So, we've completed the final leg of the journey. It's been a long trip, but well worth it already. I met some of the other American students on the way here, so we were able to band together a little, but the Australian kids at UniCentral are incredibly nice and hospitable and don't let anyone feel like an outsider.
My first afternoon consisted of:
* An hour-long ride in a van from the airport (Brisbane) to the Student Housing area (Maroochydore), during which I was able to assess that Australia has a lot of Holden
cars, many of which keep the El Camino style alive and very strong down undah. As a rough estimate, I'd say that one in every 10 cars on the freeway had a sedan front with a pickup bed in the back. These ranged from very sporty to flatbed, but the theme was pervasive. Also, it was very humid and raining slightly - I suppose it was around 80 degrees or so. A cool day during the summer, so I'm told.
* After arrival, checkin. There were 8 of us in the van from the airport, so it took a little while for everyone to check in. My room is pretty nice; I've got a full bed and a big built-in desk & shelf, plus a big wardrobe and shelved closet. My bedroom overlooks the common area between 2 of the buildings, but the living room has a really huge deck (ground level) that overlooks the school, a lake, and a wildlife preserve with kangaroos.
* It only took me a couple of hours to unpack and get everything organized and get my internet connection set up; then a couple of us Americans walked to a mini-strip-mall that's down the street and had some fish n' chips & picked up some Victoria Bitters beer. Krikey, I feel so immersed in Australian culture! It was still raining, but it was so warm, we didn't really care. I
* In the evening, everyone gathers in different apartments or outside by the pavilion, which is an enclosure by the pool that has some pool and air hockey-type games, a TV and a stereo, etc. Still raining, still warm, still didn't care.
So everything's going well; I'll get some more pictures taken of the area after it's not raining anymore. Keep in touch!