Mia’s To Do: Down Under

Sydney Opera House

Visit the Sydney Opera House for a performance: The Sydney Opera House is an architectural wonder. Yes, I know I have been here a few weeks and this should have been number one when I got here. I have seen it at night and from a ferry to Manly beach but haven’t gotten my necessary million photos in front of the white behemoth. Just around the corner from Circular Quay (pronounced “key”) I am sure to get there soon. Beyond the photos though I would love to be able to go to the opera house for a performance. Currently a play with Michael Cera is running.

Get an internship: As my fourth course here at UNSW I elected to apply to an internship placement. Most college students feel the need to get internship experience during at least a few summers of their college. Yet since Australian Uni gets out so late in American summer I thought I would get a step ahead while abroad. After researching top pr firms and ad agencies I picked a few to contact and ultimately gained a spot with Magnum PR. With great clients that are both International and Australian it is a great chance for me to put my comparative culture expertise to use. Now I get to gain international work experience and course credit.

Befriend all of my neighbors: Thus far we have introduced ourselves to two of our nine houses of neighbors. It is hard to go talk to older Australian neighbors but the first two have proven to be incredibly nice. The point of this “To Do” item is that even small gestures can have large influences on your study abroad experience. One neighbor we met is a property manager for large clubs around the city. That means perks for us if we are great neighbors; like free entry to awesome clubs.

Sydney Bridge Climb

Sydney Bridge Climb: The Sydney Harbour Bridge is quite a sight. Linking the city to suburbs beyond it is one of the few bridges in the world where patrons can get harnessed and go for a climb up the bridge. Taking up just over three hours and just over $250 for the twilight climb. Prices range depending on the time of day/ day of week but I have heard the dawn or twilight climbs are the best. If you are afraid of heights I’d say sit this one out. http://www.bridgeclimb.com/

The Sydney Botanical Gardens: Filled with all sorts of Australian flora and fauna the botanical gardens are just around the corner from downtown Sydney and Circular Quay. Hopefully I’ll make a day of it, lounging around enjoying the flowers and “heaps” of sunshine that Sydney has to offer.

Hold a koala and play with kangaroos: Although you can’t hold Koala here in New South Whales it is very much a possibility in other parts of Australia.  There are tons of wildlife parks around where you can frolic with jumpy ‘roos or hold a cuddly buddy. Word on the street is that Koala are actually very vicious so fingers crossed everything goes well.

Tasmanian Devil

See Wineglass Bay in Tasmania: Wineglass Bay was voted one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world by Conde Nast Traveler. Since then the location has exploded with tourist activity. However although the plethora of tourists may litter the area a little bit I plan on going later in the semester. Hopefully the cold weather will scare all the others away.

Go glowworm caving in New Zealand: “As you tube down a hidden river in pitch darkness suddenly the ceiling starts to glow” is how my friend Carly described this experience. She said that though there were eels in the water it was definitely worth the difficulty. On the North Island you can catch a “black water rafting” trip where glowworms liter the cave ceiling with a glowing substance.

Visit the Great Barrier Reef: This reef is the world’s largest coral reef site.  With gorgeous weather year round and Nemo to keep you company why not make the trip. Getting to Cairns and the Whitsunday Islands is fairly expensive for a long weekend so I may save this one for when my parents visit. If you do make the trip on your own I have heard that Gilligan’s Backpackers Hostel and Resort is both cheap and a great place to stay.

Go on a surf weekend: The Aussie way is living a laid-back beach lifestyle. Living here in Coogee the beach is stocked with lifeguards every day but always free of surfboards. No wave surfing is allowed at Coogee beach, so I am going to head north for a weekend of surf and barbeque.

Submitted by Mia, Abroad101 Global Ambassador in Sydney