Living in Australia With Friends

Studying abroad solo can be an incredibly rewarding and compelling experience. Many students choose to go alone to escape their comfort zones, and gain independence. However, adjusting to living in a foreign country can be challenging, and requires courage. Fortunately, there is no rule preventing you from bringing along a friend. Exploring a new culture with a familiar face will not only strengthen your friendship, but will create unforgettable memories. Hear it from Peter and Luis: two best friends who studied abroad together in Australia.

Peter and Luis both spent one semester at Western Sydney University, which is a bilateral partner school with TRU. During their time in Australia, they visited nearly every major city in the country, and met amazing people along the way. They enjoyed watching sun rises over the Pacific Ocean in Gold Coast, and the city lights in Melbourne. They were even lucky enough to spot wild Koalas along the Great Ocean Road, and watch as the entire landscape changed colours during sunset in the outback. Discovering everything Australia has to offer alongside new and old friends is an experience that Peter and Luis now cherish.

Describing six months abroad in words is not an easy task – there’s just so much to share! So in an attempt to pack this whole adventure into one blog post, I asked them to talk about their favourite day in Australia. For Luis, it was the day they climbed Mount Kosciuszko (the tallest mountain in Australia), and the events leading up to it.

Q: What was the best day you had in Australia?

Luis: “I would say EVERY day was memorable in one way or another, but if I had to choose only one, it would have to be cheating a bit, as it was a whole weekend. Four friends, Peter, and I got together to rent a car and a cabin and set off to see Canberra and the Snowy mountains. We departed Friday afternoon from Sydney, and got to Canberra for dinner at KFC sharing anecdotes and telling funny stories. We bought groceries and then headed to our cabin in an alpine town where we would spend the weekend.”

“The next morning we could not get to mount Kosciuszko, so we drove to Canberra, where we spent the whole day exploring the city. We visited important places (most notably the Australian parliament building), and looked at the design of the city. On the drive back and for the rest of our time there, the night sky was mesmerizing. We got home and bonded over a delicious Kangaroo steak dinner and headed to the local pub for a drink and friendly matches of pool (U.S. vs Canada).”

“On the final day, we woke up early and headed to Mount Kosciuszko. We saw the sunrise as we drove there. The hike was long but not particularly hard, and as we walked we shared anecdotes and jokes. Once we made it to the summit, we had lunch overlooking the landscape. We were at the top of Australia!”

“To make our way down we took a different route that took us around the rest of the peak of the mountains. It was a long hike but the landscape and views were unlike anything I had seen before; the whole time it felt like a fairy tale. Once we got back to the car we drove straight back to Sydney, not without stopping for lunch at a McDonald’s by the big sheep (there are MANY big things in Australia)! That whole weekend was beautiful: we laughed, talked, and bonded so much.”

Luis: “Another fond memory has to be climbing the Sydney harbour bridge, particularly because of the story behind it. When watching Cars 2 as a kid, I saw a part in the movie where the characters did exactly that. So for 12 years, I had a goal of doing the same. When the chance came I took it, nevermind the fact that I got to do it with one of my best friends.”

Thank you to Luis and Peter 🙂

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