Part 1 of the Q&A: Living in Sydney, University and accommodation.
Where did you find out about UTS and why did you choose it?
– The student agency, Kilroy. UTS is a modern university located in the center of Sydney and has a very good reputation in their business studies which I really like. Kilroy was very informative about everything that was on my mind and I would recommend you to apply with a similar agency if you ever consider to study abroad without partnering up with your Uni.
How does your timetable look like?
– I have classes everyday except for Thursday. For each subject there is one lecture and one tutorial. The lectures are big, while the tutorials are small classes. I also take additional classes called U:PASS for BStats and accounting. Other than uni my week is pretty much filled up! I only attend uni for a couple of hours each day and when I’m free I tend to explore the city, go to the beach, have lunches, do boxing & dancing hiphop. I do find it challenging to balance study and social experiences. I want to travel and explore all the time, haha.
What kind of subjects do you have? Do you like them?
– I’m on my first semester of an undergraduate in International Business. I have four subjects: Integrated Business Perspectives, Business Statistics, Accounting A and Marketing Foundations. They are all interesting subjects, but I do find two of the subjects more difficult.
How is it to have all lectures taught in English since you’re a foreigner?
– I think my pronunciation is pretty decent and I understand quite a lot, but my vocabulary is very limited which is definitely a challenge when it comes to writing essays.
What are you going to do after uni?
– I just started my studies, so I haven’t given it a thought. I can’t really see myself working 9-5 in an office, but we never know. I love being a blogger and the thought of expanding it further.
How much do you pay for accommodation?
– I pay $280 AUD per week which is about $6700 for 1 semester. It is quite expensive, but you won’t find any other place with the same standard. I live in the heart of Sydney, with walking distance to the Darling Harbour, Town Hall and Central Station. We get house keeping each week, wifi, furnitures, and security 24/7. The campus also arrange a lot of social events, serving breakfasts and trips which is definitely value for the money. I’ve met so many people paying either the same as me or more for a shitty apartment without anything included and far away from the city. Some have flatmates who are smoking weed in the common areas while others are sharing a flat with 16 people. One of my friends are paying $250 per week to live in a shared bedroom with two beds with two girls on each bed. You don’t really get much privacy, so I would recommend choosing campus if you want the most out of your Uni experience.
How did you find your apartment? Do you live alone? How is it?
– Through UTS official site. I live in Yura Mudang, a new campus with very nice standards and I share the apartment with 5 other girls. My room is big with lots of storage place and a writing desk, so whenever I need privacy I just chill in my room. The common areas are clean and there has never been any difficulties living in a shared flat. I get along with most of my flatmates, with Dhana being my closest friend. We click so well together and talk every day about happenings in our lives. She’s in her master studies and if it weren’t for living on campus I wouldn’t have met her otherwise. I wouldn’t recommend living alone, being in a shared flat on campus is fun, social and great for your settlement. But then again, my campus is super central. I’m not sure if I would be willing to do the same if my campus was 2 hours away from everything.
How long did it take you to get used to the time difference, temperatures and the fact that the seasons are reversed?
– I was jet lagged for two whole weeks after arrival, haha. I wish I went at least one week in advance instead of in the middle of orientation week, but I had so much travels going on with the blog before departure. I was pretty confused on arrival being sleep deprived having to go to Kmart and buy pillows, sheets, food etc. It took me nearly one and a half month to get my credit card sorted and I was not prepared enough for the winter season in July. However, winter here is like summer in Norway so I found it pretty hilarious to see people wearing scarves and big jackets while back home this would be the perfect day to go to the beach. If I arrived earlier I would have been able to know my suburb better, do more during orientation and I wouldn’t have stressed as much about the school enrollment.
Do you consider yourself social or are you most of the time by yourself?
– I think I’m a mixture of both. I’m pretty social when it comes to meeting new people. I like to get in touch with new faces because I know how intimidating it can be to not know anybody and I want to ensure that no one is excluded. I also think I’m good at complimenting people which is always a positive and uplifting thing to do. That being said I really enjoy being in my own company. I get to be creative, dance, sing and just relax by myself.
What do you look most forward too everyday?
– Creating memories, explore new places and invest in my future.
Are you planning on getting a job?
– I’m not sure. As an international student I have a lot of restrictions when it comes to working because of insurance policies, work limitation etc.
How is it to live alone, do you live on a budget?
– It is definitely very hard to be a student in this expensive city without a proper job. I worked before travelling here which has helped me a lot. All my student fees and accommodation are already paid for so my only expenses are food and travels. I don’t shop clothes at all, rarely eat out, and I stay home instead of going out every weekend. Living in Sydney is very expensive!
What did you do before moving to Sydney?
– I worked as a sales associate and blogged quite a lot with my sister, Tsutsumi
What is the main reason for your move to Sydney?
– I want to expand my horizon, travel and experience the world with a purpose. Combining travel with studies is the perfect scenario!
How is it to be apart from your boyfriend?
– It’s actually way better than I expected! We’ve grown so much together in just a couple of months and I don’t see how it won’t work it we continue like this. I believe it is all about trust, keeping things positive and good communication. We talk every day on Skype, snap-chatting and constantly let each other know that we’re on each others mind. With 9 hours time difference it definitely doesn’t leave any room for arguing which results in us solving the matter straight away instead of dwelling on it.
Now is the time to focus on ourselves and I’ll be the first to admit that my boyfriend is a delightful distraction that I would rather spend time with more than anything. We have so much fun together and it’s just healthy for us to be independent and not too attached to each other. Having our own thing to do just nurture and grow the relationship. I’m just really happy that my boyfriend is so encouraging of me studying abroad instead of holding me back. He knows how much I wanted this which is very comforting, and I’m going to be the happiest chick when we finally get to see each other again. We do have the odds against us, but boy am I happy to be his girlfriend 🙂
Do you get home sickness?
– Occasionaly yes, but most of the time I’m busy embracing every bit of this journey. Knowing that it doesnt last forever is very comforting as well as staying positive. Staying connected to my boyfriend, family and friends back home by using Skype, phone calls and having a blog have been very useful.
How did you get to know people?
– Simply by stepping out of my comfort zone. Uni arranges a lot of social events which is very fun, joining a variation of societies, picking up a sport (boxing & dance). The best aspect of my social experience must be experiencing culture shock – not just Australia, but from all the students on exchange. Making the most out of your experience by adapting to the change and have a positive mindset is more than enough.
Stay tuned for part 2: Fashion, beauty & travels ♥