I arrived in Sydney, Australia after over a day of travel and delays. Yet, that didn’t stop me from immediately feeling right at home. All of the students in the CAPA Program this semester are staying in the Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments in Darling Harbour. The apartments were once used as a wool warehouse, but have since been converted into a hotel and long-term apartment living. While most of the students are located on the 13th or penthouse floor, I am situated on the 6th floor. An interesting feature of the building is its high level of security. Only your card can take you to the floor you live on. The building also features a pool, gym, sauna, and hot tub on the first floor, which is nice to have after coming home from a long day.
The apartment rooms themselves are structured very uniquely with high ceilings, a large equipped kitchen, a dining room table, a living room area with a TV, and then a winding staircase that leads to two bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs. I am fortunate to share the master bedroom, which is the larger bedroom with a bathroom inside and a view of the Sydney skyline. I share the room with a girl from the University of Minnesota. My other two suitemates are from the University of Delaware and Oswego University. Although I only met these girls two weeks ago, I am very happy to be living together for the next few months.
I am also very happy to be living in such a nice location. Darling Harbour is a very active part of the city that sits right next to Chinatown, the shopping district, and is in very close proximity to Circular Quay, where the famous Sydney Opera House is located. The CAPA Center, which is located on TAFE’s campus in the neighborhood of Ultimo, is about a 15-minute walk. My internship site is located in Chatswood, which is in North Sydney and takes about an hour to get to by bus. Although the beaches are on the other side of the city, we are provided free public transportation using OPAL cards that are continuously reloaded. This card has become my best friend as I am able to ride the bus, light rail, train, and ferry systems throughout the city and beyond. To get to the beaches along the coast, I usually take a combination of these systems and arrive in about an hour. That may seem far, but the systems are very clean and keep an accurate schedule so I can sit back and relax in the AC after a long day in the sun.
Each day I see something new with a bustling city surrounding me. I am looking forward to discovering even more about where I am living for the next 3 months.