I Arrived in a Land Down Under

It’s been a few weeks since I landed in Sydney and time has flown by. It seems like every time I check the time its nearing the end of the day and I am one day closer to leaving. Which also means I am closer to another 18 hour flight, by far the worst part of the trip so far. I won’t lie, my body seemed to ache for a few days while I was adjusting to the new time zone and recovering from the airline seats. Going to the beach helped ease the pain.

Other than the obvious difficulties of that, Sydney has been amazing thus far. The weather has been beautiful, one of the hottest months in recent years according to locals. Our living arrangement is very cool, it reminds me of being in a freshmen dorm with people eager to meet other students. I am living with four other Pitt students and three from the University of Minnesota. We’ve been getting along very well and they have introduced us to their other classmates studying abroad in Australia. Our place is right in the middle of Sydney’s Central Business District, which is always busy and entertaining to say the least.

We are also a five minute walk to central station, which is how must of us go to our internships. The public transportation (trains and buses) in Sydney is excellent, much better than the New York subway system in my experiences. They are very clean, fast, and easy to figure out. My commute is about 45 minutes and my train goes past the Opera House, which makes the morning a little better every time I see it. The program pays for our transportation cards, so learning how to navigate these systems is very advantageous so you can avoid paying for an Uber all the time. We also walk. A lot. Although walking around when it’s 85 degrees is a lot better than the walk to Cathy in January.

Classes are right around the corner from our apartment. Our professors are all very nice and quick to give advice on what to do and where to go in Sydney. Each class meets once a week for two and a half hours minimum, so it can be hard to keep focus at times. The assignments are not too demanding, but since they only meet once a week it is easy to push them off and forget about them, only to have them sneak up on you a few days before they’re due.

Overall, I don’t think it has sunk in that I will be here for over two more months. I am still struggling to find my way around and check off all the things I want to do, but I’m slowly easing into a routine.