My name is Karen Ucol, I am a junior majoring in Management and Information Systems. I am currently studying abroad at the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia.
Top 10 reasons why I love Sydney, Australia:
2. Weather – their winter is gorgeous, sunny, and full of blue skies;
3. Public transit is convenient and easy;
4. University of Sydney has a number of international students – they cater to our academic, social, and personal wants/needs;
5. The language – English with (lazy) twang + hot accents;
6. Beaches — SURFING!;
8. Wildlife/other natural settings — koalas/kangaroos, the Great Barrier Reef, Blue Mountains;
9. Sports (they have 3 rugby leagues – I can’t tell the difference between them yet); and finally,
10. The people are AWESOME.
Before I Left for Australia:
The University of Sydney International Office created a Facebook group for all study abroad/exchange students coming into USyd Semester 2. I exchanged messages with Americans and Europeans. Coincidentally, I found another student from the University of Washington (Meredith Dugoni) studying abroad at USyd.
I kept in touch with the University of Sydney team, including Quintin and Nhi, from the Global Business Case Competition and asked them lots of questions about accommodations, tourist sites, classes, etc. They recommended that I apply to Sydney University Village (apartment complex with many USyd international students) and either St Andrews College (where Quintin resides) and Womens College (where Nhi resides).
The application process for St Andrews College was somewhat demanding – applicants were to complete a personal statement, submit a resume, and be interviewed on the phone. Quintin did me a wonderful favor and recommended me to the staff. I also applied to the International House (an on-campus residence) and Sydney University Village.
Because on-campus accommodation for international students is very competitive (very few spots, very high demand), a majority of international students either: 1) find an apartment or room in a house before arriving or 2) live in a hostel, meet people they want to live with and look at places they could live in, and then move.