G’day mates! Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog about my semester abroad down under!
I apologize for the late start, the first two weeks of this adventure have been so incredible that it has taken me some time to reflect on my experiences and how to put the sights and feelings into words.
I started my Aussie Adventure with a five day orientation in Sydney, Australia. After a 12 hour layover in LAX followed by a restless 15 hour flight, we finally arrived in a rainy Sydney. We arrived in our home for the orientation at the ICMS campus in Manly, a town right outside of Sydney. Fun fact: the building we had the privilege to stay in was the castle where they filmed the Great Gatsby! Although it might not have been as glamorous as Gatsby’s living, the program bonding experiences and views of Manly Beach left me in awe.
Our orientation focused on sight seeing and classic Aussie experiences while in Sydney. I could easily go on and on about my love for Sydney, so I will make it brief with some highlights of my adventures.
As we took the ferry from Manly to Circular Quay on a daily basis, the view from Sydney Harbour of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge never ceased to take my breath away. I swear I could stare at the Opera House all day, it is beautiful! Looking over the city from the Sydney Skytower windows, even on a cloudy day, cannot do the city justice for it’s amazing culture.
Although people typically believe that Australia and America are same culturally because they are both English speaking countries, I have found in my short time here that there are HUGE culture differences. Sure, it is helpful that the locals speak a language I am familiar with, and there are eateries I recognize from the states like McDonald’s and Pita Pit (yes they have Pita Pit here, and yes, it’s even better here!), the way of life here is much different than back home. Australians having a saying “She’ll be right,” meaning “no worries” and “everything will work out.” There is a relaxed pace of life here; few are in a rush to get to where they are going or get done what needs to be done. You can easily spend two hours at a restaurant eating dinner, and the waiter won’t bring you your check or try to rush you out. In America, you can cut through people on the streets who aren’t going fast enough for you, but in Sydney, you walk with the pace of the crowd. Being the girl in the hallway that rushes to class as if the sky is falling, I have been given the challenge of slowing down. The first few days, this was much more difficult than I expected it to be. However, I think I am slowly starting to make this adjustment. The “no worries” way of life might take a little longer to become accustomed to after a previous fall semester of constantly being stressed, but it is my goal for my journey to go with the flow and let this adventure run its own path.