#11 – The Downsides of Living Abroad

Well hello there! How are you all doing? I hope you’re doing great! As you might have guessed from the title, my week was not the bestest – although I can gladly tell you that I fell a lot better again now. I was even considering not mentioning any sad periods, but then again I figured that I want to tell you about my experience as close to reality as possible – and I also want to remind myself in case I get homesick again (which will surely happen) that it does indeed get better.

There were several things that triggered me feeling down. First of all, I still don’t have my summer holidays planned out. I’m a control freak, and I kind of figured that by now I had a plan, but it’s just not happening. I was looking for work, but apparently January is the absolute low season for everything, so no one needs extra pair of hands in summer – at least the companies I asked do not. My initial plans to just travel around turned out to be rather expensive, leaving me with a question mark for my summer holidays. I do not “just” want to stay in Brisbane because then I feel like I am wasting my precious time, so I am currently considering flying home. That however to me feels a little bit like a defeat. Don’t ask me why, I can’t explain it myself, but that’s the way it is.

Another thing adding to me being homesick is the fact that I had a lot more time at hand. I finished volunteering and suddenly had so much available time, so I started to think about the things I miss from home – the food, the fact that I don’t have to think about whether I really want to buy a new moisturizer for about 2 weeks (beauty stuff in Australia is just crazy expensive) and most of all, the people. Don’t get me wrong, I have people here, and I love to hang out with them, but there’s just a difference whether you talk to a person you’ve basically known your whole life or someone you just met a month ago. And especially since I was feeling down, I just wanted to be with my people from home.

The fact that the internet in my apartment died did not make my situation any better. For the moment, I’m not able to skype, watch Youtube or basically do anything I usually do when I am bored. However, I have decided to use my time with limited access to internet for the best and do a little bit of internet detox – light version. I spend way too much time on there anyway, and I’ve realized that it actually can be quite nice to pick up a book instead of watching random people telling me about their beauty favourites (still going to catch up on everyone though as soon as the internet is back to normal :D).

I have read a lot about what to do when you become homesick and up to a certain extent things like cooking your favourite food from home, keeping busy and making sure you surround yourself with people do work, but I’ve realized that most of all, it just takes some time. There’s going to be episodes when I love being here, and there will be times when I don’t enjoy it quite as much. I then always remind myself that I made the decision to come here and why I did it in the first place, and then I just try to make the most out of it. Too late to change anything now anyway, so why not make the most out of it.

Also – and this is slightly off topic – in case someone of you is considering doing a postgrad degree in Australia, I just want to give you a short piece of information I would have loved to have received before coming here. University is not quite as I expected it to be – adding to my slight misery – and I want to avoid you coming here and be disappointed. Core courses are at a very, very basic level. If you did your undergrad in Europe – can’t speak for any other continents, sorry – try to get as many of them accredited beforehand as you possibly can, or you’ll just waste your time. Be prepared for a lot of assignments, group works and other little bits and bobs you have to submit during the semester – you will have finals, but already before them, there will be a lot you have to do for university. And lastly – and that is the thing that annoys me the most and makes me consider an exchange semester – you will not study with Australians. There might be one in every lecture you have, but the rest are some Europeans, some Latin Americans and loads of Chinese guys. While most of them are really lovely, many only speak rather crappy English. As I mentioned, you will have to do group works – lots of them. And with the language barrier these group works are mostly ridiculously hard to handle because you just can’t communicate properly. I hope this will get better as the programme goes on and everyone spends more time in an English-speaking country though, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed and will let you guys know as time goes by.

This is probably the longest post I’ve written in my life, so I’ll stop the rambling and hope you did not fall asleep on your chair by now. Feels good to write it all of my chest though, so thank you for being my therapist. ;)

 

I hope you all had a reasonably good week – if not, things will get better, trust me – and I’ll see you again soon!

 

xx, K (:

 

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