Now that my study abroad has come to an end, I decided to reflect on my time in Sydney, Australia. I didn’t realize how much studying abroad was slowly changing me. Looking back, I now feel that I have become so much more independent. While I did live on my own at college, my parents were still only a short four hour drive away. Anything I needed, I would always turn to them, especially my mom. However, suddenly, I was then a half a world away with completely different time zones. It wasn’t so easy to pick up the phone and call my parents because a lot of the time they were sleeping. Also, if anything happened or I just missed them, I could not just drive home for the weekend.

I have learned how to budget my money, use public transportation as my main way to get around, and how to cook my own meals. Living without access to a car was a first for me. I was forced to learn the public transportation system in Sydney. Not too long after arriving, I was able to learn the routes of the buses, trains, and ferries. Even if I didn’t know how to get where I was going, I was still able to figure out the fastest and cheapest way to get there. Studying abroad has really taught me how to become more self reliant and survive a little easier out in the real world. My parents even noticed how much more independent I became. I think they can now breathe a little easier knowing I am able to take care of myself so far away from home.

My first time riding the ferry in Sydney Harbor!

My worldview has also changed from being abroad. I have met so many different people from all over the world. Australia is known for being very diverse, and I found that to be very true. I became friends with people from Iceland, France, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Ireland, etc! I was able to learn about their lives back home and broaden my cultural knowledge. I have become more appreciative of different cultures and have learned how much fun it can be having such a diverse group of friends. Overall, Australia has been the best experience of my life and has made me even more excited to see what the rest of the world has to offer.