My new life in Sydney........far away from home but it already feels like home.
Once I received the opportunity to go on exchange, it was clear to me that I take this chance from the very first second and I don't regret any of it. Not only because I gained so many new experiences, thus broadening my horizon, but also because I've met so many new people from all over the world.
Sydney itself is great, offering even more than expected. It's a good combination of a busy city life, contrasting with the calm and stunning beaches in the suburbs. Therefore, I chose to live once near the beach as we don't have any beaches in Switzerland while studying in the city centre. Whilst people take the beaches here almost for granted, it was really special for me to wake up and walk out the door, seeing the beach every day. It's a feeling full of freedom and happiness.
Uni life at UTS
My first week at UTS was full of new impressions. The orientation week provided a wide variety of social events and was really helpful to make new contacts. However, you have to jump over your own shadow and kinda come out of your comfort zone to speak up to everyone in order to find friends. Everyone was in the same boat and was really open-minded, thus it was easy to find new friends.
Ultimately, I lived with some other exchange students in a nice flat in Coogee, literally one minute from the beach. It was the right decision for me not to stay in the UTS Housing as I wanted to live near the beach.
I believe that UTS is a very exemplary university. Despite its plenty of students, they are very still well organised, providing a wide variety of services as for example a nice library, assistance with your exams and writing support in case you need it. The school system itself is quite similar to Switzerland, having mid-term assignments and a related work-load. Nevertheless, as the semester is a little bit shorter than at home, staying on track with the studying helped me to avoid any stressful situations towards the end.
Sightseeing and Day trips
As I only had two days of Uni, I had plenty of time to enjoy myself and to do some sightseeing. At the beginning we did lots of day trips, including exploring Sydney; the harbour and the Opera House, ferry tours, markets, Royal Botanical Garden, Chinatown, Luna Park, a hike in the Blue Mountains....the list could be endless. Sydney never gets boring and has so much to offer!
I've also been to Melbourne for an extended weekend to visit a friend from back home. Over Spring break we attended an eleven days Sailing Trip in Fiji. Both places were absolutely amazing and unforgettable!
Being here in Sydney gave me the opportunity to see new places I have never been before or I wouldn't go so to because it's just so far away from Europe. Additionally, as the semester ends earlier than my home University, I've got some months off to travel the East Coast, New Zealand and South-East Asia. I really look forward to this time as well, but also appreciated the past time so far.
Going on exchange is a really good opportunity and has been worth every second so far!
Joëlle Michelle Ulmer
University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration Zurich, Switzerland