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Lake Narrabeen, Fall 2018

Updated: Nov 12, 2018



Our first Down Under week is in the books. Monday took us forty minutes north to Lake Narrabeen on the Collaroy Peninsula. The leisurely walk started comfortably enough with temps in the low-60’s. We chose a weekday to avoid the hubbub and were treated to a solitary lakeshore.



A third of the way around the lake, students encountered a series of seemingly random placards commemorating Australia’s involvement in past military conflicts. Some remarked the tree-covered trail seemed an odd place to speak of the war dead. I told them to soldier on and their questions would be answered soon enough. Fifteen minutes later, a break in the trees revealed the ANZAC (Australian/New Zealand Join Forces) Retirement Community.

Pausing in front of a activity center named The Dardanelles, we circled to discuss the curious site before us. My co-leader, Tibor Lendvai, took the reins. With twenty-five years as history teacher in Sydney, all the place names before us held special meaning.


Tibor told how The Dardanelles (also known as Gallipoli), was the first major engagement of Australian troops in an overseas theater in what is now Turkey. Trench warfare led to a harrowing scene where an Australian Division was mowed down by Ottoman machine guns. Some 8000+ Australians died during the year-long battle. Mel Gibson played the title role in the 1981 film titled Gallipoli.


Tibor explained how ANZAC Day (Australian/New Zealand Army Corp) is celebrated in both countries and is their most important national holiday. He discussed how troops joined together on this and future wars and united two cultures separated by a thousand miles of Pacific Ocean.


Following our history lesson and lake walk we headed twenty-five minutes south to the beach town of Manly. Instead of sparkling blue waters and sand between our toes, we were greeted by an Antarctic cold front complete with wind, mist, and bone chills for those in light clothing.

Our group opted to survey the pub scene instead of the beach walk and settled on an ocean view minus the cold breeze. Around a large table, I pulled up 100 words of Australian slang on my smart phone. I placed all the banknotes in my pocket on the table and paid out $1 per word to whoever guessed right. Surrounded by Bruces, we talked about the hard yakka coming up next week and how their bosses had no time for bludgers. With a choc-a-bloc schedule in front of us, I told them to lay off the stubbies and tinnies until next Saturday. This was no week for breaking out the slabs and skulling. After Friday, they could don their budgie smugglers, stoke up the barbie and relax in Straya.


1. A Cold One – Beer

2. Arvo – Afternoon

3. Aussie Salute – Wave to scare the flies

4. Bail – To cancel plans. ‘Bruce bailed’ = Bruce isn’t going to turn up.

5. Barbie – Barbecue

6. Bathers – Swimsuit

7. Beauty! – Great! Most often exclaimed as “You Beauty”

8. Billabong – A pond in a dry riverbed

9. Billy – Teapot (In the Outback on the fire)

10. Bloody – Very. Used to extenuate a point

11. Bloody oath – yes or its true. “You right mate?”… “Bloody Oath”

12. Bludger – Someone who’s lazy, generally also who relies on others (when it’s someone who relies on the state they’re often called a ‘dole bludger’)

13. Bogan – This word is used for people who are, well let’s say, rednecks. Or, if you like, just call your friends a bogan when they are acting weird.

14. Booze Bus – Police vehicle used to catch drunk drivers

15. Bottle-O – Bottle Shop, basically a place to buy alcohol

16. Brekky – Breakfast

17. Brolly – Umbrella

18. Bruce – An Aussie Bloke

19. Budgie Smugglers – Speedos

20. Bush – The Outback.

21. Cab Sav – Cabernet Sauvignon

22. Cactus – Dead, Broken

23. Choc A Bloc – Full

24. Choccy Biccy – Chocolate Biscuit

25. Chook – Chicken

26. Chrissie – Christmas

27. Ciggy – a Cigarette

28. Clucky – feeling maternal

29. Cobber – Very good friend. ‘Alright me ‘ol cobber’.

30. Coldie – Beer. ‘Come over for a few coldie’s mate.’

31. Coppers – Policemen

32. Crikey – an expression of surprise

33. Crook – Being ill or angry; ‘Don’t go crook on me for getting crook’

34. C*nt, the “C” word – Used when exchanging pleasantries between close friends or family member. If someone calls you the “C” word in Australia (and you haven’t done anything to make them angry), then breathe a sigh of relief… it means you have entered the mate zone.

35. Dag – Someone who’s a bit of a nerd or geek.

36. Daks – Trousers. ‘Tracky daks’ = sweatpants (tracksuit pants)

37. Deadset – True

38. Devo – Devastated

39. Drongo – a Fool, ‘Don’t be a drongo mate’

40. Dunny – Toilet

41. Esky – An insulated container that keeps things cold (usually beers)

42. F*ck Me Dead – that’s unfortunate, that surprises me

43. Fair Dinkum – ‘Fair Dinkum?’ … ‘Fair Dinkum!’ = Honestly? … Yeah honestly!

44. Flannie / Flanno – flannelette shirt

45. Frothy – Beer

46. G’day – Hello

47. Galah – an Australian cockatoo with a reputation for not being bright, hence a galah is also a stupid person.

48. Going off – busy, lots of people

49. Good On Ya – Good work

50. Goon – the best invention ever produced by mankind. Goon is a cheap, boxed wine that will inevitably become an integral part of your Australian backpacking experience.

51. Hard yakka – Hard work

52. Heaps – loads, lots, many

53. Hoon – Hooligan (normally driving badly!)

54. Knickers – female underwear

55. Larrikin – Someone who’s always up for a laugh, bit of a harmless prankster

56. Legless – Someone who is really drunk

57. Lollies – Sweets

58. Maccas – McDonalds

59. Manchester – Sheets / Linen etc. As someone who’s from England, finding a department within a shop called Manchester seriously confused me at first.

60. Mongrel – Someone who’s a bit of a dick

61. Mozzie – Mosquito

62. No Drama – No problem / it’s ok

63. No Worries -No problem / it’s ok

64. Nuddy – Naked

65. Pash – to kiss

66. Piece of Piss – easy

67. Piss Off – go away, get lost

68. Piss Up – a party, a get together and in Australia – most social occasions

69. Piss – (To Piss) to urinate

70. Pissed – Intoxicated, Drunk

71. Pissed Off – Annoyed

72. Rack Off – The less offensive way to tell someone to ‘F Off’!

73. Rapt – Very happy

74. Reckon – for sure. ‘You Reckon?’… ‘I reckon!’

75. Rellie / Rello – Relatives

76. Ripper – ‘You little ripper’ = That’s fantastic mate!

77. Root Rat – someone who enjoys sex (maybe a little too much)

78. Rooted – Tired

79. Runners – Trainers, Sneakers

80. Servo – Service Station / Garage

81. Sheila – A woman

82. Shoot Through – To leave

83. Sickie – a sick day off work, or ‘to pull a sickie’ would be to take a day off when you aren’t actually sick

84. Skull – To down a beer

85. Slab – A carton of beers

86. Snag – Sausage

87. Stiffy – Erection

88. Stoked – Happy, Pleased

89. Straya – Australia

90. Strewth – An exclamation of surprise

91. Stubby – a bottle of beer

92. Stubby Holder – Used so your hands don’t get cold when holding your beer!

93. Stuffed – Tired

94. Sunnies – Sunglasses

95. Swag – Single bed you can roll up, a bit like a sleeping bag.

96. Tea – Dinner

97. Tinny – Can of beer or small boat

98. Thongs – Flip Flops. Do not be alarmed if your new found Australian friend asks you to wear thongs to the beach. They are most likely expressing their concern of the hot sand on your delicate feet.

99. Tucker – Food. ‘Bush Tucker’ tends to be food found in the Outback such as witchety grubs.

100. Two Up – A gambling game played on Anzac day.

101. U-IE – to take a U-Turn when driving

102. Ya – You

103. Yous – (youse) plural of you!