There’s More To Life In Australia Than The Beach

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.

These past few weeks in Sydney have gone by so fast. So fast that I occasionally have to stop, catch my breathe and pinch myself because it still hasn’t dawned on me that I’ve actually made it to the other side of the world. My second week of classes are officially over and I’ve had two class trips with my Sports and Australian Culture class, including one to a National Rugby League match, that have showed me a whole new side of Sydney.

I’ve also started a research internship with my professor Dr. Steve Georgakis. We’re going to be studying the impact that studying abroad has on students, which honestly is the thing that I’m most looking forward to working on while in Sydney.

Luckily my class schedule (which is just from Monday to Wednesday with occasional weekend trips) and Steve being extremely thoughtful allow for me to find time to travel the Australian coast in addition to studying here. He’s made researching with him manageable so that I can balance my social and school life in Sydney.

I’ve also started a research internship with my professor Dr. Steve Georgakis. We’re going to be studying the impact that studying abroad has on students, which honestly is the thing that I’m most looking forward to working on while in Sydney.

This past week as I started working on my different projects, I realized that I actually get to get work done and experience the fun side of Sydney. However, I’m counting down the days until break when hopefully my friends and I road trip to Cairns, The Great Barrier Reef, The Whitsundays and Fraser Island. Australia is an awesome place to explore and has way more to offer than just beaches because, fun fact, they do more than just hang out at the beach in Australia. So far one of my favorite aspects of Australian culture is how active they are, whether it be watching a match of the Rugby League or hiking the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk.

Back at Lafayette I was able to balance both my social and school life, and here I’ve definitely been able to achieve this balance as well. Living in Sydney is like living in paradise! There’s so much to see and do here that I can also check off of my bucket list. For example, this weekend I am visiting the Spectrum Now festival, the Taste of Sydney festival and visiting Pirrama Park, where the trees are currently painted blue in honor of the environment.

With over four months to go, I know that the fun isn’t ending anytime soon, and if I’m lucky, I’ll learn to swim just in time to eventually go to surf camp. The best advice I’ve heard this week that I can share with you is that it took a lot of hard work to get to Australia and that you should enjoy it while you can once you’re here!

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