When you study abroad, people talk about how hard it is to adjust to your host country. They don’t talk about getting back, and it is exhausting. I spent 32 hours in transit from Sydney, Australia, back to Alabama and I’m still worn out five days later!
I wasn’t quite ready to leave Australia, if I’m honest. After five weeks, I finally felt like I knew what I was doing! That being said, I’m relieve to be home and back in a normal routine. School starts next week, meaning I will have had a week to rest and get over my jet lag.
Now that it’s over, I can definitively state that studying abroad was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. One of my Australian professors told me that we were really there to travel, not study, and he was right. I was lucky to have instructors who wanted us to have as many experiences as possible rather than reading the whole time. Our exam was reasonable, and studying left us plenty of time to see the country. I petted a kangaroo, visited the Sydney Opera House, and snorkeled at the Great Barrier Reef; but I can also discuss how Australian family law is different than American family law. My advice to anyone studying abroad is to find a balance: be a good student, immerse yourself in the local culture, and be a tourist.
The best thing I did was to find other people in my study abroad group to travel with (I was lucky enough to actually be roommates with those people, which made life easier). Doing things alone is fun, but a three-hour bus ride alone is less fun. Having other people made things easier and more memorable.
Overall, my trip to Australia was an amazing experience. If you’re considering studying abroad, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Keep an open mind about everything and have fun, and make sure you find time for the studying part.