The worldwide Augustana College experience

First Week In Australia

It has been just a bit over one week here in Sydney, and I wanted to share my thoughts so far.

First, we have all been so busy trying to do as much as we can during this week off before we start our internship. Most of us wake up early, before 8:00am, and don’t usually even get home until after 2:00am. The days are long and full of constant activity, but somehow we find the energy to keep going.

This week we have done many exciting things:

  • Trip to the Blue Mountains
  • Went to several different beaches
  • Wildlife petting zoo
  • Walking along the Harbour Bridge
  • Shopping
  • Sydney Harbour Cruise
  • Eating lots of great food
  • Making friends with locals
  • Taking advantage of the Sydney night life
  • Exploring
  • Tour of the Olympic Park

One thing that I was surprised about is how quickly we all learned how to get around. Our first couple days here were very difficult to figure out which busses to take, but now we are pretty good at getting around to different parts of Sydney.

The food here is all amazing. While eating out is expensive (usually $15 a meal), everything is very natural and fresh. Even the food in the grocery stores are more fresh and organic than the food back in the States. George is a really good cook so we have all been eating like Kings when we do decide to eat in. Our apartment has made dinner or breakfast with several other of the Augie apartments which is a really fun way to bond and hang out with different people.

Speaking of food, we went on a lunch cruise of Sydney Harbour, and there was a seafood buffet. I have never liked sea food but figured I would give it a shot. I tried a shrimp and a mussel, and I honestly didn’t really like it…but at least I can say that I tried it.

The beaches here are really cool. We have spent most of our time at Coogee beach because it is the closest one to our apartment, but we have also been to Bondi and some people have traveled out to Manley Beach. The waves from the ocean are way bigger and stronger than any waves I’ve ever seen, so its really easy to get knocked off your feet. Also, there are a ton of jelly fish and people always seem to get stung. Actually one girl from our group got stung by a Blue Bottle within the first hour of going to the beach on our first day.

Shopping here is pretty fun too. Most of the shops are smaller and open air, sort of like something you might see in a beach town in Florida. Some stores are very cheap and you can find great deals, others can be very expensive so it’s all about trying to find the best deals.

The nightlife in Sydney is amazing. The night clubs stay open until 4am so we have been having some pretty long nights this first week. There are so many people walking around down town and each club or pub we have been to has its own personality. It’s really fun to try new ones and see how they compare. We definitely stick out as Americans though…our dancing style is completely different from the Aussies. We have found that some Australians are very friendly to us when they find out we are American, but others don’t want anything to do with us.

I think we are all pretty worn down after this first week, but it has definitely been a successful one. We are starting to shift our focus to our first day of working on Monday and getting mentally prepared for that. My next post will be my first impression of my internship.

Here are some pictures from the Sydney Harbour boat cruise and lunch:

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