I write from a land down under Reply

Maegan Hemstock poses in front of the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

Maegan Hemstock poses in front of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Photo Courtesy of Maegan Hemstock

Maegan Hemstock – Global Correspondent

Being able to study abroad is an achievement I never thought I would ever get to experience. But everyday since I landed “down under,” I keep reminding myself my hard work has paid off and I am living the dream to study in the land I always wanted to visit, Australia.

Getting here was an experience itself, and not the best one either, but don’t let my disastrous travel scare you away from studying abroad. I had cancellations the day I was flying out, delays to miss connecting flights, and, a traveler’s worse nightmare, lost luggage. It took me two and half days to retrieve it, but luckily my possessions were safe and sound. However, I did not let lost luggage ruin my trip to a beautiful country.

Let me brag about how awesome the weather is. On my arrival in Sydney, it was 80 degrees without a cloud in the sky. I could feel the sunrays beating down to turn me into a bronze color. I was ready to start my adventure.

Our first few days in Sydney involved learning about the history of the country and getting to know each other, which is great since many of us were leaving our comfort zones from the states. I got to climb up to the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge, eat lunch at the Opera House, go to the zoo to feed kangaroos, and strangely enough, eat kangaroo for dinner one night.

Part of studying abroad is leaving your comfort zone and trying new things. For example, my fear of birds began when a bird attacked me when I was little, and I have always had a huge fear of snakes. At the zoo, I held an owl and a python. You’ve got to live in the moment and take chances or you might regret them later on. Studying abroad helps you find and create yourself. It is no fun to not be adventurous.

After a few days in Sydney, we made our trip to Queensland to start school. I chose to live on campus instead of an apartment or hotel and it is awesome. The best way to describe it is the set up they have in Rockwell/East/West. What is even better is having a pool next to me, so I don’t have to travel to the beach twenty minutes away from me everyday.

Classes here are a lot different. Instead of having many assignments, classes only do one main project, a midterm, and a final. Classes consist of lectures along with a tutorial. I’m not used to lecture halls since Lasell is so small and classes consist of 25 at most.

I do miss home and the people I love and care about, but I most likely will never have an opportunity like this again. To those who are thinking about studying abroad, do it. The adventures I have had so far are incredible, and it is only the beginning for me.

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