September 11, 2011

Exchange so far!!

Hi all!!
Sorry for this late post after my previous one, but I've been really busy. I hope everybody had a great summer, despite the fact the weather was not that good.
In the meanwhile I've done a lot! The school system is quite different to be honest. The thing that I struggle most with, is making reports. Everything that you write should be based on official journals or articles. And to reference those journals and articles you have to use the Harvard reference system. I've never used that system so it was quite difficult the first time also because we didn't really get an explanation. Moreover, looking up journals can be VERY frustrating! There is also another grading system, but that is not so hard. I made one test so far and my results were 15½ out of 20 so that's not too bad. I reckon that that is around a 7,5 so I was quite satisfied. Those are the things which are the most different from what I am used to at the HES. Other than that, School is fun and my classes are scheduled pretty good so no worries about that.
One thing that you have to bear in mind as an Exchange study is that you have to plan really carefully. I didn't and so I now have to make these assignments in a short time period which lead to some stress and little sleep haha. But that is probably what (exchange) student life is because I'm not the only one with this problem, actually I think everybody is struggling with that because we just have heaps of fun.

Last week I had spring break and I went to Queensland. No I am on the other side of the world, I want to take every opportunity to see something of the country. Together with Lidia (another girl from the HES) and Merry (an American Girl) we went to Gold Coast, Brisbane, Cairns and we had a one day stopover in Sydney. All of these places are Awesome!! Especially Cairns because there is so much to do out there. We snorkelled in the Great Barrier Reef, which is a MUST if you are there and it was amazing! I even saw a shark!! I also went to the rainforest which was also a great to see and we had heaps of fun on both excursions. Other than that we went to the beach and partied hard :D because that's what we are good at as students haha.
Just came back from the second surf camp. This time we went to Apollo bay, a small village alongside the great ocean road about 3 hours from Melbourne. I also booked my flight to New Zealand! I’m going the 21st of November until the 23rd of December. Then I fly back to Sydney and celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve over there.
I'm still enjoying Melbourne very much and I know I will have a hard time leaving this city. I'm already jealous at David, because he will be here next semester. Last week he send me an e-mail with questions about preparing for going abroad and other tips for when arriving in Melbourne. I think i wrote about one A-4 paper with heaps of information and I think I could write another A-4 paper because there is so much to do and to see out here so I'm sure he will have the time of his life because I know I have!!
That's it for now. Once again, I if you have any questions or what so ever, don't hesitate to drop a message.


  1. Cheers Rick! And thanks for all the great info! I'm shocked and surprised that here at the HvA we 'forgot' to teach you that OF COURSE you need to use real journals and articles for your research... yup - wikipedia just ain't 'the real thing...'
    Anyhow, really interesting reading - sounds like you are making the most of your exchange!

  2. haha its just different. I guess they are more strict when it comes to referencing. At the HES, in my opinion, they are satisfied with footnotes but is doesn't work like that over here. What I forgot to mention is that when you finish an assignment, you have to submit it in a program called Turnitin (turn-it-in) and they will check on plagiarism. the max. percentage is round 10-15% and that includes quoting other I guess they're more serious about it..

  3. Great to hear from you and amazing are the things that you have been busy with down under. Yes, Harvard Reference Style is more demanding compared to the footnotes, so your exchange will be a good preparation for your thesis writing. Enjoy and looking forward to read more soon!
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