The farewell dinner commemorated our semester in Sydney coming to an end. The four months have flown by and, for most, school is done and only packing and a few last days in Sydney remain. I have a couple finals left, but my bags are packed and the last day is quickly approaching. Students always talk about their study abroad experiences and it is crazy to think that ours is almost over. Sydney has been the best place to study abroad. It’s a safe place with great public transportation, making it easy to get around and do anything. The weather is beautiful and the proximity to the city means there is always something to do. Hundreds of beaches are close by and the mountains are only a few hours away. Sydney has many beautiful national parks accessible by train or ferry. Most importantly, the universities are top tier and I have learned more this semester than I have any other back home. The academics are challenging, with more group assignments and essays, less guidance, and more research. There were so many times that I just felt lost in the assignment, hoping that I was heading in the right direction. Only with challenge, however, does one feel accomplished at the end. If I pass all of my classes, I will feel very accomplished indeed.
I have had a good balance of school and adventure. The academics come first, however, I have had the opportunity to do so many wonderful things during my free time. I visited Melbourne, the Blue Mountains, the Royal National Park, went to the winning State of the Origin Rugby Match, seen Macklemore at the Future Music Festival, watched 2 shows in the Opera House, will watch the Lion King Live, was front row on the X Factor, got lost in the mirror maze in Luna Park, and saw Vivid. I joined the lawn tennis team at USyd and worked with many Australian and international students on group projects. It was a great semester with many firsts and was a great start to my independent international travel.
Sydney is an exciting place, with natural beauty by the water and architectural masterpieces. For a student, there is no better place to study. It’s an expensive place, for sure, but for a semester it’s worth it. There is so much to see and experience, you’ll definitely never be bored.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Melanie Bracht and I am a junior at the University of South Carolina. I am originally from Pennsylvania, but have lived in several states in the US and abroad in China. I love to travel and have been to 29 different countries. I, however, have never been to Australia and am so excited to explore down under for a semester at the University of Sydney. I enjoy volunteering, writing, and playing tennis.</span></p>