This past week and a half has been such a blur and it definitely feels like I have been in Sydney much longer. On Saturday morning, the day after I arrived, I lugged my stuff to the Sydney University Village and moved into my housing. This is when I first met other IES students and we all took a journey to Kmart (the cheapest retail store around) to buy some essentials like sheets and towels. We were given a vague map and ended up taking over twice as long to get there as we should have. The walk back was brutal. Although they optimistically say that it’s only 20 minutes away, those 20 minutes turn into 30 grueling minutes when walking uphill in the heat carrying a huge laundry basket and two big white plastic bags on the verge of ripping. It was an adventure to say the least. That night we had a dinner cruise on the harbor. The view was beautiful as we watched the sunset over the Opera House and Darling Harbor Bridge.
The next morning we had to find our own way by bus to the city center by 7:30 for orientation. It was an early start and, new the city, we left super early, nervous that we would not make it to the right place on time. After orientation we had lunch and a jet boat ride. It’s an overwhelming feeling to realize that we are on our own in the city, responsible for figuring out the bus system and finding our way back. A group of friends and I walked to China town and then took a bus back. If you are ready to walk for hours and willing to ask for directions, you can truly never be lost in Sydney.
The next day, Monday, was enrolment. I got into all of the classes I had wanted. It is a very easy process and as long as your courses are approved, enrolment is nothing to worry about at USyd.
For the rest of the week a group of friends and I explored the city. We went to Coogee and Bondi beach, which are approximately 30 minutes away by bus. On Thursday we spent the day taking free tours in the city, in which you just meet a guide at Town Hall and follow the waking tour through tunnels and alley ways for a few hours.
IES provides an unlimited bus pass for one week, so we took full advantage and tried to see as much as possible before school and real life started.
There were parties and meet and greets all week, with many free dinners at the Sydney University Village. The university’s O-week began on Wednesdays with tents for all the different clubs and societies. We get free Access cards from IES (pick up from International Office by the lounge), but each club costs something to enter.
It was a busy, but wonderful week!
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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>