First Week!

Hi Everyone!

So, it’s been about a week since I arrived in Sydney, Australia. It has been pretty overwhelming to say the least. I pretty much settled into my dorm room at Urbanest. My roommate is someone from Pitt, which is nice to be around some I’m comfortable with. There are about 30 Pitt students doing this program (out of the 130ish), and it seems to be a good balance of familiar faces and new people. This place is very nice and seems to be in the best location. We are only a five minute walk from TAFE, the university we are attending and where our classes are.  

Internship: I went to my internship Monday through Wednesday. I have not had any classes yet, but I will keep you updated on those. The internship is in the central business district of Sydney. I can walk for about 25 minutes to get there, or take the train one stop to The company is called Employment Hero, a human resources software start up company. I am reporting to the COO, David Holland, and so far it has been a good experience. He deals with the partners of the company that are investing in EH. 

Getting around: Ah, I underestimated the size of this place!! So far we’ve been to three beaches: Manly, Bondi, and Coogee. All very beautiful, but they ranged from 45 minutes to an hour away. We’ve also been around the Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay. Most places require taking some sort of combination of the train, bus, and ferry. We use Opal cards to get around (similar to using our Pitt ID to get on Port Authority buses). It is AMAZING that the Opal card comes loaded and we can travel wherever without paying. That is a very nice expense to not have to think about.

People: Everyone on the trip is SO nice. It feels like freshmen year again, trying to make friends and figure out who you want to surround yourself with. There are students from Minnesota, Arizona, and Massachusetts. I’ve encountered some locals, who are all very nice (especially the people at my internship). They love American accents, which is interesting. Walking on the left side is definitely a challenge, but I’m sure I will get used to. I have been forgetting that the driver’s side is switched, especially when getting in Ubers!

MONEY: Everything here is so expensive. I am glad to have packed some cereal in my suitcase. We have a mall nearby, which has been a real life saver. I got my SIM card there, which is how I’ve been communicating with my parents (without WiFi) and in this country. There is also an Aldi, which is where I got some basic foods. Our kitchen comes fully stocked, which is a huge help. I hope to cook more in the future this semester and make meals to each at my internship and in general. I definitely need to budget my money in order to make the most out of this experience.

Until next time,