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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Aeroplanes

NOTE: This is my last blog on this post, as I will be transferring over to the Australia blog once I land. Link is at the bottom.

Flying is fun when you go from point A to point B in as little time as possible. But when those two points are 8000 miles away it can be a pain. All in the all 27 hours total traveling and 18 give or take in the air. So pretty successful venture!

Staying at the Surf n Sun Backpackers hostel in Surfer's Paradise. Just seconds away from the beach which is nice. However, I have noticed SP is a bit of a ways from Bond University. So I am reconsidering living there, at least for the first semester.

video

The University itself is extremely nice. A bit smaller then WSU, but as a private university I wasn't expecting it to be enormously huge. State of the art everything as well as a quad (one thing we never had at WSU). Still working on housing at the moment, so until then I'm homeless in a hostel! Anyways, check out the vids as well as my Facebook profile to see all the pics and vids (I'll also post the video blogs up here too). Classes start Monday!

Here is the link to my other blog now that I am IN Australia:

http://hardy-australia.blogspot.com/


Cheers.

-H

Monday, September 6, 2010

Vlogs

Currently stranded at San Francisco International airport waiting for my 2100 flight to Auckland. So while I wait...

...I have taken up something that one of my favorite radio personalities has done. Although the term was not coined by him, I have begun to use the same format as BJ Shea from BJ Shea in the morning on 99.9 KISW Seattle. Called vlogs (video blogs), this showcases quick clips that I can narrate instead of otherwise writing. As most of you are aware, I do like to use my phone a lot with plenty of pics and vids! So enjoy!

Also stopped by the bookstore and picked up something to read to help pass the time. The book is called "In the President's Secret Service: Behind the scenes with agents in the line of fire and the presidents they protect". Looks very interesting. Also heard an announcer say they had first class seats still available for $113 to China. DAMN! I hope they have something for Auckland....

Cheers!

-H



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video

3am packing

The hours are ticking down as I watch the clock on my computer screen. Decided to stay up tonight as I have a 7 hour layover in San Fran where I can crash as well as a 12 hour plane ride ahead of me. Went over some last minute things with the madre (mom) as well as drove up to Seattle to pick up my $100 watch that CJ was excited to wear. Said my goodbyes and headed home. In the process of doing laundry and slowly packing... I have one suitcase to take with me as I don't want to pay the extra $50 for Air New Zealand to take a second bag. Funny how this one bag is housing my life for 2 years. I figure the rest of the stuff I can pick up once I am already there. Things like clothing, hygiene, etc. Traveling light is easier said than done, though.

Off to the airport at about 10 to make sure I get everything checked in and through security for 1130 boarding. This flight isn't too bad as it is domestic, but for my Auckland flight at 2100 I'll get there relatively early as it is international. Then a nice hop over to Australia and through customs at 8am! I'll be posting here once I get to San Fran as well as do a video blog. So stay tuned!

Cheers.

-H

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

One week....

Thought I would throw up a quick post. One more week before I head out! Very excited for it. But 7 hour layover in San Francisco?! What's there to do?! And I need an idea for entertainment. I'll be traveling for 24 hours and know for a fact my phone and notebook won't last.... iPad maybe?

Also, I have another blog page (within blogger) dedicated to me IN Australia. I'll have that posting up once I get there, I'll stop using this Pre-Depart site once I land there.

If you're in San Fran or Auckland, New Zealand let me know so we can hang out!

Cheers.

-H

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Just a number...

Registered for classes tonight. Very confusing process. Bond University could take a note or two out of the way WSU does it. Also received my student number! No longer a nobody within the student system. Student 10742654 to WSU and now Student 1298754 to Bond University! And also received my email address (not as exciting, but still).

As per my degree, I have to fulfill 120 points to graduate with a Masters in Criminology, with each class being 10 points. At 3 classes a semester (30 points) I'll be out of here in 4 semesters. 10 points transfers over to either 3 or 4 credits to the US Educational System depending on the structure of the class.

For my first courseload of the semester I've chosen CHNL71: Chinese 1, CRIM71: Introduction to Criminology, and HUMR71: Epistemology and Theory of Knowledge (ETK). While ETK is a CORE subject that I have to take as part of Master of Criminology, I must also take one more CORE class, 9 other optional classes and a humanities course as well (to make up 12 classes). So for my humanities course I decided to go with Chinese. I've always wanted to learn aside from German and with China being just North I would like to take what I've learned and apply it to real-world scenarios. Plus China just surpassed Japan as the world's 2nd economy (behind the US). So if I can't get a job in the world's 1st economy, I can fall back on number 2 right?


As per the photo: Australia uses the 24 hour clock system, which is nice since I use it with my iPhone (if you know me, it's true). Chinese makes up of class seminars two days a week, Monday and Friday (and I wanted Fridays off too...). ETK makes up of a class on Monday followed by a tutorial on Wednesday. Tutorials are kind of what English 102 was or labs for all the science courses for all my WSU peeps out there. For the rest, we have these ENORMOUS classes making up of about 300-500 students, tutorials break down that population to 15-30 students per class. Within these, professors go over the lecture of the week, the reading material, and how to best prep for quizzes and tests. When I was studying at Griffith University in 2007, I found these tutorials VERY helpful and I wish more US universities would adapt to it. And lastly, the same process for Intro to Criminology.

Classes start Sept 13 and end with last day of finals Dec 18 followed by 3 week summer break. Another step towards the right direction! Still working on housing though... 21 more days until Australia!

Cheers! Or should I say 欢呼! (Is that correct? Should be, I copied and pasted, HAHA)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Extension!

Patience is a virtue. Especially when you want to escape to Australia... Everything has fallen into place, but not in the correct order that I would like for it too. So to ensure that my trip is a success and I am not a bum living on the streets before school starts, I bumped my fly out date a few weeks. This is to coincide with financial aid and some other events that I am waiting to take place BEFORE I take off. I learned that from my previous trip there... Only downside is I have a 7 hour layover in San Francisco, GREAT....

September 6th - September 8th
19 hours in flight, 24 hours total (not including crossing date line)

Seattle - San Fran
12:03p-2:12p (mon)

San Fran - Auckland
9p-5:15a (wed)

Auckland - Gold Coast
6:25a-8:05a (wed)

Cheers!

Friday, August 6, 2010

One and done.

After weeks of waiting and praying to the Australian gods that it goes smoothly, I was finally confirmed for my Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE). For those confused, the CoE allows me to apply for a student VISA so that I can stay in Australia for the duration of my studies (they don't want some broke bum coming to the country to ask for change day and night). It also allows me to work 20 hours a week with school in session, and 40 hours a week during breaks. All electronically stamped so I just show up and flash my passport to immigration once I land.

Without a CoE for school or sponsorship from an employer, most who come down to Australia either look to just visit or come on holiday. Being there on a holiday VISA allows anyone to work and live for up to a year with the chance to renew for another year. It's common as many of the citizens from the northern Asian countries venture down to find work temporarily before returning home. And if any of my fine friends out there are looking to just escape for a year or two to live and work the good life, I definitely encourage this.

Finally, I registered my travel with the US Department of State as well as inquired about Thailand, New Zealand, Indonesia, South Korea, China, and Japan. These are the main countries I am looking to travel too and visit and by having my trip on file with the US DOS, they'll send you updated info. pertaining to the country. For example, they would send you emails and phone calls about the protests occurring in Thailand if you had it marked as a spot you were traveling too. It's pretty insane as my last time down in Australia in 2007, President Bush was in office and with the help of Prime Minister John Howard, continually sent troops to the Middle East. Well this didn't sit well with Australians, so there were plenty of protests.

This is the last leg of my pre-departure as all I have to do is wait now (just 12 more days!). I'll send out a final blog before take off and then once I land in Australia start over to my Australia page: http://hardy-australia.blogspot.com/. So be on the lookout! Video blogs to start up soon too!

Cheers!