When a snowstorm pushed my departure date back I was nervous that I was going to miss out on meeting everyone at orientation and be lost the whole program. This was not the case at all, as soon as I arrived everyone (the advisors and other students) were super helpful and welcoming. I never had an out of place or homesick moment being surrounded by everyone. We all quickly became a little family through sharing meals, going on little trips, surfing and living it up at the beach.
My tips:: don't be afraid. There are so many opportunities for insane and memorable things to do in Australia. Come in with a positive mindset and don't be afraid to branch out or do things out of your comfort zone. Skydiving, surfing, even traveling to South East Asia were huge milestones for me but I wouldn't trade them anyday.
:: Try to go to Whitsundays. A somewhat expensive trip but completely worth it. Located between Cairns and Brisbane, this place has the most amazing beaches and sea life. One of my favorite and most memorable places of this whole semester abroad.
:: Don't sleep in. Most days I tried my best to wake up early and do something with my day. 4 months went by really fast, so it's really worth trying to spend every day outside or going to the beach (which is only 7 minutes away). The more time I spent away from technology or outside, I had a better outlook on everything.
We were able to have two orientations, one in Melbourne and another in Byron Bay and throughout the semester little trips within our program were available. I lived in the Blocks, which were single dorms but still communal. Even though I was living on my own I was still able to be friends with all the other girls on my floor. This whole semester was unforgettable, everyone was so nice and helpful. While we all live in different places across the United States, we still keep in contact every day and are planning trips around the world for the future. This was the best four months of my life, you become so close with the people and the memories will last a lifetime.