I have fully settled into life in Sydney, I’m all moved into my apartment and I’m enjoying the ease of transportation here. I’ve also been able to explore more of Sydney!
I am staying at BreakFree on George hotel in a shared room with a student from Pitt Johnstown. She’s great, we’ve already become close and took a trip to Port Stephens together. I really appreciate the convenient location of BreakFree. I am only a ten-minute walk from my internship and classes as well as the beautiful Opera House and Darling Harbour. The apartment is in the middle of China Town and it’s always very busy. It’s also been great that everyone on my program is living in the same place, it almost feels like Pitt here with all of these great students! The only downside to this apartment is that there is a pretty small kitchen and we only have a mini-fridge. This mini fridge has taught me to shop more like Aussies because most shoppers here only buy a handful of groceries and buy much less than I am used to in the U.S. I have also had to get used to the fact that it is winter here and the sun sets by 5 pm. I’ve realized that it’s so important to get the most out of every day, especially while abroad halfway around the world. The days that I felt tired after I got back from class or work and it was completely dark and raining, were some of the best, most eye-opening experiences! My advice to anyone studying abroad is to make sure to squeeze the most out of each day and plan ahead any must-do activities. My roommate and I put together a bucket list of things we want to do while in this beautiful country and it has motivated us to see something new every day. No matter where I am I want to remember it’s important to make that most out of every day.
If I did have to commute to work it would have been an extremely easy transition. Everyone on my program received unlimited funds (on the Opal card) to ride the buses and trains in Sydney. It has been convenient to go anywhere in Sydney by train. I’ve traveled to Bondi beach, Luna Park, botanical gardens, the Opera House (while it’s raining), Port Stephens as well as many other places all around Sydney by bus and train. On Tuesday, we slept over Toranga Zoo, I fed giraffes in the morning and easily commuted back to my internship that morning. It’s been so easy to travel on the trains around Sydney, something I will miss when I go back to Pittsburgh.
My expectations for this program have by far been exceeded. I’m enjoying my internship, learning a lot in my academic class, exploring many parts of Sydney and meeting so many great people from Sydney, Pitt students and students from other universities.