My First Day Abroad – My Study Abroad experience
SFO to Sydney The Good The Bad The Ugly
It was a sunny Bay Area day when I departed from San Francisco airport. Thrilled to begin the next six months of my life in a foreign destination, but extremely anxious and downright frightened by the thought of not knowing what could happen once I landed. It all seemed unreal at times. 18 hours after departing I landed at my new home. While walking through the terminal it felt like I was in the twilight zone. I had left San Francisco in the middle of summer and landed in Sydney mid-winter. The people looked the same and even the building structures seemed reminiscent of home but the strong Australian accent along with phrases like ” G’day mate” let me know I was a long way from home.
My first day abroad was extremely exciting and nerve wrecking at the same time. I realized how unprepared I was and how much I needed to get done before school started. It felt like I had jumped out of the frying pan and went straight into the fire. I literally hopped in a taxi asked the driver where my school was and told him I needed a hostel around that area. No earlier reservations, no room confirmations, no checking for availability. I had to walk into several different hostel before finding one that could accommodate me for a few nights. Honestly, I was lucky finding that one hostel.
If you get nothing else from this article make sure you book at least your first two nights stay at your study abroad destination. Not knowing where you will be staying for the night and lugging around six months to years worth of luggage is not the ideal situation you want to start your study abroad.
About 3 ½ hours after arriving in Sydney I finally found myself checking into a room and unloading some of my bags, during this time I met my very cool UK roommates with whom I scheduled to go bar hopping with later. After getting settled in I decided to grab some breakfast at the hostel café.
During breakfast I began to create a to do list of all the things I needed to get accomplished for the day. On top of this list was freshen up. So, I found myself traveling to 7-11 to grab a few essential things such as a towel, soap and deodorant. Normally this would have been no problem at all, take out my trusty blackberry and google the nearest general supply store. One problem you must have cellphone service to do so, which I did not.
Plan B ask someone or walk around until you stumble upon something.
After that short adventure I needed to make sure that I called home to let everyone know I was safe. This led me to my next adventure, “Mission Call Home”. Now I was halfway ready for this, see I had unlocked my phone already so all I needed to do was pop in another sim card and add minutes. Once again I found myself traveling back down to 7-11 and taking care of my cell phone needs, but I ran into a few problems when trying to add minutes to my cell phone service. To make a long story short it took me around 2 hours to make a phone call home. Not how I had planned it.
My first day consisted of many nerves, thoughts and a laundry list of things to do. By the end of the day I found myself exhausted from being unprepared and trying to play catch-up. Even though there were a lot of roadblocks during my first day in Sydney I enjoyed every single second of it. I met my new hostel roommates, stepped foot on my new University and through trial and error became more familiar with Sydney Australia. This was just the beginning on what was up-and-coming for my study abroad experience. The good the bad and the ugly.