This is officially my 6th day here in Sydney, and it could not be more amazing! There is so much to tell. Although it was a long and exhausting travel day on the way to Sydney, it was a surprisingly easy flight. After my 6 hour flight to LA and a 5 hour layover, I was about ready to pass out on my 1am flight to Sydney! Luckily I slept through the majority of the flight.
Once we landed in Australia, we were greeted by IFSA-Butler staff who helped us pack our luggage and board the bus to depart to our hostel for orientation. First thing, we took a 3 hour walking tour of Sydney, and although we were all exhausted, it was impossible to miss the incredible scenery. Although Sydney is a major city, we saw trees, botanical gardens, castle-like buildings, ferries, fountains and learned a little history as we walked. We ended our tour at the harbor where we made a quick stop at the Sydney Opera House which I hope to be back for to see a real show. After some resting and getting to know each other, we all went out to a pizza dinner where some brave people got their first taste of kangaroo!
The next day was an all day adventure. We started out at the zoo where we got to play with and pet koalas and kangaroos! Definitely a highlight of orientation. After that we went Echo Point where we got to see the Three Sisters, a beautiful and famous rock formation in Sydney. After a long hike, we then re-boarded the bus and headed to an Aboriginal center where we got to paint our faces, decorate our own boomerangs and watch some traditional aboriginal dances accompanied by the digeridoo, an instrument unlike anything I’ve ever heard or seen! Finally after a long day, we drove back to our hostel and got to watch a little Summer Heights High on the bus. That night, we all ate dinner in Chinatown and were semi-able to navigate our way back to the hostel by ourselves after getting only a tiny bit lost… Which is pretty impressive because none of us have our iphones or google maps!
On our final full day of orientation, we essentially had the whole day to explore on our own. For most of us, this meant a trip to Manly Beach, which was only about a 40 minute ferry ride away. Here we got to lay in some long-awaited sun and buy our first (but definitely not last) gelato of the semester! Afterwards, we returned to our hostel to got ready for our goodbye dinner boat cruise in Sydney Harbor.
We are now all moved into our rooms at Sydney Uni (what they call University of Sydney), and I am definitely enjoying my own bathroom and big bed! Unfortunately we have no air conditioning, but there is a ceiling fan, so we are all trying to stay cool. The only problem is that there are no screens on the windows, and we’ve been warned about cockroaches and spiders, so I am doing everything possible to avoid those! We’ve now had two days of international orientation, and tomorrow is the official start of O-Week (orientation) for freshers (freshman)! There’s so much to look forward to in the weeks to come!