I met some other Internationals on the plane from Brisbane to Townsville so I was not on my own upon arrival. There were about 10 other people with me, more girls than boys, but ALL American. During the conversation I found out that all of them study biology or marine science – which is probably the biggest thing here at James Cook University (JCU). We were picked up by a shuttle service run by JCU which was nice and comfortable and saved us a lot of hassle. Make sure you book it in good time in case you decide to follow me in February!
Whilst everyone was tired and knackered from the journey I was wide awake and full of energy. Clever as I am I worked out beforehand when to go to sleep and when to be wake up again so the jet lag wouldn’t be too bad. I suggest you do the same so you don’t suffer too much like the Americans did. It probably also made a difference because I was travelling “with” time and not against it.
On arriving at the JCU campus we were welcomed by Australian students who even helped us carry our luggage to our accommodation and showed us our rooms, which was very nice and helpful. We were also given a little tour around the halls just a few hours after lunch so we knew where everything was and what we could do around the halls of residence. We have a lot of facilities which we can use; for example the laundry ($2 per wash, 1$ for the dryer), the “gym” ($50 or $80 per study period), the theatre room and so much more.
Directly after dinner everybody headed upstairs and went straight to bed, because they all were so tired, washed out and exhausted from their journeys. I was alright so I stayed up a little longer to be in line with my time calculations, continuing my fight with the jet lag problem everybody warned me about. Also when I went to the (common) bathroom, I realised it was cold and I heard a familiar, typically British noise: RAIN!!! Argh, nooo! I was not really prepared for this. I took no jumper with me because everybody told me how ‘sunny’ it is in Townsville. Yeah, right. We had three days of continuous rain and it was always raining during the night. Wet wet wet, wetlands! Even their number plates say ‘Sunshine State’. At night it was usually around 5°C, sooo.. Not very different from the UK! It turned out though that no born and bred Townsvillian had experienced such a cold and rainy period in July before. We were told that this was their first rain of the year, hence everybody was sooo happy about it. Oh well, Aussies huh? And there I was, with only two thin blankets which I nicked (shhh..!) from the airplane since I thought “supposed-to-be-sunny Australia” would be so hot, I would not need a proper blanket. Haha, I wish! These blankets did not keep any of us warm, not at all! 😦 All of us internationals were freezing so bad, that we decided to go to the shops the next day directly after brekky.