By Claire Muller, University of Sydney, Australia
My name is Claire. I’m a third-year psychology student, currently on exchange at the University of Sydney for a year. I arrived back in July 2018, so this article is long overdue, but I wanted to tell you guys about how my arrival and the initial week in Sydney went.
I officially left Europe on the 17th of July. Saying goodbye to the fam at first wasn’t that bad, I was probably too excited about the journey ahead. However, once I reached Doha (Qatar), that is when reality struck me like a ton of bricks. I was thinking to myself: ‘Why did I have to pick an exchange destination literally across the other side of the world? What was I thinking? I mean I’m going to be gone for an entire year, if something happens, I stuck there.’ I might have also been panicking a little because I had never taken a 13hour flight by myself before.
Thankfully, the plane landed in Sydney without any hiccups and I had slept through most of it, so there wasn’t much to worry about in the end.
One thing that I was worried about (other than everything else I mentioned before) was the Australian Customs. Having watched multiple episodes of Border Patrol Australia, I was expecting to be stopped at any moment (even though I literally had nothing but clothes in my suitcase) and bombarded with questions. Surprisingly though, that wasn’t the case. It actually went quite smoothly and nothing drastic happened, such as being stopped.
As I said before, #worryingfornothingproblems.
(Insert GIF of peace sign here)
Some family friends came to the airport to come to pick me up, which I was very thankful for because I would have probably gotten lost. They dropped me off at my accommodation and helped me get set up there. Once they left, some of my housemates came and introduced themselves and the rest is history. The accommodation had a pretty good social aspect to it. You ate dinner with everyone else, so you were able to talk to others and get to know people then. They organized social events, such as thrift-shopping in Marrickville or watching movies every night. Therefore, I was able to get to know people and make friends much more easily.
When it came to my initial week in Sydney, I had arrived a few days before ‘Orientation’ in order to not feel jetlagged, for when I will have to talk to new people. I was kind of wary about whether I would be able to make new friends because I am an introvert. However, during Orientation, the university had organized two food stands (ice cream and waffles), though, the queue was extremely long. Thankfully, whilst waiting in the queue, I met some people, who would later become my friends. Everyone is pretty much in the same boat, so it’s quite easy to get people talking and become friends with people.
Afterward, the rest was history.
Well, that was my initial experience in Sydney! Hope you enjoy it!
Until next time,