As Study Abroad students, we all come from around the world. ICMS pulled out all the stops for O-Week, the week before our course officially starts, to welcome us to the college. There were tons of scheduled events for new students to take part in, and loads of opportunities to meet others, have fun, and get comfortable here.
Our week was jam-packed with everything from sports activities, tours, Sydney visits and snorkeling over at Shelly Beach. I even held a python around my neck. What a way to meet new friends and settle in!
The most anticipated day of O-week was “The Main Event” where new, international, and study abroad students attend the Welcome ceremony. After this, we were officially welcomed by the staff here at ICMS with a few special words about our upcoming experience, followed by dancing and revelry at the famous Cocktail Party.
The week ended with Campus Day, which was full of every students’ favorite things: food, music, and tons of free stuff! O-Week definitely set the scene for a successful stint studying here at ICMS and I couldn’t wait to get started.
Week 1: Getting Started
A little bit of reality sets in…time for class! I am enrolled in three courses – Human Resources, Strategic Marketing Management, and Global Media Communications. I also have an internship which is located at ICMS in the Sales and Marketing Department. Classes are three hours long. However, only half is lecture and half is tutorial, and they are only once a week. This leaves room for many beach days!
Week 2: Did you say surfing?
I spent a large amount of my time volunteering during my second week. However, this was not your ordinary volunteering, it was at the Australian Open of Surfing. This was an international competition hosted here in Manly, where I saw proper professional surfers, BMX riders, skateboarders, and much more. Up close! The excitement continues!
Week 3: Getting in a routine
This week I was reminded that some homework does exist while in Australia. However, it is much different than the average American classwork. While I have barely had any assignments, I have learned tons. I have found the courses here are not solely based on content, but more on applying content to real case studies and scenarios. I even did some content writing at my internship about my amazing experience at Ayers Rock to share with other students. Over the weekend I attended a “Summer BBQ” at an actual Aussie’s house! This was a first, and I met lots of new friends.
Week 4: Studying abroad
This week I really had to put the work in. While we have less assignments here than I am used to, it is important to do well on the few that we do have. During my internship I had the opportunity to interview some other study abroad students about their experience so far, all of whom were really positive. Another positive is that Australia does in fact celebrate St Patrick’s Day, and I made sure to join in the festivities!
Week 5: Grading Time
This week I had two of my first assignments due. This was a little nerve- racking for me because I did not know what to expect from the grading. On the bright side, I have found the teachers are more than willing to help those who reach out. Besides schoolwork, I ventured out to North Head with a new friend from New Zealand. We walked and hiked for about four hours, taking in absolutely breathtaking views, right on the doorstep of ICMS!
Week 6: In need of some vitamin SEA
Monday through Thursday was a blur of work, school, rain and, most importantly, packing. On Thursday afternoon I flew out of Sydney with my friend Biz to head to Cairns! We were on our way to check off not just one but at least three things off our Bucket Lists.
First off was a waterfall tour through one of the world’s oldest rainforests, Daintree Rainforest. We also got adventurous and went white water rafting on Tully River and, let me tell you, it is as hard as it looks! The final thing we did was go scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. This experience far exceeded anything I imagined, I even saw a shark!
Week 7: Back “Home”!
On Monday, I returned back to Sydney, and my iPhone officially recognised 151 Darley Road, Manly, NSW, as my home address. I immediately facetimed my mom, dad, and my dog to tell them all about the Great Barrier Reef, but you have to see it to believe it. I must say, after a vacation as amazing as our trip to Cairns, getting back to school proved difficult. However, it had to be done…I am studying abroad, I suppose!
Week 8: Let the holidays begin!
There was work to be done this week, but very little time to concentrate on it! The school/work week was cut short with Good Friday being a public holiday. I spent my Saturday exploring Sydney with some friends. What’s the best part about exploring this city? It is generally free. I went through all four floors of the Contemporary Art Museum, walked across the Harbour Bridge, and found myself eating an ice cream at Luna Park. On Easter Sunday, I had a hot cross bun during brunch, attended mass, and celebrated a friend’s birthday with some live music at the Corso.
Week 9: Friends can be family
The week started with a day off on Monday, a continuation of the Easter weekend. On Tuesday, a tragedy hit the ICMS student body. During this time all of the students came together and truly supported one another. In addition to the love shared on campus, my sister flew out of Detroit, Michigan, and arrived in Sydney on Saturday. This was a much-needed reunion.
Week 10: “Keep calm and tram on”
Almost everyone who has traveled to Australia has most likely made a stop in Melbourne. It is simply a must do. In Melbourne, I had many more firsts. To name a few: I rode in the Melbourne Star (which is far better than a ferris wheel), had rainbow colored coffee, and traveled the Great Ocean Road!
Week 11: All good things come to an end…
As week 11 wrapped up, I was left with mixed emotions. I had completed my last classes here at ICMS and all that was left were exams. While I was still doing exciting things, such as seeing the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the Sydney Opera House, my Study Abroad experience was coming to an end. I suppose it’s true what they say, time flies while you’re having fun!
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