Kisha Patel is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2016, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A political science and gender/women's studies major at Ursinus College, she is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.
In this week's post, Kisha reaches out to some of her fellow CAPA Sydney students for their best tips for studying abroad and includes some of her own as well.
As my time in Sydney winds down to just a few days, I think back to reflect on this semester and what I would pass down to future CAPA Sydney students. I first encourage anyone unsure if studying abroad is for them, that this is the best experience they will ever have. Study abroad changed me in more ways that I could possibly imagine. Not only did I have an educational experience that I would not have gotten at home, I also grew as a person, became more culturally aware, and was forced to become more responsible and accountable.
Here are some tips and pretty pictures of Sydney for your semester abroad from myself and my fellow CAPA Sydneysiders!
TIP 1. "If you only do what you CAN do, then you will only be as good as you are right now." – Tamara Sales (CAPA Staff) quoting Kung Fu Panda 3
TIP 2. If you are worried about your 11-15 hour flight, don’t sleep the night before. Instead, sleep through the flight and try to get on Australian time. Helps the transition! – Tristen Chiarmonte
TIP 3. Immerse yourself into the culture and learn as much as you can about the history of Australia!
TIP 4. Go to as many beaches as you can. Bondi and Coogee are cool and all, but there are SO many more to see. Also look up popular coastal walks and do those! – Lindsay Carboy
TIP 5. Milk beach is the most beautiful hidden gem of Sydney. Check it out!
TIP 6. Bring money with an expectation to travel. Try to plan out expenses for trips before coming here so even if you change your mind, you still have extra cash to do something else. –Tristen Chairmonte
TIP 7. Don’t be afraid to not go out every night. Plus, it helps you save money for random trips! – Brittany Schultz
TIP 8. Learn something new.
TIP 9. Eat at all the restaurants possible!! – Ceylan Akguc
TIP 10. Meet locals! Do not just stick around with your fellow program friends; there are so many people to meet and they know the best places to go!
TIP 11. Make sure you bring enough money to travel, eat out, have fun, etc. Don’t be afraid to splurge, but also be prepared for how expensive Sydney is. -Carly Sirota
TIP 12. Make friends with locals early through sports, church, etc. They really have the best advice and are super fun! – Kaily Geranen-Grover
TIP 13. Take time to explore the city and discover new places and things that wouldn’t necessarily be recommended. Also a scooter or a skateboard would be really helpful since commuting involves a lot of walking! – Maddie Jazwinski
TIP 14. Go participate in cultures and rituals of your host country. You can learn so much from just being there.
TIP 15. Be brave. You might surprise yourself!
TIP 16. Do things by yourself! – Ben Garfinkel
TIP 17. Commit yourself to workplace culture at your internship and make sure to really bond with your co-workers and develop relationships.
TIP 18. Try something new at least once a week! – Kaily Geranen-Grover
TIP 19. Lastly, use your resources. You have wonderful staff available and wanting to make your experience the best possible. Reach out to them!
I promise you that if you study abroad, you will not go home the same person that you were when you left. Yes, it is fun, and you get to hang at the beach and go out and are not as stressed as during your normal semester, but you truly do learn things that you could not learn from a textbook in your home institution. You go home a culturally-shaped individual full of adventure and stories to share.
Take the leap! Go abroad!!
Kisha's journey continues every Wednesday so stay tuned.