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When someone says the word Australia, what comes to mind? The classics always come first: koalas, dingoes, kangaroos, Foster's, Crocodile Dundee and the Crocodile Hunter. But what is the real Australia like, beyond all those stereotypes and symbols we've come to associate with Australians and their country?

After what has been almost a year and a half of work, I'm getting out of the snow of Calgary and going to see it first hand what it's truly like. From March to July of 2004, I will be in beautiful Sydney, Australia attending my winter semester classes at Macquarie University.

For me, this is a dream come true, for many years I've always wanted to see Australia, and finally, after many years of waiting I have my chance. This is also my first time out of Canada for an extended period since I arrived from Hong Kong.

So what lies ahead? To be honest, I have no idea. But as time unfolds you can read about it as I share with you the trials and tribulations of being a student Down Under. Beginning next issue, you can find updates as I experience Australia from a whole different angle.

So, if you've always wondered what an exchange at the university level is like, you'll want to stay tuned. Hopefully, I can serve up some tips and tricks of the trade for you along with the daily trials and tribulations.

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