Matthew Benczkowski is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2016, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A molecular biology major at the University of Pittsburgh, he is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.
In his first post this week, Matthew shares his packing list for Sydney and a few pre-departure thoughts and tips.
As Ernie Harrell once said, “It's time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad and I'd much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure” and as I prepare myself to go, these words echo in me. It is safe to say that I am not a well-seasoned traveler, but rather a beginner in the vast world. To say I am nervous is an understatement. I am beyond scared.
I grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania, where everyone just seems to know each other, and I go to school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which is only two and a half hours away from home. I have never been away from home or from my parents for any extended period of time, but if I am away, I am constantly in contact with them. But now, everything is so different because I can’t just hop on home if I forget something, or come home immediately if something happens — I am taking a risk and temporarily leaving home. So to ensure that I won’t relive my freshman year of needing my parents to bring me things I forgot down to me and taking everything I unnecessarily packed, I have created the "Sydney Study Abroad Packing List"!
Side note: I am flying American Airlines and Qantas, so I have two free checked bags internationally (up to 50 pounds), a free carry on, and a personal item. This means that I only need to pay for my checked bags between states.
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