Hello! My name is Eliza Drohan. I am a senior at The University of Pittsburgh majoring in Finance and Human Resources Management. I am currently studying abroad in Sydney, Australia based out of the CAPA center at The University of Technology Sydney.
Part of the reason I chose Sydney, Australia was because it aligned with my academic and personal goals. Studying abroad is something I wanted out of my college experience and the opportunity did not present itself until my senior fall semester. I chose this location because I knew there would be no other opportunity to travel across the world and live here for 3 months! Since Australia is so difficult to get to, I knew this was the best decision for me.
New University and Culture
My program is very small compared to other study abroad programs–a total of 18 students from the United States. This means our classes are small which is something a lot different from Pitt. One of my classes only has 3 students in it! The University of Technology Sydney is that it’s just a block away from where we are staying, so it is great to go to and from between classes. Students have access to the rest of the University as well, so we have been taking advantage of that! The library is a great place to go and get work done.
We are located truly in the heart of Sydney and it has made the experience already amazing. Just a ten minute walk from Darling Harbour–I have taken advantage of the trail alongside the water, the weekly Saturday night fireworks and the fantastic views of the city.
In addition, we are living just around the corner from Chinatown. Sydney’s Chinatown is one of the biggest in the world since Asia culture has helped shape the city. The food and incredible smells around every corner are something I got used to pretty quickly. Every Friday night, the streets fill up for a food market in the Chinatown. You can find me eating dumplings, mango rice, pork puns and noodles.
The building we are staying at is the filled with students all over the world studying at the universities all around Sydney. I am living with 7 other students and share my room with another girl. The living accommodations are nice, and we have two of everything in our kitchen. At Pitt, I live off campus and thought that it would be difficult to share a room again. However, it hasn’t bothered me at all, and we are only in our rooms to sleep and study.
I have been quick to adapt to the culture and the norms around here. Since it is an English-speaking country, it has been nice not to have a language barrier. Everyone in our program has gotten extremely close and it has been easy to explore the city and I am looking forward to the rest of the semester!