Preparing for Take Off: From the Midwest to Sydney, Australia

Read all the exciting things our scholars have been up to!

Goodbyes have never been my strong suit. I would rather slowly dissipate than formally receive and give a proper goodbye. I do not know why this is—it has been an idiosyncrasy of mine since I was a child.nBut today, February 6th, 2023, the time to say my dreaded goodbye has come. As my parents and I stood at the airport drop-off, the scene played out like a cheesy movie. The child—packed to the brim with luggage—surrounded by their parents–-trying not to cry, forcing the required photo, and giving the necessary full bear hugs that have not been dealt out for ages. The goodbyes were said, even by me, and off I turned around to take on the security line, which thankfully, was graceful and no frivolous waiting was required.

Now, I am writing this blog as I wait to finally embark on my journey to Sydney, Australia to study at the University of Sydney. It feels surreal. Despite the fact that I have been mentally preparing for this moment for the past five months, it has yet to hit me that the next five months are officially starting. I will be in Sydney in a day’s time, far away from my midwestern home.

The main feeling I have at this moment is that I want time to fast-forward so I can just be in Sydney. The trip itself is about 28 hours, consisting of one four hour flight, one layover, and followed by a 15 hour flight over the Pacific ocean landing me in Sydney. To say the least, it will be a long journey.

I am excited to share my experience at the University of Sydney over the next couple of months. Currently, I have a brief list of opportunities I want to partake in while I am abroad:
Force myself to like vegemite (a bit of self-induced classical conditioning)
Learn how to surf
Meet and possibly eat a kangaroo–yes, it is legal to consume in Australia and is served at restaurants
Understand cricket (if possible)
And on a more serious note, gain a new level of independence and learn more about myself and the world around me

Hopefully by June these goals will have been achieved.

In all, the hardest part of preparing for this departure had nothing to do with the logistics or packing; instead, it was saying goodbye to my dog, Gypsy. One thing that will help me push through potential feelings of isolation and fear through this trip is knowing I have a furball waiting for me 8,000 miles away. I look forward to navigating my experiences throughout Sydney with this blog: from the must-try foods and events to the classroom, this blog will be filled with a diverse array of what Sydney abroad has to offer.