I’m staying in the Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments during this study abroad experience in Sydney, Australia. The people working at CAPA in Sydney set up our program in these apartments located on Pyrmont Street. The Oaks are situated in a prime position in the Darling Harbour neighborhood within the city of Sydney. Darling Harbour consists of a collection of restaurants, a shopping mall, and a park all within walking distance of The Oaks. From our apartments, we have quick access to a multitude of transportation methods. There is a light rail right across the street as well as ferries and trains within walking distance. With the unlimited use of our OPAL travel cards, we can use these methods to travel all across the greater Sydney area as well as some locations further outside of our area.
Everyone in the CAPA program has been put into a four-person suite in one of the thirteen floors of The Oaks. Students had the choice of requesting roommates before the trip but as for me, I chose to go randomly. I’m definitely happy with my decision as I think my roommates and I connect very well and I’ve begun to consider them as my friends. Most rooms, including mine, consist of two floors. The first floor has a complete kitchen and a living room. It also houses a washer and dryer that are the most inefficient appliances I’ve ever used! It takes three hours on the machine to completely dry my laundry! The second floor of our suite is where the bedrooms are. There are two rooms for two people each that also house a bathroom.
During our first week, we faced the challenge of having to haul all our luggage to a different room! The room I just described was not the one we were put in at the start. Our original room had only one floor as well as one bathroom for the four of us to share. It had become a little inconvenient and when we mentioned this to CAPA they were surprised we hadn’t mentioned it sooner. After we moved into our current suite, we encountered our other challenge. After about another week, we realized that the air conditioning in our new room was actually making things hotter. It turns out that our A/C unit failed and it’ll take months to fix. We really had no desire to move again given our classes and internships had started already. We also really felt like this new room was our home, so we decided to stay. We now blast desk fans in our rooms to keep the place cool. It sounds bad but we’ve gotten used to it at this point.
I’ve come to really enjoy living in this suite. It’s better than anything I’ve lived in at Pitt and like I said previously I feel like I’ve found three true friends here. I also enjoy the challenge of providing for ourselves like grocery shopping and cooking. I haven’t experienced these things yet at Pitt so I enjoy the learning experience. My quesadillas have become a hit in our suite!