Hello everyone! I know not that much time has passed since my last post, but as the end of my study abroad program in Australia quickly approaches I wanted to do some reflection on my experience.
Overall, these past few months have been absolutely amazing! Some of the highlights of my trip include:
- Snorkeling and scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef
- Exploring all the beautiful beaches in Sydney
- Spring break trip to New Zealand
- Trying new food and coffee in Melbourne
- Surf camp at Bendalong Beach
Additionally, a huge part of my study abroad program was participating in an internship throughout the semester. I volunteered as a Media and Communications Intern at Cancer Council NSW. From Day 1, I knew this would be an amazing place to work, grow and meet new people. I am so glad to have been placed with such an amazing organization where I can work on “real world” tasks and contribute meaningfully to Cancer Council’s overall cause and mission.
Before interning at Cancer Council, I had little to no media experience as all of my prior internships have mainly been in the marketing field. Therefore, this internship has been a great learning experience for me and my team’s patience and willingness to help me succeed has meant the world to me. Many of the skills that I am learning now I will take with me through the rest of my career.
If I could go back in time and tell myself a few things prior to departing for Australia, they would be:
- Make the most out of your free time. Working 20 hours a week and taking 3 classes means my schedule during the week is pretty busy. On days when I am not working, I am in class. And when I’m not in class, I am working. This means the only free time I have to explore the city and travel is the weekend. However, I felt that I did not really capitalize on my weekends, especially in the beginning of the program. Now that I am time poor I wish I had used those free moments to do all the things I still have left on my list.
- Manage. Your. Time. Well. I can’t stress this enough. This goes along with the above bullet, but it is really easy to get caught up in the excitement of being in a new city with new people experiencing new things. Many times I had to give myself a reality check and remind myself to get all my responsibilities in order before I could go out and have fun.
- Force yourself to step outside of you comfort zone and try new things. I think this is especially true in Australia where there is no language barrier and very similar culture to the US. This meant I was not forced to adapt a huge amount and I quickly fell into a routine which is both a good and bad thing. Every day, challenge yourself to try something new or something that you would ordinarily not have the opportunity to experience.
Sadly, this amazing adventure is quickly coming to an end. Even after spending 3 ½ months in Sydney there is still so much that I want to do/see. Guess that means I’ll just have to come back again one day!