Islands, surfing and why you should go on a Student Exchange

I can’t believe how fast this year is going, end of March already!

Anyway it’s that time of the month again and can only mean one thing, another blog, oh yeah! So looking back on this month it has been a rollercoaster.

I’ll be honest, the past few weeks I’ve been feeling homesick and I wasn’t expecting it.

Before going to Australia I was given this lovely timeline of how you will feel over the course of a Student Exchange. At the beginning you’re on a high, then about a fortnight later, rock bottom, how extreme is that? Then, once you get settled into a routine, you get over the homesickness and you go home.

It’s funny how accurate that chart was, and two months ago I was looking at the chart in Bradford laughing to myself thinking ‘that won’t happen’.

The moral here is these experiences are fantastic ways to develop your character, there will be highs and lows. I’m starting to realise that myself, and it’s completely normal to go through. And that in essence is why if you ever get the chance to go on a Student Exchange, do it.

You’ll thank yourself when you get there.

plane wing in sky.

Just go for it!

So what have I been up to in the last month? Well, classes have now got into full swing and I’ve been doing some surfing towards my degree, as you do.

I’m really surprised how quick everyone took to surfing, our group has a few past surfers but mostly it consists of people who have never done it before. I’m in the latter group.

The days are early, getting ready to catch the 8am bus then a one hour bus ride to Yeppoon, where we surf for about 3 hours, though I mostly spent my time getting battered by the waves. It all pays off when you catch a wave though; it’s the best feeling in the world, it makes the journey worth it.

surf school on beach.

Learning to surf

Back in Bradford it’s a bus to the town centre or the Interchange; here everything feels like a million miles away. You could pick up the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Italy and a handful of other countries, plonk them on Australia and you won’t even come close to covering the entirety of its land mass. It’s only when you’re on these seemingly long journeys to realise the distance you have covered is less than a fraction of Australia.

Another adventure I went on this month was to the Great Keppel Island, on the Great Barrier Reef.

blue sky and sea.

Jaw on floor moment

Quite literally paradise; I look at the picture even now and think, ‘I was there a few weeks ago, what?’. Seriously, minus the fact I took the photo, it’s one of those rare moments when a picture you take actually looks like you’ve robbed it off a postcard.

So the day started with a car trip to the ferry port and a quick 30 minute boat to the island. Once we reached the golden sands – bear in mind it was 29 degrees at 11am – it felt like going on a film set, it didn’t seem real. The rest of the day consisted of gawping at the views, realisation of what I was doing, swimming and snorkelling. And yes I saw a clown fish.

My final adventure I’m sharing this month was to Rockhampton Botanic Gardens. It was another early start, something I’m slowly getting used to, and a taxi to the gardens. Think ‘I’m A Celebrity’, crossed with ‘Jurassic Park’, but open to the public, and that is what it was like. There was also a zoo next door so I got the chance to see some koalas.

The day at the zoo ended with a huge walk from one end of Rockhampton to the river which is what separates the north and south sides of Rocky. It was a great chance to explore the town first hand. On the way I stopped for a second when I thought I saw ‘Australian Bradford Society’ plastered on the side of a building…

Australian Braford Society building.

Australian Bradford Society, wait a second

Admit it, you looked twice! Anyway, to wrap this post up, I leave you with a picture of a sneaky ninja kangaroo.

See you soon!

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