Australia: Academics and Adventure

It has been well over two months since I have been abroad in Sydney, Australia and it has been full of adventure. I am now accustomed to the area in which I live in and have found quick shortcuts and ways around town. I have been enjoying going for runs in Darling Harbor which is a beautiful area close to my apartment, or running down to the opera house. From where I live it is about a 20 minute jog and there is a great park to run in right next to it. Taking classes here are a little different than taking classes back in America and have found to adjust myself to the learning style. Classes are split between huge lecture times and smaller tutorial times where group work is done. The library of my choice, since at University of Sydney there are multiple libraries, is more crowded that Cook at Towson and takes twice as long to find a seat! Also with my studies I am doing great in my internship abroad and use the subway to commute every Tuesday and Wednesday. My bosses that I work with and the other people in the company are always very helpful and always willing to answer questions and help me learn.

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In addition to going to school, I have been able to go on a surfing trip about 5 hours north of Sydney to a place called Crescent Head Beach, where we were taught how to surf on a private beach! We had perfect weather and the waves were great. I also was fortunate enough to fly to New Zealand for “mid-semester” as they call it here, or spring break. Four friends and I rented a car and drove through the whole south island. I took plenty of pictures but they don’t do the amazing and untouched landscape justice in its beauty. Driving through New Zealand you go through small little towns here and there, other than that you are driving on a two lane road amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. We would stop on the side of the road just to get out and take pictures. We spent three nights in Queenstown, New Zealand which was probably my favorite place. It’s a big city right on the water and plenty of extreme adventure activities like skydiving and bungee jumping. I have had my interesting experiences with skydiving, so I ended up going horseback riding through the mountains. It might have been one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done. We rode through the mountains in the middle of nowhere, with the peace and calmness of nature. It was actually where parts of The Lord of The Rings was filmed. We also passed where an Americas Next Top Model shoot was filmed which was really cool.

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While being abroad they say you do get homesick and start to miss home. I can definitely say I got homesick and missed the home cook meal and my own bed, but this feeling comes and passes. Staying busy with school and friends keeps you going and you always know you have your family waiting back home. I have been exploring different place and beaches in Sydney on the weekends in my free time which has been just awesome. Cannot believe only about a month left abroad!

Curtis Sample

Sydney, Australia

Spring 2013

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