Hello again! Moving to the other side of the world can be quite scary. You don't know what to expect, how things work and the cultural rules of the country. Something may be as you visualized while other things comes as a surprise. In this post I am going to share my impressions and tips for upcoming study abroad students!
Packing and flights If you are arriving in the winter time (summer at home), one tips I would appreciated is to pack WARM clothes. The weather forecast may seem good, but the evenings are really cold and Sydney for sure should be called the windy city. So bringing a few tick sweaters and a jacket would you just be happy for. If you want to rent a car sometime during your stay, remember to bring an international copy of your driver license! Another tips is to pack light. Extra luggage is expensive! I travelled with one suitcase and a backpack, which I am glad for. There is a lot of cool shops here and good prices, so you will never suffer haha! From Scandinavia to Sydney it takes about 25-28 hours of traveling, wooow. To be comfortable wear your joggers and good shoes, there will be a lot of walking between the different terminals. If you are traveling alone, one tips is to download your favorite show on your phone and remember to put your Spotify-lists on offline mode. Arriving in Sydney You are going to be pretty tired after a long flight, but still I recommend you to fix a mobile subscription and opal card before you leave the airport. There is a lot of different subscriptions to choose from depending on how much data/calling minutes/SMSs you want. I chose Optus with a monthly supply of 25gb data. Getting from the airport is easy. UTS offers a free airport shuttle for students arriving prior to semester start, so watch out for your emails upon arrival. You could also take the train to the central station or find a bus. Something you need to get done within the first days is opening a bank account. You will need this if you are going to find a job or rent an apartment. It is easy to get it done either online or in a nearby bank. My tip is to never waste time and postpone things. Once you get everything done you will have a lot of time to explore and enjoy the city!
Finding a place to stay
UTS offers housing for study abroad students. This is great for people traveling alone! At UTS Housing you will meet a lot of new friends and be part of a community. Throughout your stay there will be arranged a lot of different events and activities. If you are choosing not to live on campus I'll give you a few heads up. Sydney is expensive, so sharing is caring! Me and my three friends are sharing a two bedroom apartment in Waterloo. The common area is quite big and we also have two bathrooms and two big balconies. Tip 1: Look for an apartment in the suburbs around the city. There is a lot of cool places to live around Sydney, you should check out Glebe, Newtown, Surry hills or Zetland. These places often offers high standard apartments to a cheaper price than the Bondi area and Sydney CBD.
Tip 2: Look for real estate agents online and visit the apartment BEFORE signing a contract. The images could be old and there is sadly a lot of scam. We used the sites realestate.com.au and domain.com.au. You should book an Airbnb while looking for apartments.
Tip 3: Walk around and see the neighborhood! Could you see yourself living there?
Tip 4: Go to IKEA for cheap furniture and interior, and eat Swedish meatballs in your break from shopping!
Getting around and campus tips Use the days prior to semester start to get a good overview of the campus, it is huge! You will probably have your lectures and tutorials in different buildings, and it is not always easy to find the right room. A tip is to download the app: Lost on Campus. It will help you find your way!
If you want to know more about what to do when in Sydney, check out the video from my first month here!
Hope you find these tips useful, Andrea