In this week's post, Lorenzo talks about his study abroad accommodation in Sydney and the advantage he has of being located centrally in the city.
I want to take the time to talk about the CAPA accommodation in Sydney. I feel like that is a very important topic and a concern for anybody who is considering a study abroad experience. You might be doing amazing activities and trying new things but you will still need to have the necessities for your everyday life.
Housing is included with the program costs and students have the option to choose between a homestay with an Australian family and the dorm with other American students. People may pick the second option if they want the college life vibe. The location is in Ultimo, a very central neighborhood in Sydney, where it’s easy to reach most corners of the city. It takes 5-10 minutes to walk to Central station from the apartment, and you can even walk to the Central Business District, which is about 20 minutes away, or decide to take one of the many options available between trains and buses to get there. To get to a beach in the Eastern Suburbs (Bondi or Coogee usually), you can take a bus at Central and be there in 25 minutes.
The dorm apartments have four bedrooms with two beds each, plus a common living room and kitchen area. It might sound overwhelming to go and live with seven people you’ve never met but all the students that decide to come to Sydney are pretty open minded and very easy to get along with. The rooms have a good amount of storage and even I, with a huge luggage, could not fill up the whole room. WiFi is included and the kitchen is furnished, although depending on your cooking habits you might have to get a couple of pots and silverware.
If you do not cook a lot I advise you start to in Sydney because going out to eat all the time can get expensive quickly. A fast food meal will easily set you back 10 Australian dollars, and if you decide to indulge and go to a nicer restaurant or in the mall, expect to double that amount. This is not to say that there aren’t cheap options; it is just that most places around are expensive. If you like banh mi, or Vietnamese sandwiches, there are many awesome places in the area that sell you a sub for $5.
There are also many choices available for grocery shopping. Most supermarkets are located in a mall and there are two major ones near the dorms: Broadway Mall, the bigger one, with a food court and many specialized stores, has Coles, K-Mart, and Aldi inside; the other one, Central Park Mall, is fancier and located centrally, has a Woolworths downstairs where you can get some good pre-cooked meals for cheap prices. If you are a coffee addict like I am, there is a Starbucks on the way to Central, but in Australia there are a lot of small cafes that have a better coffee options with a lower price.
The apartment building has a gym, laundry room, study rooms, and even a courtyard with a barbecue grill, so the facilities are overall very satisfactory. Another nice aspect is that the University is literally across the road, so as long as you get out of your room 5 minutes before class, you will arrive on time. Being very close to the city center means you will almost never get bored and some transportation is covered by CAPA, so it is convenient to go and visit new places around town.
Overall I am happy with the apartment and with the location, especially after noticing how much it would be to rent in that area of Sydney. As an incoming study abroad student I would definitely research where I would be staying in another country because your surroundings can really influence the whole experience. From that point of view I can assure you that, coming to Sydney, Australia, with CAPA, you will be taken care of in a good place.
Lorenzo Corazzin is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Global Studies major at the Arizona State University, he is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.
Lorenzo's journey continues every Friday so stay tuned.