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Semester Abroad from Home

As you all probably know, 2020 has been an unexpected year and my semester abroad didn't work out exactly as I had previously imagined. Before social distancing, I would go for a run in the mornings in Bondi Beach before my classes started, then I would get ready for university, take the bus to UTS and go to my classes. Afterwards, I would go back home with my roommates where we would cook and have lunch. We would get to know Sydney and it's suburbs on the weekends and meet lot's of people. Unfortunately, this experience was cut short, as when the COVID situation worsened, I returned to Mexico my home country. There my routine was to do some exercise either home workouts or go for a run and start doing homework for the course I continued from home. Then I would take a break from school and spend some time with my family. My classes started and 6 PM and would end at 1 AM due to the time difference from Sydney. This was the hardest thing to adapt to, but this was only once a week, so this wasn’t that bad.

Champagne Pools, Fraser Island

My favourite part of studying at UTS, were the few classes I could attend at UTS campus before we had to take the classes via Zoom, they were very practical and had an original way of teaching that is so different form my classes at Mexico. For instance, in my Lighting Acoustics and Advanced Environmental Control course, Rob Bullen, the Acoustics consultant brought a Violin musician to play around UTS so we could hear how different places sounded with classical music. I enjoyed the course I was taking, which was really interesting and helped me learn in a creative and exciting way. As we had to work in pairs throughout the semester, I could continue to interact with my teammates and got to know her despite the distance. I liked how we kept contact and became friends through zoom.

Lighting Acoustics and Advanced Environmental Control course at UTS

This experience allowed me to travel the East Coast and get to know some of the beautiful country that Australia is. I learned to cook and be more independent, but most of all I learned that we cannot control life, and that nothing is certain. I learned that it is so important to make the most of the present as we do not know what the future holds. I made the most of my experience abroad and although it was cut short, I am glad I could at least spend an amazing month there and that I was allowed to continue my studies from home.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Name: Paola Ballesteros

Course of study: Architecture

Country: Mexico

Home university: Univeridad Iberoamericana

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