1. Act like a local, even if you do touristy things. If you want to really experience a place, then act like you live there. Try to meet locals and ask them for recommendations of things to do that are off the beaten path. Go to the Opera House, of course, but also ask your coworker about the best place to get a cup of coffee in the central business district. Try not to treat this like an extended vacation, and do more ordinary things that a local would do. One of the best decisions I made was asking my coworkers where the best restaurants in Sydney are. 2. Find people who want to do the things you want to do. Don't want to go out every weekend? Great! I would almost guarantee there will be someone else who would rather stay in on a Friday night. Want to go to an art museum? Ask someone you think might be interested! Everyone is in the same position, wanting to pack everything into two short months, so most people will be excited to try something new with you. It can be scary, especially with people you don't know well, but they might end up being one of your best friends from the trip. 3. Get comfortable doing things alone. Study abroad is great for meeting new people and getting very close with them in a short period of time. It's great to find a group to do things with, but make sure you're also making time for yourself. Remember to take care of your mind and take time to decompress when you need it. Go grab dinner by yourself or spend a night in reading a book if you feel yourself getting overwhelmed with the proximity. 4. Listen to your body! It's so tempting to ignore the signs of fatigue and just keep making plans because you don't want to miss out on things. Your body will humble you. I promise, it's better to take a day to take care of yourself than end up too sick to get out of bed. I made the mistake of ignoring all of the warning signs and ended up with a cold I couldn't shake for over a week. Sleep and eat right and your experience will be much more enjoyable. 5. Enjoy the ordinary. One of the best parts of my study abroad internship was when all of the interns would come home after work and a few of us would cook dinner together and watch movies and just laugh all night. It had nothing to do with culture or Australia, but we had a great time together and those are the moments I think I miss most now. Some of the best moments of my summer, when we weren't seeing or doing amazing things, were when we were all just there, together, laughing and talking about our days, or trying to figure out how to use the oven. The ordinary, unplanned moments of the experience were just as good as the planned ones.
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<p>Being from a small town in Oklahoma, I've always been eager to travel and see the world. Through IES Abroad, I have had the incredible opportunity to be an intern in Sydney for the summer. Through this, I have been able to develop my dreams into passions. At the University of Missouri, I am studying English and psychology, which encompasses so many of my passions. In my free time, I love to read, write, and cook!</p>