Wednesday, September 28, 2016

~Chapter 4 - Study Time ~


I’m so sorry that I haven’t written much lately! It’s been over a month since my last post, but then again, I have been spending my time studying or writing essays, and I figured I should wait to write again until I actually had pictures to share!

Yep, lots of studying, reading, and filling in time-gaps with hot chocolate and coloring! It’s still quite cold (ish) outside, especially in the evenings so I’ve been spending free time inside, either in my room, the study room or the games room. Can’t wait until warmer days!

A few days ago, I went on an amazing field trip with my Solar System class! We basically started off by talking about telescopes, then waited until the sun set. Once it did, we went in a field with several telescopes of different strengths, and saw all kinds of planets and the moon! This picture was taken though one of the telescopes. It was so amazing! Plus, we were far enough in the middle of nowhere to see many more stars than I’ve ever seen in my life! 

One of the telescopes was even strong enough to see Saturn! I was so amazed by it, this planet is so huge and so far away, that I was expecting to see a speck of light in the telescope - not the whole planet with the rings! I still can’t get over this picture!!

On Mondays I have an hour off between a lecture and a lab practical - I usually use that as reading time, and if it’s sunny, I love going to this little bay area right outside our campus! 

A few days ago, my friends and I borrowed some  bikes to go to the city park to watch the sunset! It really looked amazing, the pictures can’t really compare to the real colors! 

Ok well the formatting for this page keeps messing up for some reason. 

On the day before my birthday, the campus where I live organized a Fairytale Ball! It was so amazing! We had super nice food, all of the decorations were white and purple, and there were little fairy lights everywhere! There were performances and a ton of pictures were taken. The music was also great, and, at midnight, my friends took a microphone and sang happy birthday to me infront of everyone! It was so crazy! 

And now, it’s spring break. Many people went on a road trip, but, since a few friends and I were unable to join, we took the bus to Freemantle (again), since this time it wasn’t raining! It was super worth it - the sea here is amazing! In fact, I might just go to the beach today for the sunset, haven’t done that yet! :) 

Monday, August 22, 2016

~ Chapter Four - Exploring the Wilderness ~


I’m back with a fresh batch of pictures for all of you! I visited some amazing places over the weekend, and although the pictures are definitely nice, they could never totally match up with what I saw!

This week I have officially been in Perth for a month! I can hardly believe it, I only have three more months to go! This is, again, the bay by the campus.

I finally managed to get a picture of the rainbow-parrots we have on campus! They’re so colorful, I wasn’t expecting to see parrots here! Actually, now that I think about it, I haven’t seen any pigeons in the area...  It’s almost like being in the tropics!

This week, the campus is having a Save the Children book sale! Basically, there’s a whole room full of second-had books at super cheap prices. All money made goes to charity! Charity + Books = I’m so there! In the end I got 10 books for almost nothing. Sending them back home may be difficult, so I’m planning on giving them away again when I’m done with them!

On Saturday, I went on my first school-organised field trip! We went on a hike up Mt. Cooke, through the Australian Bush. It was such a nice day! Even though it rained a few times, for a few minutes, it was perfect hiking weather.

This is the first part of the trail, a huge rock with lakes on top of it...

... like this one! There were a bunch of tiny tadpoles, and the water was incredibly clear! The whole area is actually a freshwater catchment area - somewhere protected so that they can take the water to use as drinking water eventually.

Although the trail was somewhat in the middle of nowhere, it gave us a really great idea of what the bush is like! It’s really how I imagined Australia before coming here. In total, the hike was 22 kilometers (13.7 miles)! One of my friends and I took a wrong turn, but we quickly found our group agian.

Another picture of the lake on top of the rock, once it was sunny again!

On Sunday, we had another road trip! We started by going to the Pinnacles Desert. It’s basically a huge sandy area near the sea (really, the sea was maybe 3-5 miles away) with limestone spikes everywhere. Scientists are still trying to figure out why whey are there, but one thing’s for sure, they’re really amazing!

Some of the taller pinnacles - These were all taller than me!  And they’re everywhere!

After the pinnacles desert, we went to Lancelin, a coastal town on the Indian Ocean. I love the sea here, it’s super blue and quite warm, even in the winter!

Finally, on that same Sunday, we went to Yanchep National Park. We were meant to see Koalas but they were all sleeping high in the trees. The area was awesome, though!

At the national park, we saw dozens of kangaroos! They’re really everywhere here, I was not expecting it at all!

This is a video I took of the Iodine Clock Reaction that we analyzed in my chemistry class on Monday. I love how it just switches from colorless to blue in the blink of an eye!

If you look at what I posted last time, there is a picture of Winthrop Hall with Mars and Saturn above it. Last night, the two planets were incredibly bright, so bright that I was actually able to take a picture of them that turned out fairly clear! Mars has been moving very quickly in the sky compared to the Antares and Saturn... ‘Caro's Triangle' is a triangle no more!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

~ Chapter 3 - Science and Water ~

I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while, I’ve been sick! It’s nothing major, just a cold that kept me in bed for a few days.

Classes started on August 1st, so two weeks ago. So far, I’m enjoying them! None of them are exactly what I expected. I’m taking:

  • Physical and Analytical Chemistry: There’s so many statistics involved! I’m looking forward to more chemical than mathematical applications, but the labs are nice! 
  • Our Solar System: This is probably my favorite class here! Aside from lectures about the solar system processes, I spend about an hour a week looking at the night sky and taking notes of any changes I see, it’s super interesting! 
  • Environmental Hydrology: This is also quite nice, it’s so cool to finally understand some processes that you always hear about but never really thought about, like why some places are rainier than others (like the Netherlands!) 
  • Environmental Change: Because of scheduling and being sick, I’ve only been to one lecture so far, but it was quite nice! 

This is an example of what I’m doing in Our Solar System. The building in the picture is Winthrop Hall, the monument of the college. Nowadays, above Winthrop Hall, there’s Mars and Saturn. Personally, I’ve been tracing the movements of Mars and Saturn in relation to a nearby star, Antares. When I first saw them, I just saw a triangle in the sky, and used a few tools to find out two of the stars making the triangle were actually Mars and Saturn! In the week since I first observed them, they already moved in the sky! 

Here is a picture of the beach we have on campus at sunset!

We have peacocks on campus! This one was just there when I turned around. One of my friends named him Oscar.

The day before getting sick, my friends and I went to a typical tourist area, Cottesloe beach. I have way too many pictures of the place! The quality isn’t the best because the lighting was strange, sorry! All beach pictures that  are coming up are on Cottesloe! 

It’s so nice! I love the color of the water here! 

One of those very artsy pictures that should be a postcard or a painting! 

This was taken about 3 seconds before that big wave in the background soaked me. Even though it’s winter, the Indian Ocean isn’t as cold as I thought it would be! 

The winter flowers are so pretty here! Well, the whole winer is more like what I’m used to for spring, so that makes sense! 

I was missing baking so made a tiramisu :) 

Today I visited a crater! It was made a really long time ago, but is still impressive! 

Near the crater is the Gravity Discovery Center - one of the areas where they proved that gravity waves exist! It was such a cool place to be at! I had to go for a school assignment, but it was really interesting to see machines and representations of physical theories. And I thought this sign was funny ^-^”

This is inside the discovery center - it’s basically a huge room explaining astrophysics. 

At the discovery center, I climbed to the top of the Leaning Tower of Gingin. (Gingin is the town where the discovery center is. Well, I say town, it’s more of a single building next to the discovery center). We had to drop water balloons from the top to see the relation between mass and crater size. There were a lot of stairs....

But the view was really worth it! On the bottom right is all of Gingin, including the discover center. All around? Nothing but bush. There’s the moon in the picture though! 

I even saw a wild kangaroo today! There were two of them, right next to where the cars are parked on the picture above. 

That’s it for this time! Classes start again on Monday, I’m looking forward to it! 

Have a great day! 

Monday, August 1, 2016

~ Chapter Two - Meeting Kangaroos ~

A week has passed since my last blog post, and I have constantly been busy with uni-organised activities!

This is all of the first year and exchange students! I can’t believe how many people there are, UCM usually lets in 200-250 people a year! I’m somewhere all the way on the left, with the science people.

Perth city is a city like I’ve never seen before! I’ve never lived in a big city, with skyscrapers and busy streets, so this is new to me. The city itself is on Swan Bay, and is about 20 minutes by bus to the coast.

During an organized city tour, it was quite easy to say that the city itself is really new. There are large, modern buildings throughout most of the city. Funny thing is, the city is scattered with buildings that are meant to look old, but that are obviously pretty new. And unlike in Europe, there’s no ‘old’ quarter of town - it’s all new, with random old-like buildings scattered here and there.

This little house is actually right next to our campus, at maybe a 5 minute walk! It’s known (to us at least) as the ‘Blue House’. It is an abandoned house, on the water, where everyone likes to take pictures! Getting it isolated is fairly complicated - we had to wait in line to take pictures by the house!

Later that day (on the day we saw the blue house), we went to an island in the river known as Harrison Island. It has a family of semi-wild kangaroos living on it, that aren’t afraid of people! We took pictures with them, and they didn’t run away. While we were leaving the island, it started raining a bit, and I was able to capture this picture right before leaving!

We had a day where we visited our faculties - this is the science building! It looks so amazing, and I can’t wait to start my labwork here!

However, the faculty did want us to try out juggling, to figure out which learning method was the best for us. Let’s just say it didn’t work out very well... ^-^  But it was fun!

One evening, with the campus, we went around to several cafes, including one that specialized in hot chocolate and churros! This dark-mint-hot-chocolate was amazing!!!

My friends and I also took the afternoon to go the Freemantle (‘Freo’) indoor market. This is only the food area, but there’s a whole other section with souvenirs and other gadgets from all over the world. It is a port city, so it is quite big on international trade - there were stalls from so many different countries!

One evening, we all went on a ‘haunted’ prison tour. This I didn’t like as much... the tour guide would tell us awful real-life stories, right before someone would come up and scare us. It just all felt too real. But it was interesting anyway, and I do not regret having gone!

Kangaroos!!! They’re actually super fluffy!

That’s it for this week! Well, we did also go to the zoo, but my pictures from there are quite blurry for some reason.

Oh! And I got the latest Harry Potter book! Super excited about it!

I hope you have a great day!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

~ Chapter 1 - The Arrival ~

I arrived in Perth, Australia on the evening of the 22nd of July. Right away, we were busy, going around to visit people, places and things, playing games, meeting people and moving in. Here, it is surprisingly cold in the mornings and warm during the days, and people are really nice! 

We started off with a scavenger hunt around the campus, that stretched all the way through King’s Park - the biggest park in Perth, one of the biggest parks in the world! Honestly, it feels more like you’re out in the Australian bush than in a city! We did this scavenger hunt in a group of 9 people, and we called ourselves ‘The Fellowship” (Yep! Lord of the Rings reference, and my idea! ^^ )

At the end of the scavenger hunt, we ended up by the river / bay, which was actually a tiny little beach overlooking the water. 

And in the water, there were thousands of shells like these! I just had to put my hand in the sand and I got all of these in one try! Apparently there’s also many dolphins in the bay, which would be so amazing to see! 

The campus itself is really incredible! There’s probably over a hundred buildings, all with different names, purposes and styles, and are all super photogenic! This is actually more of a historic monument than a part of the university, but there are a few admin offices inside. 

More campus pictures! 

So the other day, I got lost on my way to one of the activities... I walked around for about an hour, finding a bunch of hidden gems...

As well as the science campus! 

We’re going to have a whole campus to ourselves! There’s a bunch of modern-looking buildings, with classrooms, labs, and the Catalyst Cafe! Just the name is great! :)

The river/bay area is maybe a five-minute walk from the campus, and is beautiful! Here’s some pictures! It’s so nice to live by the water! 

On a final note for today’s post, I discovered that Australia has some of the most amazing flora and fauna! (Plants and animals). We have flowers like this - and even prettier - all around campus! We also have a few peacocks and crows that make a really strange, sheep-like sound. I think that the coolest animal we have here is some kind of parrots. (Not parrots, but in that family). They’re super colorful and sing surprisingly nicely!

That’s it for my first few days! Soon I’ll add some photos of two more recent days, during which events such as city tours, campus pictures and more!