Everything is finally starting to settle down here in Sydney as people are becoming more familiar with public transportation, navigating campus, figuring out how to cook for themselves and getting into a routine with class schedules.
Last week, I started to meet Australians and other people outside of IFSA Butler while signing up for my Syndey Uni Access Card! This card allows you to join any of the clubs/societies on campus and receive discounts on local food and drinks. I think that I signed up for the card on the wrong day because the line ended up taking three hours! Luckily though, all study abroad students are set up with an Australian buddy who attends the University, so I got to hang out with one of my IFSA Butler friends, her buddy Liam and his friend Chris during the long wait. We got to ask questions about the university and learn about the best restaurants nearby. And after our long long wait in line, we went to lunch with Chris and Liam to get the 6.50 pad thai lunch special at a Thai restaurant on king street. It was great, cheap, and I definitely have plenty of leftovers for later! And the next week, I got to meet with my buddy who took me out to coffee at a cute cafe on King Street and then gave me a mini tour of Newtown, pointing out her favorite restaurants, shops and bars.
As part of O-Week, there were plenty of events to keep us busy. Besides the beach, which is always an option on any sunny day, there was everything from pizza trivia night to foam parties to the Mardi Gras parade followed by a recovery brunch the next morning. And my new favorite restaurant is definitely Pancakes on the Rocks. They are open 24/7 and have all kinds of delicious pancakes accompanied by chocolate, ice cream, bananas and many other options. Delicious!
On Friday night, I went with a few friends to a temple in Bondi Junction to celebrate Shabbat (the Jewish holiday that happens every Friday night to Saturday evening). It was nice to meet some other people on abroad programs and cook a traditional shabbat dinner with chicken, salad and challah!
Starting classes wasn’t so bad because with my current schedule, I only have class on Mondays and Tuesdays! I’m still hoping to get an internship to do during the day on Wednesday, but I will probably have to interview at a few places this week. Everyone has been so friendly and helpful around campus. After one of my economics classes, I started talking to an Australian student who had the same hour break as me before her next class and offered to take me to coffee! The only thing that is tough is that most of the Australians do not live on campus and only take classes a few days a week since they have to commute. As a result, unless you catch your Australian friends during the days when they have class, it is hard to make plans.
I joined the gym this week and went to a group fitness class which was a lot of fun. I love group fitness at home, so I’m glad I found something that will keep me in shape while I’m here… and will hopefully be an opportunity to meet more people!
This weekend, I had a friend from high school who was visiting from Melbourne, so it was wonderful to see her and be able to show her a little bit of Sydney. Hopefully she’ll return the favor if I end up making it to Melbourne on a free weekend!