One thing I wish I had known would be how last minute accommodation is decided in Australia compared to England. My first accommodation was confirmed roughly a month before I arrived and second accommodation only a few weeks before I moved in. I also know plenty of people who waited until they got to Australia before deciding and applying for accommodation.
My first accommodation at UNSW was the UNSW Village. This accommodation was on campus and had many international students. In Australia, national students tend to live at home whilst at university which meant my first accommodation included me, 3 Americans and 2 Chinese girls. Through this accommodation, I made a really nice group of friends who I enjoyed exploring Sydney with, travelled with and who have since invited me to visit them in cool places such as New York!! I have reciprocated the invite so they don’t miss out on the Jesters’ experience 🙂
My second accommodation was found through an app called ‘Flatmates’. It was very close to the university, although Sydney has a great transport system so this wasn’t essential. It was cheaper living off campus and I was happy with the place I found however I personally found living on campus for the first term to be a good option to make friends and feel secure in a new country.
All accommodation near UNSW is great particularly because the beaches are awesome and so close!! On many occasions, I finished class and got a 15-minute bus down to Coogee Beach or a bus to the famous Bondi Beach!! One of my favourite things to do in Sydney was the Coogee to Bondi walk- such amazing views and so many beaches to stop at on the way to swim and snorkel!! The weather in Sydney was pretty great all year so having the beaches so close was fabulous!! You’re also super close to Sydney CBD which has great shopping (had to buy a second suitcase for the way back because of this!!), Sydney Opera House (when my Mum and brother came over I took them to see a circus at the Opera House :), it was an amazing experience and a must do!) and Sydney Harbour Bridge – (which I somehow actually stood under for the NYE fireworks!) I have only just got back to England, but I’m already eager to return 🙂