Going abroad to Australia was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I had the opportunity to see things, do things, and meet so many amazing people. IES abroad definitely made the abroad process easier. I was placed in the university village for village which turned out to be amazing. Being in the university village allowed us to meet so many Australians and other people abroad and was a lot of fun. The village was also great for hanging out in, and there were always people who were willing to talk to you.
Studying in Sydney, while different then in the US, was also cool. I had the chance to take a sports class which mostly consisted of attending popular sporting events in Australia. This class gave me the chance to see an AFL game, multiple Rugby games, and even allowed me to try bowls. This class was definitely a highlight to my abroad experience.
Going abroad with IES also had a lot of bonuses. IES planned multiple events during our first few days in Sydney such as hiking the blue mountains, going to a wildlife park, and going on a dinner harbour cruise. These activities were a lot of fun and a great way to see some amazing sights. Our IES program also had a trip to the Royal National Park which was amazing. This park was beautiful and although it was freezing, we had the chance to go swimming in a swimming hole. Such and incredible experience. For our mid-semester break, IES also planned a trip up to Cairns to go snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef and jungle surfing in the Daintree Rainforest. This trip was AMAZING and definitely one of the highlights to my time abroad.
Besides travelling with IES, I had the chance to travel around Australia and to New Zealand both with friends and by myself. I definitely recommend exploring as much as Australia as you can, but also go to surrounding countries as these are incredible experiences.
Overall my time abroad was amazing and I cannot believe it is already over. I loved every minute of it and am thankful for all of the experiences I had. I cannot wait to go back there dome day!