Though my time in Sydney, Australia has been some of the most exciting months of my life, this did not come without cultural adjustments and the challenge of adapting to a foreign environment. This semester, in addition to going to class, I am working at a market research company called Snooper where I function as the Market Strategy Intern. Although my internship is definitely a highlight of my study abroad experience, the biggest challenge I have faced this semester is learning to balance my schedule between my work and academic priorities while still making time to explore this fantastic global city!
I attend my internship in the city two full days a week and one half day. This adds up to the twenty hours I must complete each week on top of the classes I attend toward my major. This is my first time completing academic credits during the school year while simultaneously working a job, so it certainly has been a learning experience in figuring out how to delegate my time. Because I work during the day and attend class at night, I must strategically plan out my free time so that I can do homework and study while still creating time to hang out with friends and travel! Though this was initially a challenge, after about two weeks into the program I had a set routine during the week. In between my internship and class, I would work on school assignments and study for exams. However, I always made time after class and on the weekends to try out new restaurants, go to the beach, and travel in and around Australia! During my time on study abroad, I had the opportunity to travel to Byron Bay, the Great Barrier Reef, and even Bali in Indonesia!
This experience taught me the importance of time management and aligning my priorities. If I knew I had an exam coming up, I would spend less time out and about in Sydney and more time studying to ensure I felt prepared for my test. Planning out my weeks between school, my internship, and social activities helped me to make the best of my time on study abroad! I would advise other study abroad students feeling overwhelmed with their schedules to craft out a plan and try to stay as organized as possible. Study abroad definitely flies by, so try to take advantage of every possible second!