Night is always my reflection and thinking time. And as I sit at Darling Harbor surrounded by my IFSA crew and beautiful scenery I think back on the month that flew by. And though this is unfair to say to my home, I have fallen madly in love with this country. Or at least Sydney.
I think the key was finding my place and settling in to where I fit.
My IFSA crew has been an awesome group to discover what Australia has to offer. Having in common a love of travel and adventure, it is easy to always find someone ready to experience something new. Or sometimes they are a great resource for the nights that you want something familiar. We have even made somewhat of a tradition of cooking together every few weekends or so. First were the tacos, second came breakfast for dinner, I’m thinking an Indian night is next. We also keep each other updated on things in the city we should experience. Sometimes its just exploring the city for ice-cream on a cotton candy cloud, but other times we stop by local bars for comedy nights that make any Tuesday or Thursday end on a high note. Side note, but it turns out that I will be studying stand-up comedy around Sydney for my Ritual, Play, and Performance class. What a great way to tie in academics and fun right! And now this weekend we spontaneously decided the fireworks at Darlington Harbor was a thing we couldn’t miss. I mean, its fireworks. Who doesn’t love fireworks before a beautiful view.
However, I can’t give my IFSA crew all the credit! The church I go to back home is an international church, and I was lucky enough to find out that there was one of our churches right here in Sydney. Now when I say this church community have been great at making me feel at home, I mean its as if they have a welcoming mat on their foreheads. I know that was awkward, but I can’t find a better way to explain how they have made my time here so comfortable. They immediately got me involved on campus with the campus ministry and help make sure I can get to all events. Besides our Sunday services and midweeks, the Sydney Church of Christ has events on campus such as devotional and bible talks that have allowed me to create close bonds with uni students who have the same faith as I. We have also bonded through hanging out like going paintball, making man-buns, or helping me work on my Australian accent. That support has been critical to my growth and development overall. My bonds have grown so much with my fellow students that I consider many of them dear friends I can’t bear thinking about how I will eventually have to leave them. Luckily it can just be there turn to visit me in the states!
Lastly, I really want to speak to my classes and Internship- that’s right! Did I mention how I got an amazing internship with the non- profit organization UnitingWorld. The internship has been amazing so far and I already am learning so much about what it takes to run a non-profit organization. The key thing that really makes a difference is that they really let us do work independently on projects that are important to their organization. Nice to be an intern that doesn’t just make the coffee! Independence also is very present in the classes. Though this was intimidating at first, the classes here expect more independent work compared to Universities in the United States. Which has been a good way to exercise my ability to manage my time, but also is really fun when you love your classes. I am taking a Productions theatre class, a class called Ritual, Play, and Performance, and an Indigenous Rights class. Though each of these classes are tough, the classes have been really interesting and fun. Plus I have been making friends with the students in my classes who have welcomed me into their various social groups and outings.
All in all, I am doing well. No, more than well. I really am enjoying each and every moment here and dreading the day I have to pack my bags to make the flight back home. Let’s just say, I’m feelin’ the Aussie love