Late Reflections on My Usyd Experience

Miranda Cundall/University of Sydney/Politics and International Relations

It may have been a while since my last post, but since coming back to Manchester I’ve had some time to reflect and reminisce about my semester abroad at the University of Sydney.

It’s really weird to think that it was this time last year that I would have just got to Sydney and it weirder to realise that I’m jealous of my past self. It’s a cliche but my time in Sydney did go so quickly, its as if as soon as I got used to the Australian lifestyle I got snatched away and taken back to Manchester (even though Manchester still is 10/10). It might be because now I’m in Third year and the essays/dissertation/terrifying future plans are coming thick and fast but the Syd blues are real.

Another cliche but I have no shame, studying abroad is an amazing and once in a life time experience which I would recommend to anyone. Even if you don’t go as far as Sydney, I think that studying abroad is an excellent opportunity to try something completely out your normal comfort zone and see the world from a different angle, whilst making friends and travelling along the way.  Also, since coming back I’ve noticed how much I’ve grown as a person as now I’m much more proactive and confident in daily life, which I think will be incredibly useful for my unplanned future. Finally, although its scary to leave Manchester at the start, I can tell you now nothing will be massively different when you come back apart from you’ll have an amazing audience for your tantalising study abroad tales.

Admiring the views at Lake Tekapo during Easter in NZ

For me personally as I never took a gap year, it was the ability to travel whilst studying and to live somewhere completely different that hugely appealed to me. Not that the UK isn’t banging and all, but being able to go the beach after uni, the Blue Mountains/Melbourne on weekends and New Zealand during Easter was hard to compare Plattfields Park with. To try travel within a budget, I would heavily advise checking Jetstar frequently as they often have flash sales on flights, especially on Fridays, which ended up saving me a lot of money over the 6 months. Also a heads up that Sydney airport has a late night flight ban operating between 11pm and 6am, which cost me a lot of delayed flights before I realised. Therefore in hindsight, I suggest booking flights from /to Sydney in earlier times of the day to make sure you actually end up getting them.

I have to keep this post brief as I have an essay dying for some attention but I just want to stress if you have the opportunity to study abroad, Sydney or elsewhere, you should DO IT! Travelling, making new friends, new experiences, new cultures and growing as a person – I could bore your ear off about it all. To me, the only downside of studying abroad is that the UK might look a bit greyer on your return.

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