Settling into Sydney life

Now that I’ve settled into my courses and everyday life, Sydney has started to feel more and more like home. My “day in the life” here is very similar to that at home in the sense that I get up, eat breakfast, go to class for a few hours each day, maybe study at the library or at home for a bit, and then spend the rest of the day either going to the beach, hanging out with friends, or exploring. Since my classes rarely assign homework, I am only responsible for reading before each one, so I generally have more time throughout the day to relax. The major difference between school here vs. BC is that you have maybe two or three major assignments that count for your entire grade. This means that while you might not be so busy on a day-to-day basis, you have to put more time into your assignments as they are simply worth so much more.

My commute to school is around a 25-minute walk from my house or about a 10 minute bus ride. The bus system here is very reliable and easy to use, all you have to do is pick up an Opal card (or just use your credit card) and download the Opal app to see when and where you can take a bus. I use the bus when I’m running late to school or simply when I’m too lazy to walk. I also use the bus or train whenever I go into the city and surrounding areas.

The weekends look a bit different because I try to explore Sydney as much as I can and explore the other parts of Australia as well. One thing I didn’t know before coming here was how big Australia actually is. If you want to travel the East Coast of Australia, for example, you will have to either buy a plane ticket or spend long hours driving (which is super fun as well!). If you want to visit Western Australia, it takes over 4 hours to get there by plane. There are so many unique and beautiful places to visit, I’m having trouble fitting everything I want to see before I go home.

A picture I took in Brisbane while I was on my spring break! Brisbane is a little over 1
hour flight from Sydney)

UNSW offers so many different opportunities for international students it’s crazy! About the first month or so I was here I signed up for a surf camp with some of my roommates. We traveled 2 hours south of Sydney and spent the weekend learning to surf from amazing Aussie instructors. We had a range of weather conditions, but everything was worth it in the end. At the end of our second day surfing, we saw dolphins jumping and a rainbow to top it all off. I kid you not, this picture shown below is real. I was in awe that whole day and I can now say I learned to surf in Australia! Plus, almost everyone at the surf camp was an international student, so everyone is extremely friendly and looking to make friends (kind of like your first few weeks as a freshman). More exciting information to come!