Coming into my last week, I feel a bunch of different emotions. I’m excited to get home, see my friends and family, and sleep in my own bed; but I am also sad to leave the place I’ve been fortunate enough to call home for the past five weeks.
On Friday, I had my last youth group at Sarah’s church and said goodbye to a lot of friends. Although the chances of seeing everybody again are very slim, I’ll always remember the great friendships I made here. I was told by a number of people that I’m welcome back any time and, next month, a group of my friends and I are going to try to video chat and play a game of cards together.
The weather on Saturday was great, and even though my exchange had a birthday party to go to, I got to go into the city and walk around with her mom. We went to the New South Wales Art Gallery, where I got to see and learn more about Aboriginal art. After almost two hours at the Gallery, we went across the street to the Botanical Gardens. There, I saw a flying fox hanging from a tree, unique plant species and eels in the pond! For dinner, Sarah and I met up with a group of her camp friends and we went to Darling Harbour. We ate right next to the water and then walked around afterwards.
Sadly, the weather was bad again on Sunday and we weren’t able to go to the beach like we had originally planned. I was able to finish up my Australian shopping by going to one real and multiple fake UGG stores. Sarah and I took the train into the city and went shopping right next to the Sydney Tower. I also got Tim Tams and other Australian treats to bring back.
This trip has really been a once in a lifetime experience. Even if I come back to Sydney, it will not be the same. Because of this Round Square exchange, I have had the opportunity to fly across the world and make memories and friendships that will last forever. I’m sad to leave all of my friends here, but I know that we’ll keep in touch and that I’ll remember this trip for the rest of my life. – Ella Waxman ’19, Student Exchange at Methodist Ladies’ College