I can summarize this post in three words...I MISS AUSTRALIA. Being back in the states for the first time in three months is beyond odd, and I'm finding myself missing absolutely everything about my life in Sydney. More than anything though, I've found myself reminiscing on some of best memories that I've ever had, with some of the best people that I've ever known.
My family was able to come and visit me in Sydney, as well as some extra travel destinations around Southern Australia and New Zealand, just at the end of the IES program. As sad as I was to see my program end, I was thankful that I could share a portion of my stay with my family. New Zealand was absolutely incredible, and I highly recommend making that excursion if you're able.
I am so thankful that my parents urged and supported me in studying abroad. My whole summer was spent pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and learning more about the world as well as myself each and every day, and I recommend it to every person who has the chance. I know some people may be apprehensive about traveling abroad alone with a program where you don't previously know anyone, but I believe it is one of the best learning experiences out there. The time abroad does fly by, so it's important to treat every day as an adventure, and take every opportunity with open arms.
Looking back, I am SO beyond thankful for the opportunity to live independently on the other side of the globe, and for getting the chance to fall in love with the beautiful country of Australia. As much as I already miss it, I also find myself appreciating the little things from back home that I used to take for granted. I missed driving (on the right side of the road), I missed my friends beyond belief, and dunkin donuts iced coffee. It's nice to be back to being a full time student at my home University, but I still think about Australia literally everyday.
For now, I just have to wait until I'm able to journey back over to the great country of Australia, which will definitely be very soon. A huge thank you to IES abroad for the absolute best summer of my life!!
Till next time, mates xx
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<p>My name is Haley Straub and I am an animal sciences student at the University of Florida aspiring to be an exotic animal Veterinarian. I also have a huge interest in international studies and dance, both of which I am receiving minors for. I could not be more excited to travel to Sydney this Summer and gain a ton of new life experience, both in and out of the workplace!</p>