What went well:
- Discovering the Magic Carpet food truck. It's fully vego and you can get a decent meal between $3-$6 basically.
- Meeting more people from all over the place e.g. the Netherlands, Italy, Botswana...especially at the dinner.
What did I learn?
- I seriously need to catch up on some sleep! Jet lag is getting to me...
- They love my accent over here. I was at the bank, and the bank teller told me that she loved my accent.
- People self-segregate so much! Even amongst the exchange students, I can definitely see how easy it would be to not meet any local students, because all the French students have already bonded, the Aussies are all hanging out together, those from China are doing the same...and it's kinda funny and simultaneously disturbing to see how much I identify with the Australians over here, since I am representing UniMelb after all, and it's the closest to New Zealand, culturally, compared with the other cultures here. I really noticed this tendency in myself, to want to hang out with the Australians, but to combat this, I decided to just join a random table at dinner, and it was great to have conversations with people from other places.
- People don't have very positive ideas about the US. At the start of orientation, they asked us what positive stereotypes or ideas we have about the US. Slowly, we managed to list three: good universities; friendly, positive people; good service. Then when it came to the negative stereotypes, they came flying in, starting with guns. This is probably partially an illustration of the negativity bias, but it was really interesting to see.