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GAP YEAR | VOLUNTEER ABROAD | WORK EXPERIENCE OVERSEAS

 
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MY THOUGHTS ON AUSTRALIA

AUSTRALIA

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Aussies are some of the most naturally friendly people you will ever meet. They are generally confident and jolly, and will always say "hello" or "Gíday" with a smile and really mean it. I think it has to do with the fact that the weather is so good down under!

Australian culture is not too dissimilar to British or American culture, so those volunteers who want to have a little taste of home when they are abroad need look no further! The weather in Australia is amazing. When I was living in Perth I didnít rain for about a month, and then all of a sudden there was 2 days of heavy rainfall. I never thought I would say it being British, but I was so grateful for the rain!

Perth itself is a very beautiful and clean city, with plenty to offer in terms of activities and attractions. The volunteer accommodation is right in the center of the action, and so everything you need (food, shops, cinemas, pubs and clubs) is a stones throw away. Public transport in Perth is very clean, easy to use and is always on time, and there are a number of beaches very close to the accommodation. For those who like golden beaches and blue seas, Perth is definitely the place for you.

Australia is a Mecca for sports and Perth is no exception. When I was working there I joined a rugby and football team which gave me a real insight into the Aussie sporting culture. During my time at the clubs, I learnt a lot and developed my love for sport even more (if that's possible!) as they Aussies their sport very seriously. As well as playing sports I managed to catch a few sporting events... I went to watch the Western Force (who play in the Super 14) at Subiaco stadium, which is the main stadium in Perth and only a 10 minute train ride from the city center. The Western Force are a very new side but have a number of international rugby players which make them very exciting to watch.

There is also the WACCA, where a lot of international cricket matches are played. Itís always fun when the Barmy Army are in town! As well as the traditional sports, the Aussies also play 'Aussie Rules'. For those who have not seen Aussie Rules before, it's played on a pitch the size of a cricket pitch with a rugby shaped ball and it is very quick, fun and full of action. I did not get the chance to try playing Aussie rules but since I love running, active sports I would have loved to tried my hand at it! However, I think I would need to boost up my fitness levels a bit as those guys are seriously fit!

Outside Perth there are a number of things to see and do. I took a weekend trip to see the Pinnacles, which are thousand of yellow rocks sticking out of the sand and make for a very impressive sight. Another trip was spent visiting Wave rock, which is a big rock that looks just like a wave... no shocks there! Further afield you can go up or down the coast on a tour, or simply hire a car to drive through Australia's vast expanse of land. On the West coast there are plenty of fantastic things to see and do such as swimming with dolphins, whale watching, sand boarding, snorkeling, scuba diving... the list goes on. A lot of my friends who have travelled both the East and West coast say they prefer the West coast because it is not so commercial and you get a feel for the REAL Australia.