Waahhh! Just applied for accommodation at UOW and I really hope I get my first choice! I applied for a 5 person unit at Kooloobong Village, which includes a single study bedroom and shared kitchen and bathroom. In addition to this we have access to games rooms with TV, Billiards, Table tennis and Foosball tables, laundry facilities, indoor/outdoor barbecue facilities (haha, how Aussie), Meeting/study rooms, sound proof Music room, gratitude room (??), Community garden, vacuums, irons and sports equipment and vending machines. Wow! I can’t believe I might actually be living here! In addition to this I can be part of the Live Out Loud Program available for this accommodation, which includes events and activities based on the principles of positive psychology. According to UOW’s home page this accommodation’s organisers have focused on making a culture of wellbeing, where they plan and run events designed against a well-being program model, and include activities such as Yoga and Yogurt, Tea with Tedm Sporty Sunday’s, and K Adventures, all of which relate to our Wheel of Well-being – Body, Mind, Spirit, Place and Planet. Sounds right up my street! Looking forward to getting in shape and having the best tan of my life (I am allowed some shallow goals during my stay). Plus, with all these activities, it must really help to get to know people!
So what’s close to my potential village? According to google street view I would live right next to a botanical garden, and at the edge of one of the areas reserves that has lots of walking trails! One of the trails leads up to Mt. Kiera view, which gives you a view of wollongong city!
I also managed come around submitting my study plan for my time there. I am really excited to see how that turns out! I have chosen a combination of modules which will offer me some fun, but also some vital knowledge. To be honest, although I did look to see what most of the modules entitled, I only looked at them briefly and read their main introductions. On some of the modules I ended up reading too much about them and got all scared that maybe I wasn’t clever enough, so I decided to be more spontaneous and not get to bogged down in every aspect of what the modules encompassed. I wasn’t going to allow myself to get to scared of picking anything cause I didn’t think I was good enough. Whatever it is, I am sure I can tackle it! 😀 They all caught my eye and sounded interesting to me, and that’s the main thing! The modules I have chosen are not set in stone either, I will have a talk with an academic adivsor when I arrive who will be able to tell me if I am over my head or not! For now though, these are my choices! For my spring semester (which would be from July-November) I have chosen to do:
- Biodiversity of Terrestrial Organisms: Maybe not something that is incredibly out there in terms of difference from modules available to me in England, but I thought it would be really interesting to learn about terrestrial organisms from a different continent, and really get to experience Australian biodiversity. Who am I kidding, I just really want to see some wild kangaroos!
- Introductory genetics: Ellie is doing genetics? Has she lost her mind!? Haha, maybe I have, but I have a good reason behind it! You see, this year I had the choice of doing evolutionary biology, but chose not to as that aspect of biology has never come easy to me and I thought it would be too much pressure, considering it counts towards my final degree. However, my academic year in Australia doesn’t count towards my final degree and I only need to pass, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to gain some really vital knowledge without the pressure! Genetics are definitely an important skill to have, and if I can gain some confidence in that, who knows what opportunities that might lead to!
- Science Research internship: I thought it would be really cool to do a module that allowed me to hopefully get up and close to some real research and gain some great practical experience! You can learn a lot from lectures, but I think learning from an actual researcher will also be very rewarding! There are only a certain number of places available to students though, so I might not get this opportunity! Crossing my fingers though 😀
- Soils, Landscape & Hydrology: I had a similar module available to me this year which I was really interested in, but chose not to take it as I had other modules I wanted to do more! I think this module will give me that extra knowledge about the environment which will help me to make connections to the biodiversity and allow me to gain a better understanding of the ecosystem.
For my autumn semester (February – July) I have chosen to do:
- Biodiversity of Marine and Freshwater Organisms: I was really excited about having the opportunity to take some marine modules at UOW, as this really interests me and I think there is definitely a chance of me furthering this interest academically and as a career. Learning about the aquatic life in Australia is like a dream come true, their marine and aquatic biodiversity is one of the most beautiful in the world if you ask me! Imagine learning about the great barrier reef and maybe going on a field trip there?
- Introduction to Oceanography: Again, another marine module, I hope this will give me some vital skills needed to understand the full picture of a marine ecosystem!
- Principles of Ecology: I promise I am not slacking off here! Haha.. I decided to take this module as I think it will be a good repetition for everything I have learned the last couple of years, maybe growing in confidence in some of the aspects that I am not that skilled in yet! Also, learning about ecology in Australia is going to be amazing, considering their amazing wildlife.
- Redefining Eden: Indigenous Peoples and the Environment: This might be one of the modules I am most excited about! A module that is a bit “out there”, I think it will be so cool to consider wildlife from a different perspective! Not a module that will probably ever be available to me in the future, and where better to do it than in Australia. Maybe I will get to learn a lot about the aboriginal culture, and how to tackle environmental issues when management goals must consider local people and their dependency on the environment.