The First Week Of Classes Abroad

The First Week Of Classes Abroad

The first week of classes is official over! They don’t call it syllabus week here at Macquarie University, but that’s pretty much what it was. We spent our lectures and tutorials (which is another word for breakout sessions/recitations) going over the unit guides, or syllabi. We also did ice-breaker activities, where we introduced ourselves by telling our majors and fun facts about ourselves. As embarrassing as it, it was cool meeting more Australians. Most Australians commute to campus and it is their second semester of Uni, so we did not get a chance to meet too many during Orientation Week. Everyone was super friendly and interested in my experience thus far as an exchange student from America.

I am taking four classes while abroad. Since I am an Environmental Science and Journalism and New Media double major at Rutgers, I decided to take a mixture of classes that apply to both areas of study. I wish I could take more classes, but students in Australia only take four units a semester to graduate on time.

My first class of the week is Public Relations and Social Media. This is a 300 level course, taught by an American! I never thought I’d find comfort in an American lecturer (they’re not professors and apparently that title is super hard to acquire in Australia)! He talked about his family, life in America and how he found himself in Australia. You guessed it, he did exchange in Sydney and absolutely fell in love. Falling in love with Australia seems to be a trend I have noticed. In this class we’ll be working directly with clients and making a proper public relations pitch to increase productivity in their marketing department. I am nervous I will be at a disadvantage, as it is a two part course and I missed the first part because it was last semester. I emailed the professor and he gave me some readings that he assigned last semester and assured me that my classmates/group will help me out and fill me in on gray areas.

My second class is an Introduction to Digital Media class that directly correlates with a class I need to take for my journalism degree. This professor has also lived in America. He actually arrived on the 24th of July as well, after teaching at Georgetown in Washington D.C. This class consists of three online lectures that come out every week and one meet-up/tutorial-session once a week. My third class is a Climate Change class for my environmental science degree. It is supposed to be geared to Australia, but in the first two lecturers we discussed the history of climate change and how the idea came to be. The lecturers change every week, exposing us to different professionals and their specific expertise in environmental studies. It is a different approach than I’m used too for classes! For my fourth class, I was able to pick any elective course to fulfill my cross-requirements. I decided to take a class in Marketing Fundamentals to broaden my understanding of public relations and advertising! Luckily, I have this class with my housemate, Connor! He’s super kind and fun to be around. He makes a boring lecture and tutorial a little more bearable.

Even at Rutgers, I am not really one to socialize too much on campus. When I’m in school mode, I can’t get out of it until I’m home and relaxed. I like to stay in a zone that focuses on schoolwork, paying attention to my teachers and getting good grades. This past week has been pretty relaxed. I’d go to class, visit the library to print out unit guides, then come home, chill out and cook. I am excited for the weeks to come and getting in the swing of studying and making friendships. It is going to be a little tougher because most of my classes only consider of a midterm or term paper and a final exam or final project. It’s definitely going to be a learning experience and hopefully make me a better student!
Thank you so much again for reading my blog and leaving comments! They make me so happy and excited to write the next post.



  1. Bridget
    August 4, 2017 / 12:43 pm

    Great read Riley!

  2. Kevin Mulharin
    August 4, 2017 / 1:53 pm

    Looks good ri! Don’t worry, England was the same way in terms of grading, each class only rode in one big assignment at the end of the semester. But it’ll give you more time to enjoy yourself during the semester as well 🙂

  3. Sandra McCloskey
    August 4, 2017 / 1:58 pm

    Wow, your doing great. Keep going!!!! We are proud of you.

  4. Sandra McCloskey
    August 4, 2017 / 2:34 pm

    Riley, did you see any Koala bears yet or baby kangaroos???

    • August 6, 2017 / 2:17 am

      My next article will be all about it! It was amazing!

  5. August 4, 2017 / 6:28 pm

    That’s amazing that you’re an exchange student for this year – how exciting! 😀

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