Bethan Rowsby, University of Sydney
Upon arriving in Sydney, I was met at the airport by my friend Snow, who I actually lived with in my first year in halls when she was on exchange from Australia in Manchester! It was so great to be met with a friendly face and as I battled jet lag we explored Sydney together (she lives in Canberra) and had a long overdue catch up. I am going to visit her in Canberra soon which I am really looking forward to – most people I’ve met in Sydney make a bit of a joke about Canberra in that there isn’t much to do there but I’ve heard good things about Floriade, their spring flower festival and of course the extravagant milkshakes that went viral a couple of months go on buzzfeed! So I am very much looking forward to my trip there.
Seeing the Sydney Opera House in real life for the first time was pretty surreal as it’s so iconic, and even now whenever I see it I feel the need to take a photo of it! Another Sydney icon is the Harbour bridge, which to my surprise and excitement can be seen in the distance from the end of my road. It has become one of my favourite things; to walk down to the end of the road and around the water there, taking in the city. As I mentioned in my last post, I am living in a shared house with 7 other girls, which could not have worked out better. I’ve definitely picked up some Australian phrases since living with them, such as ‘heaps’ (loads/a lot/many), ‘defo’ (definitely) and adding ‘hey’ at the end of sentences, and we’ve had many conversations about what I consider to be ‘Australian’ and the differences in the weather compared to home.. Several days this ‘winter’ over here have been the same temperature back home where it’s summer!
After the stress of finding a place to live had been lifted, the tasks that were left for me to complete were life admin type things; getting a bank account, a phone contract and enrolling at the university, all of which went very smoothly. There were several events organised by USyd that exchange students could go to to meet other exchange students; one which I went to was a ‘Koala Breakfast’ where we had a tour round the wildlife zoo at Darling Harbour which finished with us eating breakfast surrounded by Koalas (no koalas were consumed)! Overall, my first few weeks here have been filled with meeting heaps of new people – from Australia and all over the world, planning trips (further afield than the 3.5 hour trip to Canberra – I’m heading to New Zealand at the end of September!) and getting stuck into uni life at USyd which is what my next post will probably be about.