Miranda Cundall//Politics and International Relations//University of Sydney
Sorry for the delay in blog posts! It seems I was too caught up with fighting Kangaroos, throwing shrimps on the barbie, and all the other things Australian, to sit down and take a breather. However, since settling back in to the normality of Manchester and overcoming the heartbreak of completing my semester at Sydney , I thought I would compile a quick list of ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ for potential future Sydney study abroaders.
It may seem like alien advice now, but trust me it’ll all make sense soon.
- Prepare for the brutal (but undeniably worthwhile) journey to Oz
My journey out took around 28 hours and it does get a bit painful towards the end. Be prepared to watch enough TV to make your eyes go square and bring an eyemask.
- Work hard, play hard
I had a bit of a shock when starting uni work at Syd, as I had to do different forms of assessments that I wasn’t familiar to back in Manchester (for example I had no clue how to do a website review of the Australian Labor Party). Take time to look over course outlines and ask your tutor for guidance if you’re struggling with anything – the quicker you work hard, the sooner you can play.
- Go to the beach
A self-explanatory, yet necessary, point. Beach days after uni are the best days. Slap on the factor 30 though, maybe even factor 50 if you’re blessed with pasty skin like me. My favourite beaches were; Bronte, Shelly Beach (just round from Manly) and defo Camp Cove. There’s more to life than Bondi Beach.
- Day trips baaby
On Sundays all travel on Opal Cards (the Australian equivalent of Oyster Cards – be sure to get the concession Student one) is capped at $2.50! Head to the Blue Mountains or Wollongong for some scenic adventures. Even if you’re feeling lazy explore Newtown in Sydney as it definitely has some hidden gems.
- Fall in love with Melbourne
Seriously its a trap. It may lure you in with its graffiti alleyways and hipster cafes, but don’t be fooled – Sydney’s the best obvs.
- Forget you can travel outside of Aus too!
For Easter I did a roadtrip round New Zealand whilst some of my other friends went to Bali or Fiji. If financially possible try make the most of living amongst the Pacific Islands.
- Ignore your mum
Honestly, listen to your mum and bring the weird things she suggests. I spent 6 months wishing I had listened and brought my portable speaker/travel towel/flashlight as my mum suggested. Yet, I also spent 6 months being too proud to admit this to her.
Overall, studying abroad is an amazing experience no matter what way you go about it. I made some lifelong friends scattered across the globe and some incredible memories that will stay with me forever. I’m going to have to stop now as thinking about my semester in Australia is making me all nostalgic and mushy, not a good look for me. Feel free to message me if you want an extended list or any advice about Sydney, and if you’re on the fence about studying abroad I can’t stress enough, do it!!