpants

Kiwi- Someone from New Zealand, or an endemic Australian bird

Loo- Toilet, Bathroom

Lolly- Candy

Maccas- McDonalds

Mate- Friend, or associate

Note- Currency that is not in coin form

“No Worries”- (Another favorite of mine) Your Welcome, No Problem, It’s okay, etc. A phrase with endless possibilities.

Oz- Australia

Prawn(s)- Shrimp

Pudding- Cake

“Reckon”-  I think that

Ex. I reckon it will rain today.

Rock up- To turn up, to arrive

Seppo- American

Slab- Carton of 24 beers

Sticky Date Pudding- One of the best desserts ever created, consisting of cake, caramel sauce, and dates.

“Ta”- Thanks

Tim Tams- Delicious cookies explaining why there are no Girl Scouts in Australia.

Toilet- Bathroom

Uni- Short for University

Ute- Small utility truck, looks like a pick up truck that has been lowered

Vegemite- A dark brown Australian spread made from yeast extract. **Also, another opportunity for Australians to mess with foreigners, usually by having them smear a thick layer of vegemite on toast and “try” it, which is NEVER recommended.

Victoria Bitter- Beer

Wanker- An insult, directed toward rude or egotistical people

XXXX- Queensland’s Favorite Beer

Yank- American

“Yer”- Yeah

Z- Pronounced “Zed” not “Zee”

Australian Rules Football.  Learn it & Love it.

Some Clips:

A couple photos from our girls game today: