1. Coconut water – holy moly it’s hot here. And the sun is SO strong. I feel like every time I get back to the apartment I have to down two nalgenes of water. Gatorade and Powerade are SO expensive here so I’ve swapped those out for coconut water. It hydrates you and tastes amaaaazing
2. The PEOPLE – Wow, and I thought people in the south (of the US) were nice! Everyone is so incredibly friendly here. It might be due to the fact that it’s O-week (orientation week) and everyone is putting their best foot forward, but man…it blows my mind! I can’t tell you the number of times people have struck up a conversation with me on the bus and given helpful tips about Sydney and Australia. It’s almost as if everyone in this city is looking out for each other. Aside from that, all my flatmates are incredibly sweet, outgoing, and a lot of fun. My upstairs neighbors (from Australia and New Zealand) have been heaps of fun to be around as well. So welcoming, so genuine, and such a blast to be around.
3. My ceiling fan – so, no A/C in the flat. Which is totally fine (go environment!). But, some days it really can get quite hot. This fan seriously has saved my life a few nights.
4. Whatsapp – although I’m LOVING meeting all these fabulous new people, it’s nice to stay in touch with all the great people back at home. So, thank you whatsapp for being my connection to my friends around the world!
5. O-Week — O-Week is like orientation on steroids. Everyone, everyday, everywhere is ready to get you pumped up about this school and be helpful. There’s been booths set up on the main walkway where you can join organizations and get **lots** of great free things, tons of events going on every day and night, and lots of discounts at the local restaurants and pubs
6. The bus system – less than 90 cents a ride? I thiiiink I can deal with that Although Sydney-siders have a bit of a sarcastic attitude about how “greaaaat” their bus system is, I find it incredible. Coming from a city where the public transport is absolute crap, I’m loving what they’ve got here. It’s so nice not having to worry about petrol, parking, or any of that rubbish when you want to go somewhere. And, you can get to some really unique and far away places in just a little bit of time! Seriously…so grateful.
7. Campus — I wish I had more pictures to share with you (soon…promise!) but, this campus ROCKS. There’s quite a few old and historic buildings, a TON of innovative and new architecture, lots of green space, great restaurants, and unique places to study and/or hangout. It reminds me a lot of Georgia Tech’s campus with all the juxtaposition — they also do a fabulous job of making you feel like you’re not in a big city. I couldn’t be happier with the uni I chose!
8. The beach — As if I haven’t raved about it enough already! I’m just a 15-20 minute walk to Coogee Beach. The views are stunning, the water is crystal clear, and the beach is spotless. Hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy it just as much once school kicks up
9. UNSW Outdoor Club – awesome group of people with an awesome set of goals! It was pretty cheap to join and I get to go on trips for free, rent gear for free, and go rock climbing for $5 all throughout the semester. Last night I headed out to The Ledge at University of Sydney to climb for a bit! Tons of fun
10. Cleaning supplies – sooooo my kitchen was pretty rank when I moved in. The cupboards were full of food, dishes, etc. and the fridge was as well. We’ve been cleaning for the past 5 hours and I am SO grateful for my dear friends ajax, windex, etc. We are finally getting to make this place our own!