During our study abroad program in Sydney, all of the students this year are housed in the Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments in the Pyrmont neighborhood of Sydney. Pyrmont is in a very convenient location, with everything you would need being in a 15 minute radius. The apartments are located right across from Darling Harbour, which is about a 10 minute walk from downtown. Public transportation, like underground trains, light rails or buses, are also within a 15 minute walk from the apartments. The main central station located closest to the apartments is Town Hall Station. Most students use public transportation when they have to go to their internship locations or if you want to make frequent trips to the beaches or other neighborhoods around the greater Sydney area. The apartments are also a 15 minute walk to the CAPA Center, where all of the students take our classes. We are also about a 5-10 minute walk to Coles, which is the biggest grocery store here in Pyrmont. Most of the local amenities, like shopping centers and other necessity stores, are all within walking distance.
In terms of the housing accommodation for students, the Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments are two-bedroom apartments with two students per bedroom, totalling four students per apartment. The apartments are equipped with WiFi, Washer and Dryer, Weekly Linen Service as well as a fully equipped kitchen and a recreational area with a gym and pool.
One of the challenges in Sydney is getting to know the area and learning how to get to my classes and internship from the Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments. After the first week, I was able to develop familiarity with Pyrmont as well as the Business District, where my internship is located. Another challenge I came across was managing my own budget. Throughout my entire life, my parents have helped fund most of my spending money so it is definitely challenging having to watch my budget while I am abroad. With work, classes and having a social life, I usually tend to plan out my schedule on a weekly basis, in terms of how much to spend on dining, recreational activities, exploring the city or any additional travel plans. The last challenge is accepting and taking in a new culture that is foreign to me. Even though Sydney’s culture isn’t as drastic as the culture of some cities in America, it is still interesting learning and being around people with different traditions, customs, and lifestyles.