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### Reflecting on a Study Abroad Experience in Sydney, Australia

Reflection on Time Spent in Australia in 2023

As the year 2023 draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my enriching experiences during my stay in Australia this spring. From February to June, my time there was truly transformative, broadening my perspectives in numerous ways.

Academic Exploration:

One of the highlights of my academic journey was delving into the realm of “Usability Engineering” at the esteemed University of Sydney. This course, focusing on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), provided a platform for collaborative work within a group setting. Through designing an application and exploring diverse user interaction methods, I found a harmonious blend of my passions in web development, design, and digital marketing. This alignment with my career aspirations was truly invigorating.

Culinary Adventures:

Venturing into the culinary landscape, I embraced a myriad of flavors and dishes that left a lasting impression. From savoring prawns (resembling shrimp) to indulging in the aromatic delights of butter chicken and biryani (an Indian delicacy of chicken and rice), my taste buds were treated to a symphony of tastes. Exploring Vietnamese pho and savoring Korean BBQ further expanded my gastronomic horizons. Despite initial reservations as a selective eater, I embraced the challenge, opening myself up to a world of culinary delights.

Embracing Solitude:

Amidst the bustling city life, I discovered a newfound appreciation for solitude. Meandering through the city on foot, relishing in the urban tapestry within a 45-minute radius, became a cherished pastime. The serenity of a sunrise coastal walk along the beaches, accompanied by melodic tunes in my headphones, culminating in a delightful breakfast at a quaint cafe, encapsulated moments of tranquility and self-reflection. Embracing solitary meals and activities proved to be a cathartic journey, fostering a deeper connection with myself and my personal preferences.

Wanderlust and Flexibility:

Beyond Sydney’s confines, traversing through Australia and New Zealand with friends unveiled a tapestry of experiences. From the vibrant cityscape of Melbourne to the pristine shores of the Gold Coast, each destination offered a unique tapestry of sights and sounds. Navigating through airports, adapting to time zone variances, and mastering the art of swift yet flexible itinerary planning honed valuable skills essential for adulthood.

Embracing Challenges and New Horizons

Thrill of Adventure:

Embarking on new adventures abroad unearthed a newfound love for pushing personal boundaries. The adrenaline-fueled plunge from 12,000 feet in Queenstown during a skydiving escapade was a defining moment of exhilaration and triumph. Overcoming initial fears, whether witnessing friends leap from the plane or embracing the freefall rush, was eclipsed by the awe-inspiring vistas of majestic mountains and glistening waters.

Aquatic Exploration:

Exploring the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns, coupled with my inaugural snorkeling expedition, presented a blend of excitement and trepidation. Equipping myself with snorkeling gear, I immersed myself in a mesmerizing underwater world teeming with vibrant marine life and intricate coral formations. Surfing for the first time at Surf Camp, despite the physical exertion and fatigue, offered a unique fusion of sun-soaked adventures and newfound physical challenges.

Bonds and Connections:

Beyond physical escapades, forging meaningful connections with peers from diverse backgrounds enriched my overseas experience. Establishing enduring friendships with fellow students from Notre Dame, Indiana University, Cornell University, and the University of Southern California, alongside individuals from London, China, Japan, and New Zealand, underscored the universality of human connection and camaraderie.

For those contemplating a future study abroad endeavor, I wholeheartedly endorse the transformative journey it promises. Embrace each moment, savor the novel experiences, and chart your path with unwavering authenticity and zeal. Live your life to the fullest, embracing the unknown with open arms.