When I arrived in Sydney, I didn’t realize how hectic the Sydney airport would be. There were more people than I had ever seen. From SFO to Sydney, Priya and me took a flight over with Arman (who we excitedly met).
We caught a ferry to Manly beach and browsed around the small beach town. There was a tiny aquarium with tiny screaming penguins that continued to get louder and louder until feeding time came.
The next day, we spent time in Chinatown (which was a tourist trap) and on the streets of Sydney. Then Priya went with her exchange partner to Canberra.
I took a plane to Armidale and was greeted by Mrs. T, who is the extremely nice exchange coordinator. When I reached the dorms, there were five other exchange students, who I’ve gotten to know well. They are from France, South Africa, and Oman. Each one of them has a very different personality, which leads to some funny group chats.
The other girls in the dorms seemed a little crazy at first, since they would scream at each other from across the hall. Now it just seems normal, even if they don’t scream as much.
The classes that I chose are Maths, Science, English, Textiles, Nutrition, Design & Tech, Zumba, and Health. Also, I have prep every night for two hours, which is where all of the boarders do their homework.
The school has uniforms, which I’m not used to. If you get a uniform violation, then you have to pick up rocks or clean the stables (which my roommate has endless horror stories about).
For the first three weeks, my exchange has been pretty exciting. I’ve been meeting all sorts of people from many different places, which is a great experience.