Hello from Down Under!

Hi everyone and welcome to my first blog post from Sydney! A little over two weeks ago, I officially landed in Australia (so glad that 15 hour flight is over). I am happy to report that I am finally settled into my home away from home for the next 3 and a half months. I am living in the Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments, which is located in Darling Harbour, the heart of Sydney. I am living with 3 other girls in a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom fully furnished apartment. The apartment complex even has a pool, sauna, and gym on the premise, which I have definitely taken advantage of already. However, one of my absolute favorite things about the apartment is our balcony. We are all the way up on the 12th floor and we have a balcony with table and chairs overlooking the Anzac Harbour Bridge and the Sydney skyline. It’s a great place to sit back, relax and watch the sun set over the city.

All of my suitemates are also on the same study abroad program as I am, so it’s been wonderful meeting new people and exploring the city together. Our apartment is situated in such a central location, just a short walk away from the Sydney Harbour, and is very accessible by bus, train and even ferry to all the other suburbs of Sydney. There are so many shops, restaurants, parks, museums and attractions located in our immediate area that I feel I have only begun to scratch the surface of what’s here. I’m looking forward to continuing my exploration throughout the rest of my stay here.

Over the past few weeks, we visited the Sydney Opera House (picture attached), went on a boat cruise around the Sydney Harbour, took a tour of the Sydney Observatory, experienced Australia Day on January 26th, spent the day at Bondi and Coogee Beach, celebrated the Chinese New Year and so much more! Between my internship, classes, sightseeing and traveling, my schedule has been jam packed and I love it! There is so much to do, eat, see and explore in Sydney and I am eager to take it all in. Not to mention the weather is beautiful here, averaging in the high 70s and 80s every day (my condolences to everyone currently suffering through the polar vortex back home).

One interesting thing that I have noticed in my short time here is that although there is no language barrier, my communication skills are still put to the test on a daily basis. Even though Australians speak English, their slang and customs are different from that in the United States. I’ve learned to quickly adjust to their common phrases and shortcuts and to ask when I don’t understand something.

In my next post, I’ll talk more about how my classes are going, what I’m working on at my internship, and some of my upcoming travel trips.