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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Musings of an art major in and around Melbourne

A view of a beach in Australia. Photo courtesy of Ann Marie MacVey.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Ann Marie MacVey, who is currently studying abroad in Australia.

After vegetating on a plane for 16 hours, I emerged from a dark, metal cylinder of hibernation to a world called Australia.

A herd of us, all American students, staggered through customs, retrieved our baggage, and found our program leader at the entrance to Melbourne International Airport.

We were then tossed onto a bus and transported to the beach town of St. Kilda. We hiked rolling, green hills where I almost expected to see Gandalf’s gray hat skimming the tops of the bush. Instead we saw about 20 kangaroos watching us before bouncing away toward the sunset.

From there, we headed to a bed and breakfast in Sorrento Beach that conjured memories of “The Shining” with a white interior, lone fireplace, long corridors and unreliable Wi-Fi.

We were also enlightened with a mini-orientation explaining that while Australians have the reputation for being loud, sarcastic, and drunk, Americans have the reputation for being loud, defensive, and obnoxious.

After Sorrento we headed back to Melbourne for a night before finally heading to James Cook University (or “uni”, as Aussies call it) in Queensland. The campus is a stark contrast from GW: There are no restaurants open past 5 p.m, I have a dining hall with set meal times and a dorm where a maid cleans a couple times every week. Also,I have two Australian suitemates – one of whom is a boy.

As an art history major, I’m an anomaly here. The majority of students are marine biology. Because there are limited course options, I only have class Mondays and Tuesdays. And, man, these five-day weekends are brutal.

Despite jetlag, accepting my country’s stereotype, sleeping in a hotel where I expected to open a door and see Jack Nicholson prepared to slay me with an axe, I have fallen in love with Australia – and the thought of leaving in three months is giving me heart palpitations.

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