University in Australia vs. College in the States

On my decision to come to SUNY Oswego for an exchange semester, I knew that things would be different, but I assumed that more or less Australian and American university life and culture would be very similar. I was wrong. I have outlined the main differences below. Enjoy.

College is love

College is love

1. College is love, college is life. Literally. Since beginning college my days typically consist of eating all my meals with friends, going to class, going to the gym with friends, doing homework with friends, watching Netflix with friends, and sleeping. This is vastly different to my university days at QUT as everyday would always be completely different. In Brisbane some days I would go to work, others I would have class, and others I would do absolutely nothing but hang out with friends. I like the structured format of college in the states because I am forced to be more dedicated to my studies and I actually feel like I have time for things (such as working out) because everything is on campus.

2. Homework and pass grades. At QUT in my course, to pass a subject you simply need to get 50% or higher, which is simple and makes sense to me… Here it varies on the subject. For instance one of my subjects is 60% and another is 70%. However it is easier to get marks here (from my recent experience anyway) as professors tend to give out marks for attendance and small homework tasks. Which brings me to my next point; homework. Per subject at QUT I would have two exams during a semester and 1-3 large assignments, and class work/homework is completely optional. Whereas at SUNY Oswego I actually have to keep up to date on course work by submitting graded homework tasks weekly. I like the feelings of always being on top of my course work here, and it gives me reassurance that I will pass and do well, but I do miss weeks of procrastination and doing things last minute as I work well under pressure.

3. Structure of classes. At QUT all of my weekly classes are made up of two parts: one being a lecture which takes place in a hall and is run by a professor, and the other is a practical session in a classroom environment which may be run by a professor or a researcher. At SUNY Oswego all my subjects are in a classroom environment. I feel as though I am back in high school at times. I prefer my university’s style of teaching because a lecture might be one day, and the practical session the next, so it gives me time to digest the information. However I feel as though I have the potential to develop closer, more meaningful relationships with professors here as the contact is more personal and regular.

Snow storm

Snow storm

4. Classes are cancelled if there is a snow storm. This is vastly different to what I am used to. It doesn’t snow in Brisbane, but when we do have extreme weather, scheduled activities are rarely postponed (the exception being sporting events). I was surprised that classes were cancelled when there was a blizzard because most students live on campus and have the warm clothes needed to withstand these conditions anyway.

5. Not everything will kill you in the states. I was bitten by a spider two nights ago and I did not die; I initially thought it was a mosquito bite as it was itchy, small and hard, but turned out it was a spider bite. If this had happened in Australia I probably would have gone straight to the ER. I am enjoying the fact that I do not need to fear for my life when I encounter bugs and reptiles here.

6. American’s have awesome accents. I am always interested in what my peers and professors have to say because I cannot get enough of the accent.

7. American’s have a different definition of thong. I was telling some new friends about my regular encounters with spiders and how I kill them with my thongs (flip flops), and they thought this was hilarious because they were imagining me killing them with a g-string. Lol.

College food

College food

8. Dining halls. At QUT we do not have any dining halls, rather we have food courts, cafes and bars, where items must be purchased in $AUD. When I arrived at Oswego the whole dining hall and dining dollars thing was so foreign, amazing & like something from an American movie. I love that there are so many dining halls on campus and their hours are long and flexible. I wish we had this culture at QUT.

 

Peace Out

 

From 104 degrees, to 3.2 degrees in a day.

G’day!

I am Krissy, the new SUNY Oswego student blogger all the way from Brisbane, Australia. I am spending a semester on exchange here and have been at Oswego for nearly a fortnight now, and loving it! I’ll give you a quick background on my journey and what it entailed for this first blog post.

Background

My favourite spot at QUT

My favourite spot at QUT

In Australia, I study a bachelors of Information Technology at QUT (seriously an awesome university and friendliest place on earth) and am currently in my third and final year of my degree. I decided at the very beginning of my second year (early 2014), that I wanted to participate in the exchange program with one of QUT’s partners. So the research began. I could waffle on more about this, but essentially I chose SUNY because it has a highly regarded Computer Science Program, and Business School, which is exactly what I am into and subjects I would be taking. And of course because I have been in love with the idea of living in America and in the snow since I was a child. Prior to attending SUNY I had only seen snow on ski fields or on mountains in the far distance.

 

 

Trip from Australia to Oswego

soaring from the west to the east

soaring from the west to the east

It still feels surreal that I am actually in Oswego, on exchange and 9482.75 miles away from home. During the lead up to going on exchange it always just felt so far away, when I received my acceptance from SUNY in October it was still a good 3-4 months away and I just could not picture myself actually there. As time creeped on, I actually moved to Sydney over summer for an internship and was working full-time at Atlassian. This kept me occupied and as a result I didn’t really have much time to reflect and think about the long, exciting journey ahead of me. I left Sydney on a Friday, spent the Saturday and Sunday in Brisbane with my family and friends, then flew out on Monday morning. When I was on the plane Monday morning, it was the first time I was actually like “Wow this is actually happening”. I think this was a good thing because I was super excited and felt the flights didn’t take too long. In total I travelled about 26.5 hours to finallllllllllly arrive at SUNY Oswego. Before I left Australia we were in the midst of a steaming hot summer. I’m talking like 104 degree days and nights – it was painful, then when I stepped off the plane in Syracuse it was like 19 degrees, then Oswego was 3.2 degree – farrrrr out.

Arriving in Oswego

Hanging out in the cold

Hanging out in the cold

Driving from Syracuse to Oswego was incredible! I had never seen that volume of snow on roads, footpaths, grass, trees etc! And seeing so many dead trees was crazy – they are beautiful! I remember I was also very shocked by how warm is actually was inside vehicles and shops – in Australia, in winter, I am constantly freezing my butt off because we don’t have central heating :( so I thought this was fantastic. When I arrived at Oswego I moved into my dorm which is in Hart Hall – this building is very central which is fantastic. I found making friends very easy because SUNY organised heaps of orientation events which gave me a chance to meet new international students like me, as well as new in-state freshman. I am having so much fun and seriously never want this semester to end!

Take it easy

Krissy x

SUNY Oswego Presents: Lupe Fiasco!

Whatsup bloggers?

 

The time has finally come! The artist performing at this years Spring Concert has been announced! I’d imagine you’ve all been as excited as I was for this huge announcement. As stated in the title, this years concert is to be put on by famous rapper Wasalu Muhammad Jaco–Better known by his stage name: Lupe Fiasco. If you remember, we voted on who should play this concert a few months ago. Personally I’m very happy with this outcome. For those of you who have never heard of Lupe Fiasco, I suggest you take the time to look him up. Lupe’s lyrical style is quite unique; he focuses most of his music on controversial political and social issues such as war, poverty, prostitution, terrorism, and religion. Lupe is also strongly opposed to censorship, and believes that it only blinds and deafens people from the truth. He currently has released four studio albums including “Lupe Fiasco’s Food and Liquor”, “Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool“, “Lasers”, and “Food and Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1″. Now I bet you’re wondering about when and where you can get tickets, so here are the details:

 

  • The will be held in the Campus Center Arena on April 20th, 2013
  • Doors open at 7:00 p.m. ; The show starts at 8:00 p.m.
  • Ticket prices are $10 for SUNY Oswego students and $20 for the general public
  • Tickets go on sale for students on March 25th, 2013 and can be bought at the Campus Center Box Office
  • Tickets go on sale for the General Public on April 1st, 2013