By Rachael Harrison (University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia)
Since uni ended the countdown to Australia began. The excitement braced me everyday. Everyone who knew I was off on this year long adventure asked the same question, ‘Are you excited?’, ‘Aren’t you lucky to be going on this adventure?’; I could only simply answer yes, with a beaming smile. I knew I was very lucky to have been given this opportunity to study abroad, all thanks to The University of Manchester.
The night before the departure was tough saying bye to my parents, brother and nephews, knowing that when I returned the youngest one would have changed so much, but thankfully we can still Facetime and Skype. There was a lot of last-minute packing involved, deliberating over whether I really needed that extra jumper or pair of trousers and then the worrying if my bag was overweight. I used various methods to attempt to weigh the bag on a set of old school bathroom scales, which gave a different reading every time!
My journey started at Manchester International Airport, where the excitement become all too real, I was actually going to Australia. I was flying with Qatar Airways going from Manchester to Doha, Doha to Perth with an overall flight time of just under 19 hours. Saying goodbye to my friends and family was sad, but I knew that the journey ahead of me was going to be worth it. I checked in (suitcase underweight), said goodbye to my family and then I was off – this was it!
I knew things would be all right when I got to Perth. I had spoken to a couple of people who had stayed at UWA and I was staying at one of the University’s resident colleges,Trinity, and they were picking me up at the airport, so that was going to take away some of the stress of trying to locate myself and find my way around. The really funny part of all this was that at the airport, I actually met a girl travelling back to UWA after a semester abroad in England, and also ran into one of the girls from Manchester who was travelling to UWA and staying in Trinity College; such a small world.
I have since arrived safely and will keep you all up-to-date with my travels and experiences and I look forward to reading about everyone else’s.
P.S. This blog is about a week late so apologies!