Sunday, June 2, 2024

Day 15: A Day at the Beach, Rugby Fun, and an Exciting Sharks Game

Today was packed with activities and a ton of fun. We started off with a 45-minute drive from our hotel to the beach, full of excitement for what lay ahead.

Once we got there, we jumped straight into the water. It was freezing at first, but after a while, we got used to it and had a great time swimming. After that, we decided to bury our friend Sean in the sand, which was hilarious and made for some great pictures.

Feeling hungry, we grabbed something to eat from a nearby café. The food was just what we needed, and we enjoyed eating while looking out at the ocean.

In the afternoon, we listened to a presentation about the local surf club. It was cool to learn about what they do and how they help people get better at surfing and stay safe in the water.

Next, we headed to the Sydney Sharks rugby facility. There, we got to learn how to play rugby. The staff was super friendly and taught us the basics, which was really fun. We even got to try out some drills ourselves.

After that, we sat through a lecture by the Sharks’ staff. They talked about the team, their strategies, and what it’s like to be part of the rugby community. It was really interesting to hear about the behind-the-scenes stuff.

The day ended on a high note with an exciting Sharks game, which was about an hour away from the rugby facility. The atmosphere was incredible—fans were cheering, and the energy was off the charts. The game was intense and really fun to watch.

By the end of the day, we were tired but happy. From the beach to learning rugby and experiencing a live game, it was a day filled with awesome memories.

Day 18: The last day

 Unfortunately, our time in Australia together has reached its conclusion. 

Most of us had morning flights between 9:00 – 11:30, which meant waking up earlier than we would have liked, to begin our journey back to the States. Some of us chose to wake up even earlier and watch the UEFA Champions League Final, in whichLa Liga side Real Madrid defeated Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund by a score of 2-0 at Wembly in London to win their fifteenth European Cup. However, most of us elected to get as much sleep as possible prior to our flights home.

These last few weeks as a group have flown by, and most of us are left feeling that it all ended too soon. However, there is no doubt that the learning experiences we have shared and thememories we have created together will be with us for the rest of our lives. Most of us came to Australia as strangers to each other, but we all left as a family.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Day 17: One Last Adventure

 After an unforgettable two weeks, the final day had arrived. Fortunately we had had another free morning, which gave some of us the chance to fit in one last adventure, and others to catch up on some much needed sleep. I had previously found out that not only was June 1st the first day of winter, it was also the first day of whale season. All of the humpback whales would begin a great migration from Antartica up the coast of Australia in search of warmer waters. I figured that whale watching would be a great way to go out on a big splash. After making my daily morning stop at Krispy Kreme to get some doughnuts, I made my way down to stunning Darling Harbor. At 8:00 the boat was on it’s way. Once we made our way into the ocean, it didn’t take long to find some activity. A few whales were splashing around, and swam over to the boat to show off their skills. I thought the whales would be sacred of the boat, yet I learned many whales are incredibly curious creatures and often approach boats. One family on board had a crying baby, and tried to quiet it down. The captain encouraged the baby to keep crying, because the noises actually attract whales. Sure enough, that baby kept crying, and the whales stuck around. The whales said farewell by leaving us with a few incredible jumps, which unfortunately I didn’t record in time. Meanwhile, the journey back to the harbor was anything but smooth. The rain started ti pick up, and the swells on the ocean were mammoth sized. As any sane person would, everyone went under the canopy and sat down in their seats. Except for one person, the kid whose loved a choppy day on the water since he was seven years old. I asked the captain if I could go out on the bow for the bumpy ride home. He said he didn’t recommend it, but I could as long as I held on. I spent the next fourty five minutes going up and down, getting soaked by the waves crashing over the board, and enjoyed every second of it with a smile on my face. When we got back to the harbor, everyone looked at me like I was a lunatic, and rightfully so. Once I got off the boat I was greeted with a torrential downpour. After a quick regroup at the hotel, Liam and I voyaged down to the main port, Circular Quay, for a cruise throughout the Sydney Harbor. This time the tour was in much calmer water, and under a roof. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see much because of the conditions, but we improvised and played some card games. We finished off the trip with one final group dinner at the Great Southern Bar. We reflected the on our favorite moments of the trip, and took one final group photo. All of us couldn’t believe how fast these last few weeks went by. We made memories that will last a lifetime, and bonds that will last forever. 

Friday, May 31, 2024

Day 16: free day in Sydney

 Hi everyone my name is Aylee Weiss I will be a senior in the fall studying Broadcast and Digital Journalism. Today was our free day in Sydney so Kate Bradley and I decided we had to catch some waves in one of the best surf cities in the world. We got up and went to a local coffee shop for some fuel and then hopped on a ferry and headed to Manly Beach just outside the city of Sydney. It was a beautiful beach, the sun was trying so hard to break through the clouds as we put our wetsuits on and ran into the water with our boards on our hips. We had a blast catching waves with our surf instructors for about two hours… and we could’ve stayed out there for longer. We were having a blast. After that we found a local surf shop to get a sweatshirt to document our surf adventure. Then we got the best sandwich ever from this hole in the wall Greek shop and hopped back on the ferry. We then headed to Coogee beach to walk around and get some things for us and our families. We wrapped up our day watching the sunset on the beach and then got a quick dinner and headed home to get some sleep.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Day 14: E Sports Hub

 Hi I’m Cate Vickery! I am a sport management major from Alexandria Virginia, and I’m going to be a junior in the fall. Today was a bit of a sleep in which was nice. But I got up and got coffee and pastries with some of the girls. Then the group met up and went and had our lecture of the day in the morning at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). The lecture was about the history of politics and geopolitics within the Olympics and what that’s going to look like this year at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Then we had some free time around lunch and I went with a few girls and got dumplings. After our short lunch break, we all met up again and went over to the University of Technology Sydney’s main campus area. We met there Fadi Chadayda, who works for a company that helps to organizes and create Esports locations and events in universities and other spaces. Fadi showed us around a little bit of the campus and more specifically just the esports section of one of the buildings. We got to see a few different esports rooms, but the main one being a sponsored esports room by Red Bull. it was very cool because everything in that space was sponsored by Red Bull or other companies to help promote esports. Fadi then gave us a little presentation on esports in Australia, the history of it and a little bit about where he thinks it will go in the future as well as what his company does and what his job is. We were given time to play some of the games on the PlayStation 5 or PC consoles. It was very cool as people got to play whatever game they wanted which included FIFA, NBA 2K, rocket league, league of legends Fortnite, and many other games. We were done after that and all were pretty much on her own and split up. I went to a market with a few people, and we looked around and did a little bit of souvenir shopping and mostly just walked around the shops and saw what they had. By then it was almost dinner dinner time so a bunch of us met up at the hotel and went and got Italian food for dinner. Most of us turned in after dinner because we have a fairly early morning in the next morning, and a full day of scheduled activities. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Day 13: Sydney Opera House

  Hi! My name is Dylan Taylor, and I am currently a rising Junior at Syracuse University. I am from Houston, Texas, and I am a Sport Management major. We have officially adjourned our 14th day of adventure in Australia.

To start off our second day in Sydney the group traveled to UTS for a few special lectures from Prof. Burton's good friend Dr. Daryl Adair. The first lecture was an overview of Australia and it's history as well as some of its pillars of society. The second lecture was very special about the history of race in sports as it relates to Australia. This was a treat as the lectures were informational, engaging, and eye opening.

After a nice lunch break, the group all met up again for a real treat. We went to one of Australia's most famous landmarks, the Sydney Opera House. This time we were able to attend an hour long guided tour through the building. We were able to learn about the history of the building, it's construction, performances, and we were even able to see a few theaters. I found the story of the architecture as well as the history of aboriginals prior to the building's construction to be the most interesting.

After this, we walked to the Royal Botanical Gardens, but unfortunately we were unable to attend so we walked through a park as a group instead. In the evening, we ate as a group at the hotel restuarant and concluded the best night in Sydney so far. 

Monday, May 27, 2024

Day 12: Bondi Beach

Hey squad! My name is Leda Rossmann and I’m an incoming junior studying history.

We flew to Sydney early this morning - the airport experience is so different here than in the US. There was barely any wait times for security or bag check so we got plenty of time to explore the Lego store and get some breakfast. Our flight was almost three hours and pretty much everyone slept the whole time. 

We arrived in sunny Sydney very excited for warm weather since it’s been pretty rainy in Melbourne and Cairns. We drove to Bondi Beach to visits the legendary Bondi Icebergs Swim Club. One of the club members spoke to us about the history of the club and its importance to Sydney’s culture. The pools are saltwater and freezing cold. I was so excited to jump in. I was a competitive swimmer for most of my life so the water is one of the most calming and nostalgic places I can be. The water wasn’t too bad, in actuality. We had some races going and I even beat Dougie.👸 We also checked out the sauna which was an interesting vibe (a lot of old guys).

Our amazing bus driver took us on a guided tour of the Sydney sights. We saw The Gap and heard the story of Don Ritchie, who saved at least 180 people from committing suicide off of the rocks. It was great to see the work the government has done in terms of suicide prevention in that area after his death. We also saw Lady Macquarie’s Chair where she would look into the harbor to watch for ships bringing news of her family during the early colonization days. 

We saw some of Vivid Sydney, a sort of light/art show in the harbor, lights into the sky and on the bridge, and art projected onto the Opera House and other buildings. A small group of us went to get pancakes at Pancakes on the Rocks and got to hear some of the Burtons’ stories about their past journeys to Australia. I can’t wait to explore Sydney more!

Day 15: A Day at the Beach, Rugby Fun, and an Exciting Sharks Game

Today was packed with activities and a ton of fun. We started off with a 45-minute drive from our hotel to the beach, full of excitement for...