Making the decision to spend a semester abroad at Bond University in Gold Coast, Australia was one of the most exciting choices I ever made in my life. Seeing pictures of my classmates abroad in semesters past, I was hardly even nervous to embark on such a big journey by myself. What I didn’t really consider was how draining and difficult it would be to get there. I hopped a flight from JFK International Airport in New York last January to start my journey. My first mistake was buying a round trip flight. I would highly suggest to anyone going abroad to only buy a one way ticket. Traveling to a new country means tons of friends who are just as eager about the adventure, so inevitably there will be plans to stay after the semester is finished and continue to travel.
I flew on China Eastern Air, making one stop in Shanghai and one stop in Sydney before arriving at my final destination, Gold Coast. Overall, my travel time took about 31 hours from start to finish. My only advice for surviving this long on a plane is to bring tons of books, movies, and a comfortable neck pillow. It’s also important to remember to stand up and move around every once in a while; sitting in one place for that long isn’t very good for you and can even cause blood clots (yikes!). Since I flew on a Chinese airline, it was difficult at times to understand what was going on or even if I was on the right flight! I also had some interesting food choices come meal times.
Arriving in Australia was such a relief, but it was also a bit nerve-wracking. I found my way to the shuttle scheduled to take me to my campus where I met my first fellow “Bondie” as the University likes to call its students. The shuttle dropped us at campus and we realized we had no idea where to go from there. After much exploration, we found the office that gave us our room keys and helped us find our way to our dormitories. I walked into my room, felt the exhaustion of the many hours of travel kick in, and fell asleep. This presented me with my next issue, jet lag, but I’ll get into that later. G’day mates, until next time!