I am so glad to have arrived in Sydney for my semester abroad. I have begun to settle into my Housing in the Oaks Goldsbrough apartments. The living space is very similar to a hotel with some longer-term amenities. I am living with 3 roommates all of whom are students at Pitt. It has been a big adjustment living here and making every meal I eat after previously living on campus and enjoying the benefits of a meal plan. It has been an amazing experience however living in housing with a beautiful view of downtown and so centralized in this urban area. The apartments are located within the Pyrmont neighborhood a short walk from Darling Harbor, and within the central business district (CBD). This has proven to be the perfect location as it is near the main transit routes and very near my internship.
My internship at H&R Block has commenced and it has been a great learning experience thus far. The office is in downtown Sydney on Castlereagh a block west of Hyde park, a 25-minute walk from my apartment. An enjoyable walk through the Darling quarter and Chinatown, it is very similar to my commute at Pitt, however it is more urban with more people and traffic in Sydney. For any students who may travel here in the future I recommend for them to walk their commute if it is an option available to them. Walking allows me to experience the environment with all my senses, and I have become very well acquainted with the area. Walking also removes any stress over whether public transit will be timely. The public transport system in Sydney is very well developed however and is perfect for traveling to farther destinations within the city.
While I am abroad, I hope to accomplish several goals through my internship, classes, and personal experiences. In my internship I hope to learn more about US tax regulations and the requirements when filing a return. I also have started to better develop my customer service skills especially when dealing with clients unaware of the US requirements for filing tax returns. Academically I plan on continuing my education in the field of finance and developing my knowledge of Australia. Personally, I wish to embrace the lifestyle of Sydney and understand more about what it is like to live in a foreign country. I hope to accomplish my goals by working hard and keeping them in mind in order to strengthen my desire to achieve them. Hopefully in 2 months I will be also to report that I have happily achieved all these goals and more.