Saying Goodbye Is the Hardest Part: Reflections on My Experience

This study abroad experience has given me much to reflect on. I have learned so much about Australian culture, both from the workplace atmosphere in my internship and through my class in learning about the history and current environment of Sydney as a global city.  

I have grown in ways I did not expect through being here. Being put into a completely new environment with all new people in a foreign place has not come without its challenges. But it’s given me the chance to become more independent and allowed me the opportunity to show that I can adapt to new places in a completely new atmosphere. I was able to create lasting friendships and relationships with colleagues, and I am proud of the way I adapted to the culture and learned more about the place and people around me. Taking that into the future, it will help me to communicate and understand different people that I will be interacting with both in my personal life and professional work as well.

My biggest takeaway from this program would be to take advantage of all opportunities that are put in front of you and say yes to everything. I was given this advice when I was at Pitt, and taking this into Australia was the best decision I made. When I first arrived, everything was new and it would have been so easy to just retreat into my room as I did not know anyone there and plan every detail of every day out. But instead, I decided to just go with the flow and see where every day took me, meeting new people and hanging out with them. Some days, we would walk for hours just exploring and finding new places we were not expecting, and that unexpectedness made every moment more valuable and exciting. I had so much fun not following a plan but instead saying yes to every opportunity or idea someone threw out into the group chat. I am a huge planner, and to be able to just say yes and see where the day takes me was not something that I easily used to do. Coming into these unexpected situations and just seeing where the day took us and seeing how we would make the most out of it is something that will definitely help me in the future. Being put in a circumstance that is out of your control, whether that be in the workplace or in your personal life, is something that can happen unexpectedly. Being able to make the most out of that situation is not easy, but I think I have learned the importance of trying to find the best in any situation and have fun in creative ways with the people around me. I’m proud of everything I did and accomplished in Australia. Like the picture below, while there might be many places to explore anywhere you go in life and it might be overwhelming at first, by taking it little by little and making the best of every situation, you can find many people and experiences that make each place visited memorable and a growing opportunity.

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