My last days in Australia were very difficult because I had to work very hard for finals week. Unlike most institutions, my university is not pass-fail, and the University of Sydney enforces curved grading, which was very hard to adjust to academically. I think that my biggest regret while studying abroad was not taking it easy on myself by signing up for classes that were not for my major. Instead, I was stuck with austere academic requirements and a workload that was disproportionate in difficulty to those of my fellow abroad students.
November is a beautiful month in Australia where temperatures rise into the 90s. When I wasn’t studying, I went to Coogee beach by the University of New South Wales, or I would go to Victoria park which is right on the edge of the campus of University of Sydney. Another popular place to go was Manly beach, just a ferry ride away from the Sydney CBD. As I finished up my finals I tried to stay outside as much as possible because I knew I would be returning to cold Philadelphia weather too soon. However, I booked a trip to visit my best friends from abroad in their hometown in Guatemala from December 13th to December 27th, so I knew the cold weather could not last too long.
A few days before my flight, my bosses from my internship at the Greek Consulate in Sydney took me to a wonderful lunch at the Westfield mall in a famous Greek restaurant. The chef even came out to greet us between chopping up a freshly killed pig and opening his phyllo in the back room, and he told us about his career as a marathon swimmer. Everybody in Sydney seems to have fascinating and hobbies, and I do not think you can find those types of people anywhere else in the world. I was sad to say goodbye to my bosses at my internship, but they gave me information about visiting Greece and even gave me a t-shirt that advertised Greece on it. I went to the Chinese markets for a final time, went out to Darling Harbor with my best friends for my last night, and then it was time to catch my flight.
Australia taught me so much both in the classroom at the University of Sydney and also outdoors all along the places I explored on the East Coast. I hope that I can go back someday soon, but until then I can only hope that someone is inspired by this blog to go abroad there while I languish back home in the cold United States.