Spring Break Is Coming! Spring Break Is Coming!

Chanel Mowatt is an English and Anthropology/Sociology student at Lafayette College and studied abroad with IFSA-Butler at University of Sydney in 2016. She is an International Correspondent for IFSA-Butler through the Work-to-Study Program.

Technically Spring Break is actually Fall Break (aka Easter Break) since it’s currently fall in Sydney and spring back in the States. We have a week until our break begins here in Sydney, but as I look at all the Snapchats of my friends back home spending their breaks in Miami, New Orleans, Myrtle Beach, etc., I realized that a post about what break is like in Australia might be helpful for anyone who plans on studying abroad here and wants to know what some of their options are.

Personally I will be spending my break here in Sydney exploring all that the city has to offer and checking as many things off of my bucket list as I can, in addition to saving some money. This includes going for another hike in the Royal National Park, going on the Spit Bridge to Manly Bridge walk, checking out some of the city’s many art galleries including the White Rabbit Gallery right around the corner from our housing, etc. I also hope to get in a few New South Wales day trips including to Hunter Valley, Jervis Bay and Port Stephens. And if I’m lucky enough, I’ll get to visit my high school friend Pika for a few days in Melbourne.

With the exception of paying for local and intercity transportation, I don’t plan on spending much over break.

To give you some examples of what others are doing, my friends Sammy and Noelani are going on a customized trip that they’ve planned through a travel agency. They are starting their trip by flying to and then exploring Cairns. While they are there they will be doing a snorkel and dive of the Great Barrier Reef. They will also be exploring the Daintree Rainforest National Park and hiking the Mossman Gorge. Then they’ll be spending two nights on the Whitsunday Islands. Finally they’ll finish their break by visiting Fraser Island. The trip includes housing, meals and bus transportation for a total for seven nights and eight days for about $900 AUD, in addition to the flight for around $300 AUD.

My roommate Meaghan is treating herself to a different trip which came highly recommended from the USYD Study Abroad Office. It’s called the “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish trip” which starts off in Brisbane with a visit to Rainbow Beach and Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo. Her trip also includes a visit to the Whitsunday Islands, Fraser Island and the Great Barrier Reef. Among other things the trip includes a chance to go sailing, river rafting, bungy jumping and more. She will pay $1,929 AUD, in addition to the cost of the flight, for nine days and nights.

Many people have their family or friends visiting from back home, and other popular destinations outside of Australia include New Zealand, Bali and Thailand. If you do study abroad in Australia and decide to travel for Easter Break I think the following tips would be most helpful:

  1. Travel when you have time and money!
  2. Virgin Blue has a happy hour from noon till 1pm every day and there are many domestic flights that go on sale.
  3. Register for updates through the Smart Traveller website to get travel warnings and updates on https://smartraveller.gov.au/.
  4. Be aware of any cultural differences that you may face as well as anything that may be required of you i.e. passports, visas, etc.
  5. Make sure to enter your travel details incase of an emergency: http://australia.ifsa-butler.org/travel-form

Most importantly be aware of your surroundings, make good decisions, use common sense and have fun! Like me, even if you don’t end up traveling for break, remember that you’re still abroad and technically already travelling.

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