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Just the Beginning

Updated: Apr 17, 2019

Anthony Castelo

Hometown: Edison, New Jersey, USA

Home University: Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, USA

What I Study: Civil Engineering and Sustainability



Hi everyone, I'm Anthony from New Jersey and I'm nearing the last few weeks of my study abroad term at UTS. I study civil engineering and sustainability back home at Villanova University, so the courses I'm taking at UTS aren't as easy as I had hoped, but the pending curriculum during my exchange didn't stop me from flying 10,000 miles to come to Sydney, Australia and experience something that I never have before.


Why Study Down Under?

Well, due to my home university's strict demands for matching courses in abroad universities, I only had three real options of destinations for study abroad: Galway, Dubai, and Sydney. Despite the fact that out of these three I was much more intrigued by Sydney than the other two, I have always held this inexplicable desire to come to Australia ever since I was maybe 8 or 9 years old. I can't really pinpoint where this longing to visit Australia came from, but I feel as though its tied to Steve Irwin and Finding Nemo. Anyway, I ended up deciding that I couldn't waste the rare opportunity to actually live in Australia for 4 months, especially while studying at a great university in UTS.


So, What's the Verdict?

Royal National Park

Blue Mountains

What's really comforting about Sydney to me is that I feel as though I can compare it to New York City in so many ways, but ultimately it has its own unique culture, vibe, and overall nature to it. I thoroughly enjoy the fact that Sydney is not a small city; there are so many dense suburbs and neighborhoods that each individually offer something completely different from the next. The proximity of pure Aussie nature to Sydney is also a perk, since I do love to go on hikes and explore lands unknown to me. Royal National Park, the Blue Mountains, and all of the beautiful beaches like Bondi, Manly, and Maroubra are at your fingertips, even living in the hustle and bustle of Ultimo. I have also enjoyed studying in a new country. UTS is so different from my home university, and the lifestyle contrasts what I've always been used to, but I believe it has pushed me to grow as a student and as an individual. I'm so glad I chose to attend UTS and study in a city as versatile and inviting as Sydney.


My Favorite Experience So Far

Bruce Bay, NZ

Milford Sound Road, NZ

I had the amazing chance to visit the South Island of New Zealand with my good friend Gonzalo, who came to Sydney with me from my home university, for 11 days, travelling throughout the island in a campervan. We planned the trip perfectly, and managed to hike, kayak, bike, ski, take a cruise, and ultimately enjoy every second in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Throughout the trip, Gonzalo and I took hours worth of footage and plan to make a video to remember the trip by. I also took disposable pictures that came out fantastic, some of which are surrounding these words. Studying in Australia and driving around New Zealand has really lit a spark inside me and fueled my passion to travel the world and to see things with my own two eyes, and I promise: this is just the beginning.

Queenstown, NZ

Thank you for reading! I hope to write more blogs in the future and that your experience at UTS is as great as mine has been.


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