Kangaroos, Koalas and Wombats Down Under

University of Reading student studying abroad in Taiwan for a Semester

Cameron is currently studying abroad at the Curtin University in Australia as part of his Film and Theatre degree at Reading. Back in July Cameron moved to Perth to start his semester studying abroad. Read on to see how he got on settling into life down under!

So I’ve been in Perth for 3 weeks now and things are going pretty great. The first couple of days were a little rocky as I adapted to my new situation but I easily settled in as I got to meet new people and made some friends- everything since then has been amazing! Everyone is very welcoming and it seems like the Australian consensus is to be friendly to all they meet.

Even though I was initially uneasy for those first few days, this didn’t stop me from exploring what Perth has to offer. I wandered around the city, exploring the CBD and some of Perth’s boroughs like Leederville and Northbridge, taking in the vast array of restaurants and shops, as well as visiting a couple of independent cinemas . I went into one with no idea of what they were showing and the guy at the counter happily gave me a suggestion on what to watch, reinforcing my view that Aussies are always glad to help.

One of the best spots in Perth has to be Kings Park and Botanic Gardens. The park is a great green space that stretches over 4km², filled with plant-life from all over Australia and with a beautiful view that looks over both the towering cityscape of Perth’s financial district and the glistening Swan River. I’m sure I will be visiting Kings Park many times during my stay here and will try to capture its beauty with my camera. However, you do have to watch out for PokemonGo players as they have swarmed the area, transforming the park into a real life Safari-Zone.

University of Reading student studying abroad in Taiwan for a Semester

A stand out experience was having the chance to go to Caversham Wildlife Park, giving us Study Abroad students the opportunity to have close-up interactions with some of Australia’s native animals. At the park I hand fed kangaroos, sat next a koala carrying her baby in her pouch and met with Big Bert, the wombat, who happened to be the cutest thing I have ever seen! It was incredible to see these animals in real life and in action. Or, in the case of the koalas, inaction seeing as they sleep around 18 hours per day.

As for education, Curtin is a huge university with about 60,000 students and a grand selection of courses where anyone will easily find something that truly interests them. Most new people I meet seem to be doing a different kind of course or have some variation in their modules compared to others on the course, there really is something that suits everyone. For me, the film (or Screen Arts as they call it) department is a very exciting place to study. While taking an interest in similar subject areas at Reading, it seems to have further hands-on elements, even in the theory classes, which I quite enjoy as it gets us actively involved in the ideas we are discussing. For any prospective Study Abroad students doing film I would strongly consider Curtin as a place to go if you want to learn about cinema from a different creative perspective.

My adventures in Perth have been a delight so far and I have only started to scratch the surface of what the university, the city and the whole of Australia has to offer. I’m looking forward to spending the next few months continuing to explore the country and I’m sure I’ll be very busy visiting new places, right up until I have to say farewell.

Cameron

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