Internship: I was an intern at L&A Social Media during my first two months in Australia. L&A is a small business that specializes in social media strategy and implementation. The company helps brands to use social media effectively on a daily basis in order to grow their communities. It was an extremely creative environment, which was what really intrigued me. As an intern, I helped to find and create content for an assortment of social media accounts. It was fascinating to learn over time what the followers of different brands are interested in. I had an excellent time working with the L&A team, and I definitely learned a lot. It was great to get some experience in the social media field since it plays such a huge role in business/marketing nowadays.
I Learned: Interning and studying in Australia taught me that it is possible to mix business and pleasure. Australians have the perfect balance between work and fun. I found that people you work with aren’t simply your coworkers, and other students in your lectures aren’t simply your classmates. From my experience, everyone there really seems to make an effort to become friends. Aussies love to go get a drink and socialize after class or leave the office early for a Friday “arvo” beer. It was nice to be immersed in a culture where life doesn’t only revolve around work. Having a good time is also important!
What Surprised Me: Sydney is very diverse. I had no idea how strongly influenced the city is by various Asian cultures. Chinatown and Thaitown are two of the coolest parts of the city (and also have some of the best food)! One of my favorite things to do was go to the Asian market to buy all sorts of exotic fruits and veggies you would never find in America! Australia is not all beaches and surfers as I originally thought. It’s a country with a mixture of all different types of people with all different lifestyles, which makes it a very unique experience.
Hardest Part: The Sydney SMG program is longer than other study abroad programs due to the Australian school year. Classes start in the beginning of March and finals end in mid June. Therefore, while all my friends back at BU were finishing their courses and making summer plans, I still had half of my semester left. It was difficult to focus on my schoolwork when everyone back home was already done. However, the hardest part was leaving Sydney at the end since I really came to love it there!
Best Part: Since the program was a bit longer than others, I really feel like I had the opportunity to explore all that Sydney has to offer. I got to know the city and all of its neighborhoods (my favorite is Surry Hills!) so well because it was my home for six months. My roommates and I took advantage of every spare second we had to try out new restaurants, cafes & bars, attend the numerous festivals held in the city, and of course travel. For me, I would say that the best part of my study abroad experience is knowing that I made the most of my time there. When I came back home I had checked everything off of my Sydney bucket list!
- Travel as much as you can! Explore Australia- there are so many beautiful places to go within the country. (I was lucky enough to go to the Whitsundays, Cairns, Melbourne, Tasmania, Hunter Valley, and the Gold Coast. I also went to New Zealand!) They were all fabulous!
- Make a checklist of everything you want to do, so you can budget your time and money wisely!
- Take advantage of all the cultural offerings in Sydney. Because of the city’s diverse population, there are so many different things to see and do!