Studying abroad in Australia presents few cultural obstacles so far, except slang


G’day, mates! Erica Hamman here again to let you know about my fabulous study abroad experience in Melbourne, Australia. Currently, it is orientation week (or O-week) at Deakin University where there are many fun and free activities sponsored by the school so you can meet the incoming freshmen and also other international students.

On Monday, a group of about 500 students learned a dance to the song “I Love It” by Icona Pop so we could participate in random flash mobs. Tuesday included a Resi vs. Food activity where residents gorge themselves with food for a competition between floors.

Wednesday was the most anticipated day of the week as there was a mystery bus tour. You could purchase tickets to be in several different themed buses, such as tight-and-bright and back to school gear. The buses traveled to downtown Melbourne where students could go shopping or do whatever their hearts desired. If you were still awake enough to enjoy the other activities, there was also a speed dating event on Thursday to get to know your floor mates, and finally on Friday, there was a wine and cheese party for individuals over 18 (which is the legal drinking age in Australia.)

We also played trivia on Monday night with categories such as celebrities, Australian slang and Harry Potter. I definitely carried the team on celebrities, since they asked about the Kardashians, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The only subject the Australians had me beat was obviously Australian slang. I learned that the word “arvo” means afternoon and “sheila” means female. So far, the only large cultural difference I have experienced is the slang, which is not a very hard obstacle to overcome. I am sure I will come across many other differences, but so far this study abroad trip has been smooth sailing!

Erica Hamman is a junior in biology. Please send comments to