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By: Haley Fitzpatrick
Transcript of By: Haley Fitzpatrick
By: Haley Fitzpatrick
Toronto, Ontario --> Melbourne, Australia
My top 3 cities I plan to explore
My new home for 6 months
The most exciting day thus far in my University undergrad was on June 4th, 2014. I opened my UWO e-mail and my heart was racing as I saw a message from the Kinesiology Undergraduate Department. As I scanned through the document, it read, "I am pleased to inform you that your name has been selected for the February-June 2015 term." Happiness, joy, excitement, nerves - any emotion you can think of - completely rushed over me.
My vision of a Dream Vacation is now becoming
I will embark upon this amazing once in a lifetime opportunity, as I travel to Melbourne, Australia. I will study at Victoria University, as an ambassador for Western University and Canada, along with eight other students.
The Planning Process
Traveling to Australia from Canada will take 25hours and 35minutes.
Toronto Airport (YYZ)
Flying Air Canada:
18 Jan 2015
Depart Toronto @ 8:00pm, arrive in Vancouver @ 10:10pm
Layover in Vancouver:
Depart Vancouver @ 11:40pm, arrive in Sydney @ 10:20am (20 Jan 2015)
Layover in Sydney, Australia:
Depart Sydney (20 Jan 2015) @ 12:45pm arrive in Melbourne @ 2:20pm
Insurance + Visa
Out of Province but still in Canada: OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan)
During in Air Flight: $20 (3-4days) through CAA Insurance
"non award" Student Visa (Subclass 575): $580
Australia Health Coverage: OSHC (Overseas Student Health Cover) through Allianz Insurance = $293
Travels outside of Australia: independent coverage through Allianz Insurance
What do I envision as my Dream Vacation?
I want to take a journey that allows myself to experience a culture outside of Canada. A journey that expands my knowledge of the world and enhances my perspective of life. A journey in which I can explore new places, taste new foods, meet new people and try new activities. I envision a journey that lasts as a positive memory for the rest of my life, while shaping me into the person I want to be.
Where do I begin?
Flight (including cancellation insurance) = $2700
Lets hit the Books
Class commences: February 23rd, 2015
While in Australia, I'll be finishing my third year of undergrad in Kinesiology. The academic aspect of this vacation can open numerous doors for me. The professors I will engage with, the students I will become friends with, and the university I will fall in love with... will all shape my future. I not only want to attend class and learn new material, I also want to:
- develop connections with students for opportunities in the future
- engage in the small classroom discussions
- volunteer with the ISEAL (Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living) research lab to further apply myself in the field I am interested in
- take advantage of the university's state of the art exercise science facilities
Since I will be away from everything I know that is 'home', I want to get involved with the VU International Student Association. This university club will provide myself with the opportunity to meet fellow international exchange students. Some of these people I may never see again or some of these people I may become best friends with. Developing friendships with people from across the globe, helps to develop worldwide connections for future endeavors. This will also allow me to learn the culture of not only Australians but people from all different countries!
While overseas, I will be able to work 20hours maximum per week while using my Student Visa. My previous job experience as a waitress in restaurants and event/banquet halls will benefit me because there are lots of coffee shops, pubs, restaurants, cafes, etc. near the university and in downtown Melbourne.
Lets make a little cash...
3. Gold Coast
January 20th - Arrive in Melbourne and have airport transportation drive myself and the two other girls to our house. Living arrangements for my exchange are previously arranged by the Kinesiology Undergraduate Department for all nine exchange students. My house will be located in Newport, Australia. This day will consist of sleeping, unpacking and figuring out the train system to buy groceries for the week.
January 21st - The unlimited train/bus/tram system at student discount costs $61/month. We will all travel to downtown Melbourne to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city. Free shuttle buses will take us from place to place downtown, including the Queen Victoria Market and the restaurants along the waterfront. Since we will still be jet lagged, this day is for relaxing and taking in the sights!
January 22nd - Two of Australia's most popular sports include cricket and Australian Football. A quick train ride away will bring us to the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where we will witness a match for the first time.
I will depart with two other girls going on the exchange.
January 23rd - Australia Open! Ground Pass, Single Day, General Admission for $42.26. I took tennis last year for my program sport requirement and loved it, so hopefully these matches are really engaging. It'll be an amazing experience to partake in.
January 24th - Another relaxing day will be enjoyed in Fitzroy Gardens, which is a beautiful area over 150 years old. We will stop at a nearby cafe to grab lunch and have a picnic in the garden. The night will consist of packing for Sydney, Australia.
January 25th - South Melbourne Beach, which will be our first dip into the ocean in Australia! Temperatures are extremely high during the summer, so we will grab refreshments at Jock's Ice Cream and Sorbets along the waterfront. Night life will consist of going to The Emerson Club, which is a rooftop bar, with free entry on Sundays.
Fly Melbourne to Sydney (four of us)
--> Depart January 26th @ 6am and arrive at 7:25am
- Jet Airline $85
All price amounts are now in Australian Dollars.
Accommodations will be made at the Original Backpackers Hostel from January 26th to 28th. Total cost = $105.96 (3 nights)
Sites to See in Sydney:
- Sydney Harbour Bridge: BridgeClimb Sampler $148
- Sydney Opera House
- Bus to Rose Bay to rent a kayak and paddle around the inner harbour ($20/hr)
- Explore the world famous Bondi Beach (tanning, swimming, walks along the water)
- Manly Beach
Fly Sydney to Gold Coast (four of us)
--> Depart January 29th @ 9:15am and arrive at 9:35am
- Jet Airline $59
January 29th - 31st accommodations at the Surfers Paradise Backpackers Resort = $104.97 (for 3 nights)
January 29th - explore the ocean waterfront of Surfers Paradise. Dinner beside the ocean.
January 30th - Surfing! We will catch the waves at Surfers Paradise. Pre booked surf lesson with Go-Ride-A-Wave company with a qualified instructor from 10am-12pm. "Go take a Drop" Package = $65 (advance payment). I've never been surfing before, so this is an amazing opportunity and I think since we're in a group, it'll be very fun. The Gold Coast is known for spectacular waves.
January 31st - Buffet breakfast at Surfers Sandbar (located across from Surfers Paradise Beach). Take a bus to meet our certified instructor through the Cairns Snorkeling Tours, so we can explore the Great Barrier Reef. We are provided with swim gear, lunch and get a 5hr snorkel/swim session, plus free time. = $146.09
Back to Melbourne
Fly Gold Coast to Victoria (four of us)
--> Depart February 1st @ 6:30am and arrive at @ 9:50am
- Jet Airline = $89
Once we return back to Melbourne, we have an orientation day on February 11th for all exchange students. This is our first opportunity to meet people from all over the world, who want to engage in Australia's culture and VU's sport and exercise facilities and research advancement just like us.
Until classes start on February 23rd there will be other activities that myself and the other exchange students will partake in to explore Melbourne more!
Fly round trip Melbourne to Bali January 18th - 25th. After waiting for deals through Jet Airline, a round trip will cost $202. I will be travelling with four other girls again.
Allianz Travel Insurance = $91.12 including cancellation, medical and baggage coverage
Accomodation = Warung Coco Hostel is 11.53/night total. Divide by four people x 7 nights = $20.18 each
Activities to do over the course of the week:
1. Tirta Empul Temple
We will hire a driver for the day instead of a tour guide, to walk through the temple with us. They know the protocols and are generally very knowledgeable of the ancient history. This would be a wonderful experience to learn some of the Balinese traditions. It will allow me to expand my knowledge of cultures around the globe. (driver chargers $40 for the day/4 people = $10 each)
The Final Adventure
Fly round trip Melbourne to New Zealand June 26th - July 3rd. We will be traveling with Qantas Airline. Depart 6:40am and arrive at 12:15pm and the return flight we will depart @1:10pm and arrive in Melbourne at 3:25pm. = $431
Allianz Travel Insurance = $91.12 including
cancellation, medical and baggage coverage
Accomodation = Bamber House is located close
to the city center. Cost is 24.55/night total, divide
by two people x 7 nights = $85.93 each
Why travel to New Zealand? A quick plane ride away from Australia and this country contains beautiful mountain tops, diverse wildlife and plant life; it is for the adventure lover tourist. I will be traveling with another girl from exchange before we return home to Canada. While exploring this country, I want to partake in activities we cannot do back home!
New Zealand will be a nature exploration trip. It is an island very secluded from everything else which gives it a lot of beauty and serenity. We will be traveling during the winter month so tourism is usually quieter and less crowded, which is a bonus for us!
Rotorua has plenty of hot springs that we will ask the locals to take us to for free...besides, the locals always know the best locations.We will hike to Milford Sound which has amazing scenary, with its peaked mountains and quiet foliage.
To get a taste of New Zealand culture, the Wellington's Te Papa (national museum) is fully enriched in the lifestyle and culture of New Zealand, that we can learn about.
To catch a glimpse of New Zealand's wildlife, we will go whale watching. Humpback whales and Blue whales travel to Kaikoura during mid-migration. Whale Watch (Kaikoura, New Zealand) Tours is $145 for 2.5hours out in the ocean. This will be quite the sight to see these animals in their natural environment.
End of the Journey
Who. What. Where. When. Why.
My name is Haley Fitzpatrick and yes, I accepted to go on exchange to finish my third year of undergrad in Australia. I will be studying and traveling overseas for the duration of 6 months. Why did I say yes? What do all these travel plans mean to me? What will I take away from this experience?
I accepted to go on exchange the moment I read the words that I had been chosen. That very instant, I cried. Not out of fear, or sadness or nerves, but because my dream was coming true. This exchange is not only a dream vacation but it is a dream where I can learn and understand concepts about the world and embrace cultures and traditions and experience hands on, the lives of people who are across the globe. These people I may never see again, I may never talk to again... but to make this trip most beneficial, it will be these strangers - who I will be-friend during my journey - to show me the way of their life. To show me that there is more to our world than the Western hemisphere. To show me that life is about capturing moments and seizing them. To show me that we cannot take life for granted.
These connections and relationships will allow me to grow as an individual. This experience will force me to take on more responsibility, to reach outside my comfort zone, to ask for help from complete strangers, to explore unforeseen areas, to endulge myself in the lifestyle and to help diversify who I am as a person. I am scared, I am nervous, I am excited, I am happy and I could not be more appreciative for receiving this opportunity.
I want this experience so that I know what is outside of my 'home'. What is beyond Canada? What challenges will I face? What adventures will I seek? What friends will I make? There are so many uncertainties before I leave for this trip, but the one thing I am certain about, is that I do not regret submitting my application on April 30th 2014.
My dream vacation is not a dream anymore.
It is becoming a reality.
I will be traveling with two other girls from my exchange.
2. Pohen Mountain & Mt. Caher
Both these beautiful mountains have luscious greenery, market areas, souvenir gift shops, gorgeous views of the lakes surrounding them and of course the adventure seeking thrill for nature lovers like myself. During April weather, it'll be beautiful to climb Mount Batur. The tour guide will take us at 4am so that when we reach the top of the mountain, we can see the sunrise over Bali. Friends of mine have experienced this adventure and absolutely adored it. It'll be a high of adrenaline as I stand at the top of the mountain seeing the world below me.
Throughout the rest of the week we will be engaging in Bali's culture. The dancing, music, food, art, theatrical drama, rituals and celebrations, etc. that are happening in the villages, because these are all activities, sites and knowledge that we want to soak up. Instead of learning about the Bali culture from textbooks, I'll be able to experience it hands on. I'll be able to learn the dances and taste the exquisite cuisine and have a true Balinese experience.
Mount Batur at Sunrise
Total Cost Canadian = $3,593
Total Cost for travels in Australia = $1,231.28 AUD
(my Bank Loan will cover the cost of $550 rent/month)
Total Cost for travels in Bali = $323.20 AUD
Total Cost for travels in New Zealand = $753.05 AUD
Extra Spending money saved for traveling = $2,500
To pay for this exchange experience, I worked two jobs in the summer and am working during the school year. I have help from financial assistance and will receive a bursary to help cover costs. I also have assistance from my wonderful supporting parents and I will be making extra money while I work in Australia.
Estimated Total Cost for Exchange = $ 11,400.53