Hi, I’m Robynn and I will be writing as a FinsUp Abroad Correspondent blogger again this semester. For the second time, I have decided to extend my studies abroad as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic conditions in the United States, as well as other factors. I wanted to reintroduce myself with my application prompt as I prepare to share my experiences again this semester.
Over a year ago now, I chose to study abroad in Australia through a program connecting me to the University of Sydney. I thought it would give me a beautiful and safe place to have the immersive experience of studying abroad and the opportunity for so much travel. Since I originally anticipated only being able to study abroad for one semester, I wanted to go somewhere distant and diverse, but without a language barrier so that I would be able to adjust quickly given my lack of proficiency in foreign languages. Once I arrived, I knew I’d made the right decision. Sydney was certainly more diverse than I ever dreamed, and the culture here is indeed quite distant even though it looks extremely similar to American cultures on the surface.
When I decided to extend my studies in Australia, I decided to stay not only in the same city, but even at the same university. I made this choice because even though there is so much fear and uncertainty around the world today, Sydney has felt like home throughout this difficult past year. Moreso than ever, Sydney and the people I’ve connected with while here have provided a space for an unforgettable experience of learning, inclusion, and adventure. While I do believe I could’ve formed this attachment with a variety of places and its people, it is Sydney that I’ve fought through this difficult year with and share this ultimate bond with. I’ve not only made friends, but even the inseverable bonds of family here in Sydney.
I’d love to share my experience again this semester and tell students what it has been like feeling so far away from home, yet so at home at the same time. My posts will talk about working abroad, immigration navigation when deciding to extend your studies/staying longer, making friends when things are online, coping with travel restrictions, and some topics related specifically to my host country/city.
I hope you all will continue to keep up with my experiences and reach out if you have any questions about Sydney, Australia, studying abroad, working as an au pair/nanny, scuba diving, or so much more that I’ll be writing about!