Experiencing the Down Under

When I was initially accepted into the program, I was surprisingly not as excited as I wish I would have been. I knew study abroad was going to be an incredible experience, but this feeling of hopefulness was something that had been taken away from me in the past. I remember as a freshman how wide eyed and excited I was to study abroad; it was one of the solidifying reasons I chose The University of Pittsburgh. However, throughout my college years, it was a consistent path of highs and lows about not only getting back into the classroom but traveling as well. I had applied to study abroad, then re-applied, then re-applied again. It was a constant back and forth that had been getting overwhelming and something I didn’t know if I wanted to go through again. All I have to say to myself before this is: it was well worth the wait.

New Louis Vuitton exhibit in Sydney

Something I noticed when arriving is how comfortable I was. Since I already have three years of college under my belt, internships, side jobs and finding activities for myself to do, I was quick to adapt and make myself comfortable in a new environment. One  focus on my study time and most importantly, making the most of my time here. My college experience is soon to be fleeting and I have to optimize my experiences and what I want to get out of it. 

Coogee Beach at night

I think everyone goes into a study abroad program knowing that they will grow from it. However, growing is something that is unmeasureable and you may not realize it until well into the future. Being exposed to an entire new culture, traveling across the entire globe and immersing oneself into a unique opportunity is something that will carry over 

What has surprised me most about my time here is how close I got with everyone in the program. Going into the study abroad experience, I was expecting to go to a lot of places by myself and explore on my own. I still do that sometimes but for the most part, I will always have people to go with and it enhances the experience. Everyone here is extremely likeminded and hoping to make the most of our time here in Sydney. One of the favorite things is every two weeks or so, different people cook a dinner for everyone, and we talk about things we are grateful and appreciative of. It makes my time here feel so much more valued 

View of Sydney and the Harbour Bridge

An entire semester feels like a long time. Saying goodbye to family, friends and packing your suitcases is a surreal experience. I wish I would have realized how fast these three months were going to fly by. There is still so much I want to do, places I want to see, and time is quickly coming to end. Every day I try and explore a different part of Sydney and the surrounding area and it’s something I wish I started to do sooner. I am excited to keep on adventuring and making the most of my little time left!