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November 22, 2013 : Nick Ramsey Study Abroad Blog: Entry 9

- Nick Ramsey is an Ohio University Lancaster Middle Childhood Education major who is studying abroad this fall by student teaching in Perth, Australia. He is writing a bi-weekly blog for the OUL website. He is the first Ohio University regional campus student to be selected for the Consortium for Overseas Student Teaching or COST. Click here to read more on Nick's story. 

Well…that flew by! I cannot believe how quickly this semester went by, down to my last few days now. I assigned my year 8 students a project towards the end of last, so we had our presentations of them this week. I was very impressed with some of the results, in fact blown away by a few groups! We have been studying chemical sciences and specifically have been looking at metals. So I had them create a mural/poster of fireworks including the types of metals used in the fireworks to create different effects. They seemed to really enjoy doing the project but many were nervous for their oral presentations, as some of them have never done oral presentations before. I went very easy on the grading of the actual presentations, where most of the points fell on the thematic accuracy and creativity of the poster.  


Last Friday was my last day at school; I can't even begin to tell you how emotional it was!  Surprisingly I didn't muster up any tears but many of my students were crying and upset I was leaving them already. Even the ones I did not even have in class. We had a pretty fun day, I took each class outside to play different American sports and I made them cookie cake (They don't make those at all here). We had a blast all day; even some of the other science and maths teachers brought their classes out to join in on the fun. My students were so kind, each class made a goodbye card and several students brought me goodbye gifts. In return I agreed to take as many pictures and "selfies" as they liked.


Oh yeah, I learned how to surf! My roommates and I went to Margaret River for a weekend road trip which is about three hours south of Perth along the coastline. It was a beautiful area filled with wineries, breweries and chocolate factories. Between all of the excessive visits to local wineries we signed up for a group surf lesson that was absolutely fantastic! We had about seven or eight people in our group as we went down to a secluded part of a beach which seemed to be just perfect for surfers. I picked it up after about an hour and then had a great time trying to catch the bigger waves coming in about 60-70 meters off the coast.The girls stayed in a bit closer but I think they were just trying to get more one on one time with the instructor. Surfing was by far one of the highlights of my trip here; I really enjoyed it and will definitely do it more in the future.


Another highlight of my trip was twilight sailing along the Swan river which runs right into Perth then down through a number of suburbs including the one we live in. One of the guys I worked with at the school introduced me to one of his friends during a beer club event and he invited me out on his friend's sailing boat for a cruise/race. It was such a cool time! We were a bit behind in the race because we had a small boat so they let me sail us on the back half of the course. Naturally we zigzagged the entire time but we eventually made it back. Then after the sail, everyone involved got together for a nice barbeque and drinks for a few hours. Australians love to drink by the way. It is basically a way of life here.


Well, now that I am down to my last couple of days, I just spend my time packing and seeing people I've met here for the last time. People continue to ask me if I am happy to go home, it is a very bittersweet feeling. I obviously love it here but I have this new appreciation for America after spending several months in another country. I think we do some things pretty well, and we do not give enough credit to ourselves. I will come back for a visit though sometime in the future, and who knows maybe find a good job here, there are plenty of teaching positions opening up. Anyway, I had an absolutely amazing experience here and l most importantly learned so much from my teaching practicum. Very glad I was involved with the COST program and I HIGHLY recommend it to any of you prospective teachers out there! Well, I'm out. Gotta finish packing up. Cheers!