My time abroad has taught me many valuable life skills. I have learned how to budget my money, use public transportation as my main way to get around, and how to cook my own meals. Before coming abroad, I saved up as much money as I could, but I was still limited. I had to learn how to balance my spending so I could make the most out of my experience. To save money, I ate at home instead of going out to eat, or I would walk to places instead of taking the bus. I also searched for Groupon deals that would allow me to do fun stuff with my friends and save money at the same time. A big money saver is that on Sundays, you can travel anywhere in the city for the entire day for a total of $2.70 AUD. I always try to take advantage of this by either grocery shopping or exploring on those days.
Taking advantage of the Sunday traveling discount in Sydney Harbor
Living without access to a car was a first for me. My only option was to learn the public transportation system in Sydney. Luckily, public transportation seems to be a little easier to handle than in the United States. Not too long after arriving, I was able to learn the routes of the buses, trains, and ferries. Even if I didn’t know where I was going, I was still able to figure out the fastest and cheapest way to get there. I will say that grocery shopping without a car took some getting used to. I eventually learned which supermarkets were the cheapest and which had a direct bus route to and from my apartment. However, carrying my bags on the bus was an experience all on its own!
Back in the United States, I had access to a meal plan at school so I never had to really cook before. I knew before arriving in Australia that learning how to cook would be quite an adventure but thankfully, it turned out not to be as difficult as I originally thought. I found some easy to make recipes and slowly started learning how to cook for myself. I can now make dishes that I would have not even tried to make before. When I go back home I can avoid those frozen meals! Overall, studying abroad has really taught me how to become more self reliant and survive a little easier out in the real world.
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