Well that was quite a break from the online world.
Obviously I didn’t disconnect myself from the Internet, that’d just be silly… right?
What a year I’ve had! It started in the wintery city of Boston in the United States, where I was living and studying on exchange at Northeastern University. Here I made some great friends and had an absolute blast enjoying a completely different university lifestyle to what I am used to here in Australia. I travelled to Mexico for Spring Break where I spent eight brilliant days in the Caribbean resort town of Cancún where I partied with my friends and drank possibly too much
tequila (if that’s a thing?). I came home looking like I visited the Sun instead with some nice permanent sunglasses. Once my time in Boston came to an end I travelled to Washington D.C. and fell in love with this city and I can’t wait to return. I then went to the city that never sleeps, New York City, where I met my parents who had flown over to spend some time travelling with me. From NYC we went on a whirlwind trip where we drove north to Canada, spend a week in Canada visiting Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and finally Niagara Falls.
After Canada we drove back down the Eastern Seaboard through New York state, Pennsylvania, and Maryland until we returned back in Washington D.C., I just had to return! From here we travelled further south through North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana where we stopped in some famous cities such as Nashville, Memphis, Jackson and New Orleans. After New Orleans we headed back east along the Gulf of Mexico to Florida where we stopped in Orlando, and of course did the theme parks and visited Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral.
Heading south once again we stopped in Fort Lauderdale and finally Miami where we stopped for a few nights to check the sights before driving through the Florida Keys to the southern most point of the United States, Key West before heading back up to the mainland for the next leg of our trip.
From Florida we flew to Sin City, Las Vegas, where we spent the better half of a week enjoying the sights and standing in awe at the Mars-like landscape and the even stranger casinos. This place is definitely worth a visit and would be a lot of fun if you weren’t underage like myself.
From here we headed to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and took a helicopter ride over the magnificent natural wonder. After this we headed to California where we stopped in San Diego before driving up the Southern Californian coastline to Los Angeles, where we did all the tourist things like visiting Universal Studios and Santa Monica Pier etc.
Los Angeles marked the end of our trip to the United States and when it came to saying goodbye to my adopted country of six months I found it quite hard. Don’t worry I shall be back!
Since I’ve gotten back to Australia, I’ve moved from Hawthorn to Southbank, and started back at uni, where I’ve been ever since! Now that semester is drawing to an end I thought it best to update everyone on what exactly I’ve been doing since my last post, so there it is!
What’s the plans for the future? Well later this month I’ll be heading up to Sydney where I’ll be the newest work experience kid on Channel 7’s breakfast show Sunrise, yes the show that made me want to be journalist! After that I’m off to China for two weeks where I’ll be travelling through Beijing and Shanghai. Any suggestions on what to do in these cities is greatly appreciated!
Anyway, let me know how everything is going with you and any feedback on the new layout of my blog by tweeting me @ben_hansen
I’m in Boston, the birthplace of the United States most esteemed President – John F. Kennedy – how could I not check out a whole museum dedicated to the leader who’s reign sadly ended prematurely?
I’d read about the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum before I’d even left Australia and it was on the top of my list of places to go in Boston. The museum is in the Columbia Point area of Boston and features an enormous glass panelled section that houses an American flag, the largest flag I’ve ever seen.
The museum began with a video introduction to JFK and how he rose from the son of an American Ambassador to a military serviceman to campaigning for Governor of Massachusetts and later for the President of the United States.
Then we walked through the history of JFK’s campaign for President up until November 22, 1963, the day JFK was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
I hadn’t realised how much President Kennedy had accomplished during his reign of 1,036 days. He had handled issues such as the space race, the Cuban missile crisis, Berlin Wall, and had done a lot to bring to light issues surrounding people with mental disabilities.
I very much enjoyed checking out the John F. Kennedy library and museum and would recommend it to anyone who’s visiting Boston – even if you’re not that into politics.
It’s just ticked over three weeks since I’ve been here in the US and I have to say, it’s been a great experience!
The first week on-campus was a bit iffy – I was placed into an essentially off campus property, however this was quickly fixed by the university and I was moved into one of their new properties, International Village.
My first week of American classes was an eye-opener! I now know what it’s like to be a true ‘full-time’ student. My class schedule requires me to be at university everyday from 9-5 – no longer do I have days off or one-lecture days, although I am studying five classes.
Goodbye to lectures as I knew them – American college classes are a hybrid of what most Australians would know as lectures and tutorials, and you’re encouraged to create debates and question the professor. Oh yeah, and at college, you call your teacher ‘Professor’ unless they permit you to call them anything else. (and I thought they only did that at Hogwarts?!)
The first three weeks have been a whirlwind of moving in, discovering campus, exploring Boston and being a true tourist, and don’t forget harassing the local wildlife!
I’ve also been checking out the Varsity and NBA games in Boston. Northeastern’s varsity teams are called the Huskies and Boston’s NBA team is the well-known Boston Celtics.
I’ll be sure to keep the updates coming more often, and I’ll be posting about my trip to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library soon!
Catchya from the US,
Summer is well and truly here, although for me, I only have four weeks left of summer… I’m off on exchange to BOSTON!
For those who don’t know where Boston is, it’s the capital of Massachusetts in the north-eastern tip of the United States, about three hours drive north of New York City.
I’m leaving Australia on the 29th of December and will be returning mid 2013 with my parents who are coming over for a business/holiday trip. I’ll be flying into a frozen Boston and experiencing my first snow capped city and a winter New Years Eve. All in all, I’m pretty excited
I decided to go to Boston after I met some Bostonians back in August who were on exchange at Swinburne. I’d never really thought of going on exchange while studying at university but I thought it’d be a perfect chance to travel in the US while also studying at a highly sought after university, Northeastern University.
One thing I plan to discover while I’m living in Boston – was the Boston Bun invented in Boston?
So my blog will now also be featuring journalistic pieces as well as a travel blog that people can follow and keep up to date with what I’m up to while in the States. I hope some of the posts will make you want to embark on exchange to the US also.
Some places I’m keen to visit?
- New York City
- Washington D.C. (yay politics!)
- Niagara Falls
- Montreal, Canada
- Quebec City, Canada
- Toronto Canada
- The Bahamas and Caribbean
- Cancun, Mexico
- New Orleans
- Southern California region
- San Francisco
- Las Vegas (I’ll be considered underage in the US ☹ )
- And Chicago
Got any other recommendations to visit or tips on surviving the US? Let me know in the comments!
Benjamin Hansen – @ben_hansen
One more year has passed. One more to go.
It’s crazy how fast time flies; it only felt like I was starting my first semester of my degree a few months ago, now I’ve completed four semesters with only two more to go.
I can now call myself a final year journo student, crazy huh? And yes I have already updated my Twitter bio 😛
I’m now on my second day of holidays and enjoying being able to sit back, relax and not have to worry about writing another essay, news article, or read another darn text book. It’s all over for a couple of months – I can finally take down my study schedule and classes timetable!
I had a premature holiday moment when several of my friends and myself went for a night trip down to the coastal town of Torquay, it was good fun, but I had to come back to the city and finish off my politics essay the next day. Not cool I know, but I got it finished.
I’m heading to Sydney this week with some friends, and have no idea when we’ll be back, that’s the bliss of having a car and a friend who you can stay with up there.
It won’t be long before I’m off back to my parents for Christmas, and then my next big ‘thing’ – which you’ll hear about in my next post – and then classes will be back on.
Want a clue about my next big thing? Here you go.
By the way, if you’re looking for some decent coffee in Melbourne CBD and surrounds, check out Bean Here Melbourne!