As I get more and more adjusted to living in Sydney, I’m beginning to feel very comfortable and at home. I’ve now taken every form of public transportation that is available to us: bus, train, subway, and even a ferry! I use Apple Maps for everything (sorry Google Map users I just find it more user friendly!) and normally have no problem getting to where I’m going. As part of the CAPA program, we get free “opal cards” which we use to tap on and off for all of the public transportation systems. They are very convenient and can get you pretty far outside of the city, and most importantly- to all of the beaches! I use the light rail to get to my internship and it’s just a long enough commute (about 35 minutes) where I can have time to drink some coffee and properly wake up without the need to get up too early. It’s kind of exciting using all of these modes of transportation since at Pitt I only ever really used the public bus systems and very occasionally the train.
The other card in the picture above is my keycard for our apartment. To say that I am pleased with our living arrangement would be an understatement. I live on the 13th floor of our building, which is called the Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments, with an amazing view of Darling Harbor and downtown Sydney. I get to go to sleep every night with my window overlooking the city’s colorful nightlife lights and wake up every morning to sunshine. I get along very well with my roommates, one of them is also from Pitt and the other two are from the University of Delaware. I think the CAPA program did a good job with rooming arrangements because I have a lot in common with my roommates. I have heard of roommate troubles from some other friends and what I’ve gathered is the importance of honesty- I strongly recommend being open about your living preferences and to not bottle it up when something bothers you. As long as you are respectful to those you live with, I think housing shouldn’t really be an issue for anyone.
A good tip for getting adjusted to living in a new city is to get into a routine and find convenient places that you enjoy. I have found one of the cafés that are in our building very nice and go there a few times a week to get work done. I find the environment very cozy and am easily able to be productive there, even when I go with friends which normally makes it very hard for me to concentrate. I know others who have found their good vibes in close by parks or libraries, so it’s all about finding a place that feels right for you. That combined with getting into a routine that you feel comfortable in might make the adjustment to living across the world a little easier.