When I first landed down under, I was already planning trips everywhere! Spring break, Easter holiday, and even random weekends were perfect opportunities to fly out of our homebase in Sydney to anywhere in the Eastern Hemisphere. Who knew that I would be in four different countries within a month though?!
On the last day of February, we were finishing up the academic portion of the semester with our last assignments before everyone in our program would go separate ways for spring break. Right when we turned in our final exam, my two friends and I hurriedly packed our last-minute things and headed straight to the airport. We were headed to Malaysia!
At this point, the dreaded coronavirus wasn’t too bad yet, and maybe only half of the people on the plane were sporting face masks to protect themselves. On our first day in Kuala Lumpur, the city was still hustling and bustling! While the weather was horribly humid, we still managed to hit all the tourist spots and consume an insane amount of local delicacies. Craving the satay to this day!
The second stop of our break was just a short 30-minute flight away, to Singapore! Though the two countries are similar, Singapore was much more organized. Everything was marked, labeled, and sectioned off, a stark contrast to Kuala Lumpur’s chaotic citylife. While there, I continued to satisfy my food cravings, especially for the famous Hainan chicken dish that I’ve only tried in restaurants in the U.S. The best part of both countries was definitely the street stalls and hawker centres, all teeming with infinite food choices of every kind!
After nine days of traveling and eating our fill, we headed back to Sydney to start our internships. However, what was supposed to be seven weeks of experience at a cool PR firm was suddenly cut short when, barely a week later, we were told to pack our bags and head home due to growing virus concerns.
With just five days left in Sydney, my friends and I raced to do all our last-minute souvenir shopping and sightseeing. And, of course, we had our last nights at the Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach.
I am so grateful for having the opportunity to spend even just half of a semester abroad in Australia, and though it was cut short, I have learned and experienced so much. I know I’ll be back one day. Cheers, Sydney!
Amber Chan, Study Abroad Correspondent
Amber Chan is a junior in the College of Communications studying Public Relations. She is currently studying abroad in Sydney, Australia and will be interning at Haystac this semester. She can’t wait to try all the food and fun the city has to offer! Back in Boston, she is also a part of the Asian Student Union and is a mentor in the First Gen Peer Mentor program.