I feel as though time is moving way too fast! It’s so hard for me to believe that it’s already the end of May because that means I have been in Australia for about 115 days so far. Crazy. This semester abroad has been the best thing I have ever decided to take on; it’s funny how you don’t know how capable and strong you are until forced to do something completely outside your comfort zone. What once seemed like a completely foreign place with weird trees and malls that don’t stay open past 5pm has now become my home, and I have no desire to leave. Luckily, I am one of the exchange students who are staying here at Flinders for the whole academic year, so I still have 6 more months to go! However, I have found that I am dealing with the ending of the semester the same way a that lot of my new international friends are, who are leaving in June and July. It’s very sad to think that these people who were total strangers, but have come to feel like family over the last couple months will be leaving the Village soon. There is a lot of “Don’t think about it!” going on here, which frankly I’m okay with because I hate goodbyes. Although, it isn’t really goodbye, because if my new family members are scattered all around the world I’m making sure to visit them! Staying in touch is key.
With that being said I have found it a bit hard to stay in touch with friends back home. Sure, social media sites like Facebook and Skype are great, but that real face-to-face contact is what I miss. I am in a bittersweet situation where part of me wants to stay in Australia and continue this amazing experience, and other part of me is almost ready to go home and see my family and friends, and have everything feel ‘normal’ again. Care-packages with my favourite Canadian things have had an amazing impact on me; knowing that my friends miss me, but are so happy and proud of me for doing this really makes me feel confident about my decision to stay on another semester. Maple cookies and Tim Horton’s hot chocolate? Oh the nostalgia!
My advice for this month would be that any incoming exchange students to Flinders should connect with the International Student Services (ISS) team, and take the tours! The ISS does an amazing job putting on tours for the exchange students every few weeks, just last weekend I was on the Barossa Valley tour! It’s a great idea as an incoming international student to try and sign up for as many of these tours as you can because they are so hassle free! Chances are most of you don’t have a car, and even if you did the task of navigating a map and the cost of gas could deter you from making the trip. These tours go around Adelaide and even down to Kangaroo Island! They are a great way to see the city that you decided to do an exchange in, with other people in the same boat as you. I would definitely recommend them.
I cannot wait to see what adventures lie ahead for June!